Friday, September 2, 2011

Evolution of a Survivor

During the abuse pattern we learn to adapt, to reinvent, in order to survive.

We'll use any means necessary - dissociation, self-deprivation, and any other coping mechanism just to convince ourselves that it's what we deserve; forcing ourselves to believe the words in hopes that we can convince our abuser that we see it as the absolute truth, because that's what they keep telling us with each hateful word, each exploitation of our bodies, each fist to our flesh. Every strike becomes truth. After awhile, it becomes an alternate reality for us. becomes our only reality..once we've played the part for long enough.

Yet, we still see glimpses in the mirror here and there of who we used to be, and it makes us feel rage at ourselves for being so weak, which just reinforces what's been screamed in our faces too many times, in too many different ways...and it once again brings us back full circle to our new reality.

We're worthless

We're weak

We deserve it

This is where we belong

I used to think it was a defense mechanism, which again seems to imply a weakness; a subservience. But, it was more than a simple defense was an absolute adaptation; an evolution of everything that defines me.  It was necessary for my survival. I had to sacrifice some of myself in order to survive. It should never have been seen as a weakness, as it is most likely the sole reason I'm still here today.

And so, we evolve from small helpless victim, to a victim with a fighting chance (even if that chance carries the heftiest of price tags), and then, finally, we hone our new skills enough to concentrate on finding our way out and become...


And now, as much as we've accomplished already, we still have to evolve as survivors.  The very skills we developed that were crucial to our survival don't just go away. It's still ingrained in our very being that we're undeserving of good! That's what got us through so it can't be wrong! Yet, these thoughts are no longer do we just let them go? We were forced to believe them for so long and under such circumstance that they're etched into our very core....

Yes, I'm a survivor but....honestly, that's only half the battle.  Learning how to live again once you bestow the title on yourself is the final hurdle.

We've worked so hard to get to where we now stand - the species of "survivor". It's changed our very perception of the world in relation to us, of ourselves, and of the social structures that we're reaching out to.  We're struggling to reassimilate to a world we don't even see anymore. We still walk into a room knowing that we're below everyone; that we're inferior; that we, for some reason (no matter how illogical), aren't deserving of making it through this social engagement.  We can tell ourselves over and over that that is not reality, but the urgency isn't there to MAKE ourselves believe it.  The flat-out  will to survive isn't there anymore.  So we walk about, day to day, still with that one thought in the back of our minds, that "yes, I'm a survivor and I'm damn proud of that, but I still don't believe I deserve this new reality I've been given."

It wasn't given. It wasn't handed out.  YOU had to change every single fiber of your being in order to survive, but the fight is not over. You need to continue on your own personal evolutionary path to triumph over exactly what you created yourself to be.  And just when you think the hard work is done, you realize that once again you need to retrain yourself; adapt; evolve....and this time you don't have that volatile force pushing you - you have only you....

But YOU is all you need....YOU are enough - you've got this, I promise.  It's just a couple more steps....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Time Marches On

Life goes on...time marches on...

This is what we face.

Because yes, life does go on; the clock never stops ticking, the sands never stop falling, and we have to stop wallowing and move on...

The world around us keeps going, at its own predictable mundane pace, and it's so easy to just drown ourselves in it - just run that easy pace...Left, right, left, right...just keep moving and it'll all go away.

7 are getting up; time for for work; time for school..regardless of your place in life, there's still a pace...a comfortable cycle you can bury yourself in and hide from what really matters. Kids need food, diapers, juice, attention...Time for work - work, break, work, lunch, work some more...Time for school - bell, class, bell, class, bell, lunch - just gotta make it through the day.  It's all sorted out for you. Then home...another routine.  Homework, dinner, showers, bed....  and then it starts all over again.

Amongst it all, you lose track of YOU. It's so easy to just envelop yourself in the sheer routine-ness  of it and forget that anything ever happened to you. Well no, you don't forget - you can never forget, but you don't want to admit that it's still eating at you because that would equal defeat.  And dammit, you WON'T accept defeat over this.

So, you live your life, and watch the sands slip through the hourglass, and someday...maybe someday...those tiny pieces of glass will finally somehow make their way to the bottom and fade away forever....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Self-Reliance, or Just Plain Stubborness? (orig. publ. 2/10)

I don’t have to do it all by myself. Why is that concept so hard for me to grasp? It seems so simple, so straightforward. Where, along my journey, did I lose sight of it? When did I so drastically shut the idea out of my thoughts? It’s a thought that’s been tugging at the edges of my mind for awhile now, and it’s finally starting to become a little clearer as I start to try to redefine my healing journey in order to include someone else in it.

It’s true; I shouldn’t have to face it all alone. Yet, throughout my journey so far I’ve done everything I can to cut off the possibility of accepting any help.

I know where it started. There came a point where I was tired of sinking into that deep pit of self-denial and self-deceit. I had been hiding from what had happened, dissociating from it, convincing myself it had all happened to some other poor lost soul. I remember feeling so sorry for ‘that girl that all those horrible things happened to’. But deep down, I was crying out to face it. Somewhere I knew that if I were to ever really get past it I’d need to accept that that poor girl was me and I’d have to deal with it. But, I was scared. It was so much easier to pretend it wasn’t really there. That little voice inside wasn’t strong enough to be heard and so that poor girl just sat and hoped that maybe if she just waited long enough, someone else would come along and save her; face it all for her, and fix it all. And so I sat, waiting for someone to save me. And no one came.

Eventually, I did hear that little voice, and when I finally went looking to find where it came from, I was disgusted by that small, weak little corner of my mind that actually thought I could passively sit back and make it somebody else’s responsibility to hunt down my demons and tame them for me. So I took a step, and then another, and another, all the while constantly reminding myself that if I ever expected to be whole again, I had to pick up the pieces one by one. No one was going to do it for me; it was my fight. MY life, MY body, MY mind, MY heart – it was time for me to reclaim it all and take responsibility for my own healing.

And so I did.

I wrote letters to myself. I forced myself to face every horror one by one; essentially reliving in stark detail all the wrongs that had been done to me. I uncovered a lot of memories that I didn’t even know were there, and it was painful, but it was necessary. I did what I needed to do in order to face the longest, hardest struggle of my life.

And I’m still struggling. I’ve won a lot of myself back, but it’s far from over. I still have a long battle ahead of me, and on one hand I’m so terribly terribly tired of doing it alone. I so badly want to reach out and grab an extra handful of hope here and there from someone so caring and willing to do what it takes to help me through the next steps of my journey.

On the other hand, I’m paralyzed with fear. Two forms of fear, really. There’s the simple fear – the one where I reach out and accept help, learn to thrive on it and then it disappears and I’m left on my own again. But then there’s the stronger fear. The one that’s probably not really any more complicated but the difficulty I have in describing it makes it feel more complex, more vague. It’s hard to address and overcome a fear that you can’t really describe, so I have to try.

The thing is, a huge part of my recovery thus far has been learning to love myself and accept myself again. It’s been one of my biggest hurdles and I’m still struggling like hell with it. As I’ve progressed in my journey, there have been times of great progress – huge strides of trudging through quickly and concisely – and there have been times of drought, where it felt like it was all going nowhere yet if I could look hard enough I could see and feel the baby steps I was slowly taking. At the slow times, it was really hard to keep faith in myself. It took a long time to come to peace with it and not get angry with myself. I had to, and still have to, keep reminding myself that everyone heals in their own way, at their own pace, and that above all I need to be patient and gentle with myself, and the next step will come when I’m ready for it. It was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn, and I still catch myself berating my own efforts – if I worked harder I could be further, I must just be too weak to handle it, etc… I’ve mostly got it under control now. I find it easier to just go with the flow and let everything run its course and above all be patient with myself, and learn to love myself unconditionally.

So what does that have to do with this fear? Well, to put it as simply as possible, I fear that once I’m sharing the journey with someone else, I’ll feel more pressured to show results and move faster. Not that I’ll feel pressure from the other person, but that I’d put more pressure on myself to not disappoint them. In other words, I’ll feel that I have more than just myself to answer to, and if I feel like I’m letting them down I’ll be more hard on myself than is healthy, which will breed anger. I don’t like letting people down, especially those who care enough to want to help me, and once I get impatient with myself I don’t know how I’ll react to it.

I’m afraid my frustration will lead to lashing out, or backward steps; neither of which I can afford.

I’m just so tired of standing on what feels like the very edge of sanity; carefully picking through to see where I can step without losing it completely. It feels like one false move will set me back to the beginning and I can’t do this all again, it’s too much.

Well, Here We Are (orig. publ. 1/10)

So I opened this blog a long time ago. I thought it would be a good outlet to record my thoughts. I suppose in order for that to work I need to actually write something in it, heh. I’ve opened it up many times over the past year, and every time it would sit there, mocking me with its wide open space. I just have no idea where to start. There’s so much I need to say, but it all sits jumbled together in my head, with no beginning and no end. I think I’m ready now. I already have a post or two written; I just wanted to start with a bit of an introduction, so that anyone who happens to read this can have some idea of who I am, where I come from – a small grasp on the events in my life that have led me here.

First, while some are still paying attention, I want to point out that I don’t intend on sugar-coating anything. There have been points in my life where I’ve made poor choices that some may disagree with, but they were the only choices I felt I had at the time. I also, at times, tend to have a slightly dark sense of humor. If these things might offend you, I’m sure you know how to work the little buttons on your browser to navigate away from the page. I’m not here looking for approval – acceptance maybe, but not approval. I’m not out to impress anyone, I’m just here to talk.

Hopefully, in due time once I find my voice, I’ll be able to write the way I know I can, and some people will be able to enjoy that. For now, though, don’t expect any literary genius. It’s been too long since I was free to write anything to expect greatness; mediocrity will have to do for now.

Yes, I’m stalling. I still don’t know how to explain, well…me. Guess I’ll just start slow.

I’m a mom. I have a beautiful daughter who is almost three and lights up my life every single day. I also have a 9-year-old son. He lives with his dad and I haven’t been able to see him in 5 years. Long story – I’m sure you’ll hear all about it at some point.

I’m the youngest of four children. My parents and oldest brother all passed away within a year of each other quite a few years back. I don’t keep in touch with my other brother and sister. Basically, we get together for weddings and funerals, and with any luck there won’t be any more of the latter for awhile.

I’m a survivor of severe domestic abuse, in more forms than one. I got out after a few false starts two years ago. At the time, I didn’t know how bad it was – I just knew I wasn’t happy. Once I removed myself from the situation and spent a good 8 or 9 months burying myself in an alternate reality, I finally stopped to look back. I had dissociated myself from the situation; coped by pretending that it wasn’t me all those things had happened to. Basically, I had watched my own life unfold as if I were watching a documentary about someone else. Once reality hit me, it suddenly became a long hard road to making myself whole again. I’m still not there, but I’m making huge strides. I battle the after-effects every day in the form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’ve spent the past year learning more about myself than I ever thought possible.

Most of the help I’ve received in learning to live again has been from various internet resources, including about a dozen blogs that I’ve followed in my feedreader religiously. It’s been an enormous comfort to know that there are people everywhere who face the same struggles that I do, and to watch them progress on their journeys has given me so much strength. Hopefully, someday, someone will be able to say the same about this blog. Even if it’s just one person, it’ll be worth it.
Oh good gawd this thing is a mess and I was posting on WordPress for a couple years since..and I'll be damned if I can figure out how to merge, or link, or do anything between the two of them! So apparently I'll be pasting stuff here, and hopefully coming up with a MUCH better decor around here because meh... just eww!!! Not sure what I was thinking! Actually, I know for a fact I wasn't really capable of thinking so I'll just give myself some thumbs for making it through and try to do damage control now =P

Monday, September 10, 2007

It isn't for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security.
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Well, since somebody doesn't seem to want to answer my emails, I guess I may as well write something here and get the same result. =P

It looks like I'll be moving on again this weekend. I've been staying with a friend of mine for the last couple weeks, which I knew was only temporary, and it seems I'll have to move on to the next stop now. Having life be so erratic and unstable is really stressful, but there's not much I can do about it right now. At least I'm starting to claim my own life back. It's gonna be a long road, but the end result will be a much better life for the little one so it's all worth it.

Anyway, I'll be heading out to the boonies to stay with another friend. The plus will be that I'll have my own room, won't have to hide from landlords, will have a liquor store next door (just ask Nick how important that is to me, hehe) and will be able to get my own computer back - pathetic as it sounds, I miss her so much!! Of course, as with everything there will be negatives; I'll be out in the boonies with no transportation, and the big douchebag that I'm attempting to get away from will have more access to me since these folks are mutual friends of ours. But, again it's only temporary until my name comes up on the Housing Assistance list, on which I got accelerated status because of the Domestic Violence situation, and then my daughter and I will finally have a place to call our own.

Ok, I've babbled enough now. I may be offline for a few days as I have to go back to my old house to get my router and hook it up in the new place, but I'll be back soon.....