Child Abuse, Emotions, Inner Child, Therapy

Writing that letter

Austin Wrote: 

This makes me want very much to write a letter to little me, not one of my alters, but to me as a child. WOW, this would be good therapy to do. I’ve seen one like this over at the blog The Real Me, that journal is on my sidebar. I might have to do something like this. I’d be interested in knowing how you felt after you wrote it.
Austin

Right now I feel so raw and exposed.  Almost the feeling you get when your burn your tongue.  Every little thing makes me hurt.  It really exhausted me to write it.  Not that I wasn’t physically exhausted before, but I was hanging in there emotionally for the most part.  Now every fiber of my being is screaming for rest.  Now I just want 48 hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep.  The chances of that happening are slim to none.  But that’s what I want.

I was surprised by the depth of emotion I felt while writing that letter.  I never realized how angry I am at that little girl or how much I really hate her.  That hate I have for my adult self extends even deeper.  All the way to that child.  I wish she would have died.  I wish she had never been born.

I wonder if there will be a time when I will come to direct all this anger and hatred towards the people that hurt me instead of towards myself.  Years of therapy haven’t been able to get me to the point where I can say “It wasn’t your fault Kathryn!”.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that point.  I hear people say it to me, and I think they mean it.  And I can say it to other people, and I definitely mean it when I say it to them.  But when it comes to myself, I just don’t believe it.

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Child Abuse, Emotions, Inner Child, Therapy

A letter to Little Kathryn

This is a chance to talk to the child within. If you’re capable of loving and comforting the child within, if you can let your adult self express the compassion you have for this child, write a letter directly to her. Or you can engage in a written dialog with her, first writing as the adult, and then as the child responding.

If you don’t feel any tenderness or connection with the child yet, start with how you honestly feel. You can’t write “I love you, I’ll take care of you” if that’s a lie. Start with: “I’m willing to sit down and write to you even though I’m not quite sure why you exist,” or “I don’t sympathize with you yet,” or even, “I hate you. You got me into this mess to begin with.” Any point of contact is a start. You can’t have a loving relationship until you make contact. Take the first step.

If you feel totally alienated from the child in you, imagine another child the age you were during your abuse. Try writing to her.

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January 28, 2007

Young Kathryn.

I know you’re in there. You are hiding most of the time, but in there none the less. You poke your head out every once in a while (too frequently though for my tastes). And when you do, you let me know that you are unhappy or afraid or just want somebody’s attention. You want someone to be your parent. You want someone to take care of you.

There are times when I love you, but there are more times when I hate you. There are times when I understand you, but there are more times when I think you are crazy. There are times when I want to get to know you better, but there are more times when I just want you to go away. There are times when I think you were the innocent one, but there are more times when I think you are as guilty as sin.

I wish I could say I wanted you around in my life. But most of the time, I wish you would just go away. Lately, it seems like you make my life more difficult than anything else. I hate you and all of what you represent.

I am angry with you because you lied to people. You lied to the people who could have helped you. And now you cry because you’re scared and because you hurt inside. Well what did you expect? Liars get what they deserve. That’s just one example of the evilness that you are. Liars will be punished. And you were punished. So what’s the major problem?

You provoked them so they wouldn’t hurt B and C. And then you got hurt. Well what did you expect to happen? They were big and you were small. The laws of physics say that you’ll lose every time. You were stubborn and hard-headed even when you could see that nothing good would come out of the situation. Yet you were there. So what did you expect to happen? No wonder they were always angry with you. If I had a child like you, I’d probably be angry with her a lot of the time.

I’m scared of you. You are a constant reminder of what happened to me. When you are frightened and want somebody to hold you, you remind me that I’m incapable of letting anyone hold me. When you cry, you remind me that I can not cry. When you beg for them not to hurt you, it reminds me of how I didn’t stop them.

I wish I could say that I love you and I feel for you. But right now I don’t. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say those things.

I really wish you would go away and leave me to live my adult life. I know my adult life isn’t so great. But if you weren’t around, I wouldn’t have these childish feelings and thoughts to deal with. If you weren’t around, then maybe I wouldn’t constantly think about how they hit me or how they touched me. If you weren’t around maybe I could have a real relationship with another human being instead of being so afraid that I push them away.

I don’t know how to take care of you. I don’t know how to ease your fears. I don’t know how to make you happy.

I’m afraid to hold you. I’m afraid to get to know you. I’m afraid that you will really be as evil and terrible as I think you are.

Most of the time I honestly wish you would have died. I wish that you never developed into the adult you are now. I wish that life would have ceased to exist. I even wish you never would have been born, just as you were told over and over.

This is how I feel right now. I can’t help the way I feel about you. I know you want and need compassion and love. But right now, I’m incapable of giving that to you. I guess you’ll just have to survive a bit longer on your own.

Adult Kathryn

Child Abuse, Family, My story, PTSD

Flashbacks…

I’m having flashback again.  I’m just writing as I experience things.

It hurts.  I can feel him in my body.  It’s in back right now.  Fingers.  Poking.  Pressure.  Why is he doing this?  I was so little.  Red carpet.  It must have been in the old house.  That’s where my room had red carpet.  He keeps touching me.  His fingers hurt me.  He thinks I’m asleep.  But I’m not.  I have to keep pretending I’m asleep.  Then maybe he won’t get mad.  I opened my eyes once before and that really upset him that night.  How long ago was that?  Days?  Weeks?  I can’t remember anymore.  Maybe it just doesn’t really matter anymore.
Breathing is hard.  All I can get is gasps.  It’s making me dizzy.  Oh no.  I think I’m going to be sick.  Bathroom.  Now…  I wish I could throw up.  My stomach hurts.  And my head hurts from the dry heaves.  I’m shaking.  I can barely type.  Why tonight?

I can see him now.  He’s turning me over.  He still thinks I’m asleep.  If I just keep my eyes closed, maybe it’ll be over soon.  There are his fingers again.  Why does he keep doing this to me?  Doesn’t he know that it hurts?  Pressure.  Harder and harder.
In my head, I keep yelling for him to stop.  He can’t hear me.  I can’t say it.  I keep begging him to stop.  But he won’t stop.  He keeps going.  I open my eyes.  But he doesn’t care.  He doesn’t even notice that I’m awake.  He looks so happy.  I don’t understand.  How can he be happy?  Doesn’t he know that he is hurting me?
It hurts so bad.  I’m scared.  I can see him.  I can smell the soap.  He’s all wet.  He must have just gotten out of the shower.  It’s like I’m right there again.  Three years old.  I’m not sure what is real?  Nothing in here looks right.  I’m scared.  I’m so scared.
I thought he was going to leave for the night.  He just came back.  Okay.  Just pretend you are asleep.  I just read “Green Eggs and Ham”.  What if I were Sam-I-Am?  Would I have eaten the green eggs and ham?  A point to ponder.  You can eat them in so many different places.  On a train.  On a plane.  And so many people to eat them with.  How about the fox?
What is happening?  I’m thinking about a children’s book.  I haven’t read that book for at least 25 years.  Nothing here seems right.  It’s all like I left it, but it’s not right.  I don’t understand.  I didn’t do anything to change it.

Anxiety, Family, Self Injury, Sleep, Suicide, Therapy

Update and other assorted stuff

I did indeed survive the intake interview at that agency. I have another appointment next week, same time, same place. I can’t say I’m not anxious about it, because I am. Will my level of anxiety be quite as high… I don’t know.

I know when I came home, my thinking was all over the map, including the thoughts of suicide. I’m fairly certain that I won’t carry through on the thoughts, but they are still there in the front of my mind. I guess what I find frustrating is that those thoughts will be quiet for a day or so and then they’ll start up again in full force. The same is true for the self-injury urges.

So, on another topic, things were a bit hectic last night when I got home from class. I pulled in the driveway and my brother met me to tell me my grandmother’s blood sugar was well over 400.

::sigh::

OK. So our neighbor is over as well. And of course for whatever reason grandma doesn’t have any regular insulin prescribed that she can take when sugar shoot up into the stratosphere. You can be certain that I’ll be having the doctor do that for her just as soon as I can get her in for an appointment.

So I get in the house and recheck her sugar. It’s coming down because our neighbor had her walking around the house and drinking water. I decided to give her some protein to eat so that as her sugar does fall, it doesn’t bottom out. Great idea… wrong.

We check it an hour later and it’s back up over where it started.

::sigh::

I get on the phone to the advice nurse from Kaiser and talk to her. She pages the doctor who has grandma take some of her usual insulin (thank goodness… a trip to the ER was the last thing in the world any of us wanted to do, especially grandma).

Rechecked her sugar a couple hours later and it was going down, but not as low as the doctor had hoped. So got back on the phone with said advice nurse who paged the doctor again. Thankfully he just said let grandma go to bed and recheck in the morning.

I finally got grandma in bed around 1 am. I fell asleep around 4:30. Phone rang at 7:00. My heart rate and blood pressure must have shot through the roof. It was the advice nurse (again) who wanted to let me know to call and let them know what the blood sugar was when grandma got up because they send copies of all this communication to grandma’s doctor to follow up on. And they had to call at 7 am because???? So, it’s now 1 pm and I’ve been awake since 7 am.

The part that bugs me the most is that I was actually sleeping when the phone rang. For the first night in ages I was nightmare free. So I sit here, sort of multitasking. I’ve been going through my BOINC logs looking for something specific that I can’t seem to find for the life of me. And I’m working on rewriting my resume so I can email it to the people doing our resume workshop tomorrow. I don’t even want to talk about how horrible my resume is… And I’m trying to support an online friend who’s having a hard time right now. I need about 3 more sets of hands and 4 more brains….

Anxiety, Emotions, Fears, Therapy

9 hours and counting…

… until my intake appointment at the agency tomorrow (errr… today).

I’m doing my best to keep myself from totally going off the deep end.  I’ve had one full blown panic attack and a few mini ones since getting home from class four hours ago.

All of the tricks in my bag aren’t helping very much.  So I’m just trying to take it one moment at a time.  As soon as I finish this I’m going to try a progressive muscle relaxation audio I downloaded earlier.

To top things off, I’ve been trying to figure out why I seem to be coming up with $250 dollars a month less than I’ve anticipated.  Turns out that in addition to sending in a payment to my student loan company with the coupon, they been electronically deducting it from my account as well.  I’ve got two sets of loans from the same company and I initally set up an automatic $70 withdrawal to pay for one of them.  Why they decided to take the additional $250 out as well is beyond me.  But now that I know they’re doing that, I don’t have to write that extra check.

So any positive thoughts or vibes would be greatly appreciated.

Depression, Friends, Relationships

Being sociable

I’m having an incredibly hard time being sociable right now.   There are a number of different online forums I frequent, but I’ve pretty much stopped posting on all them.  It takes so much energy to just seem “normal” (which of course is a relative term — I had a high school science teacher tell me being normal was abnormal).  It’s exhausting to just do the little chit chat that goes on in the threads.  It’s just not fun.  A part of me misses the people I used to talk to, but a part of me doesn’t.

In essence I’ve turned into a hermit these last few weeks.  I go to class and I go do errands when I need to, but that’s about it.   I hide in my room and do whatever I need to do from there, be it BOINC testing, studying or talking with a few select friends.

A good example of my anti-socialness is tonight.  One of my friend’s son was having his 22nd birthday.  My friend called and asked me to go to dinner with her and her family and a few other people they know from NAMI.  So I agreed to go, thinking it would be a good thing to get out of the house and among the land of the living.  I wish I could say I actually had a good time.  It wasn’t horrible, don’t get me wrong.  But being sociable was overwhelming and exhausting.  I came home and just sat in the quiet because my nerves were so frazzled.  The restaurant (a Chinese place) had reasonably good food.  I ate about a quarter of what was served (it was Cashew Chicken, for what that’s worth).  That was a major accomplishment because I really wasn’t hungry and I didn’t feel like eating.  But considering I’ve been having headaches and my blood sugar is on the low side or normal (the reason I know is another story altogether) it’s a good thing I ate the little I did.  And it was a reasonably well balanced meal with the protein, vegetables and carbs in it.  But I digress.  All I could think about while I was there was leaving.  I was out less than two hours and it was about 90 minutes too long.

So there you go.  My attempt at being normal tonight was a pitiful failure.  Now I’ll put on the meditation music I downloaded from iTunes yesterday and attempt to de-stress some more.

Emotions, Fears, Positive things, Relationships, Sleep

Fear

Fear is such a powerful emotion.  It can motivate us to make changes or it can stop us in our tracks.

My dealings with fear in the last few weeks have led to both outcomes.

I’m terrified of sleeping.  I’m so afraid of the nightmares and the panic that come in the middle of the night.  When I do sleep and then wake up from those horrible dreams, I’m just as likely to force myself to stay awake as to try to sleep again.  So on top of the fact that I can’t get to sleep most nights.  When I do sleep and I wake up, I do my best not to go back to sleep.
But fear has motivated me to make some changes as well.  I was so afraid of other people, but I managed to open up to a few friends.  I guess part of me knew that I couldn’t keep it all inside and still manage to survive.  Along with that came the birth of this blog.  A push from above mentioned friend gave me the courage to move past that fear.  But the fear of “telling” (which I was told never to do) is still as strong as ever.  So I’m using that to motivate me to change.
The other big fear I’m dealing with is the idea of returning to counseling.  Trust isn’t one of my strong points.  There are days I’m so afraid of other people that living as a hermit doesn’t seem like such a terrible idea.  Never having to deal with wondering if I’m going to be hurt again.  Never having to rely on anyone to be there for me again.  So the thought of trying to trust another human being and talking about this face to face is almost overwhelming.  Yes, I’ve let part of the story out here.  But it’s only part.  And my readers can’t see me.  You don’t know where I am or who I am.  Yes, I’ve let myself open up a bit to above mentioned friends.  Although they’ve heard my voice and (gulp) seen pictures of me, they’re separated from me by an ocean.

So all in all, fear has stopped me in places, but I guess it’s also pushed me forward.  And that push forward would be a good thing.  So I’m adding a tag for “Positive things”.  Hopefully I’ll be able to use that tag more and more in the future.  Like a former psychologist of mine use to tell me, “It’s all about baby steps.”

Fears, Suicide

Life in general

So as you all know, I’ve been seriously struggling with a lot of stuff lately. Most noticably suicidal ideation. I’ve got a few friends I’ve been leaning on and that’s kept me mostly ok for the last few weeks.

I got a call today from an agency here in town that specializes in treating people who were abused as children.  So they called me back this morning and asked if I wanted to come in. So my appointment is for Tuesday morning.

I know deep down inside that this is “a good thing”. But right now I’m so terrified. It’s one thing to express this stuff through the relative anonymity of the internet. But to have to sit face to face with another person and talk about it… it scares the living crap out of me.

The last therapist I worked with extensively (this was back in the last 90s early 00s when I was in grad school)… it took me 6 months to even broach the subject with him and close to a year before I could even do more than nod or shake my head to most of his questions. I just sat in his office, shaking or looking at the floor. And I never developed a working relationship with any of the therapists I had here in town (after getting out of the hospital) because they were constantly coming in and leaving the practice where my psychiatrist was (which is a different place than this agency).

So yeah… trust is a tricky subject for me. But again, deep down inside, I know that staying in the place I am right now really isn’t an option anymore.

I don’t want to feel like this. But at times the feelings of wanting to end everything are so overwhelming. In the middle of the night, when I’m terrified of everything, the option of death seems so much better than the option of pushing through the fear yet again.

Somehow I wish there were some easy answers to all of this. But it’s been my experience that there aren’t any. So maybe it’s just stupid thinking on my part to wish for them.

Child Abuse, Family, My story, Sleep

Revisiting my father

Once I got into middle school, I had a lot more homework. Because I was always doing something after school, I left the schoolwork for after dinner. I would try and stay up as late as I could. He would stay downstairs watching television sometimes as late as one in the morning. If I was awake and working, he usually left me alone. But he would “check” on me three, four, sometimes even five times a night. I fought so hard to stay awake until he finally went to bed.

I was getting between four and five hours a sleep a night. I was always tired. My mother drug me to the doctor. All he did was tell me not to work so hard, and to get some more sleep. I couldn’t tell him the truth. I was terrified of him and I was terrified what would happen to me.

She threatened to call the school for giving so many hour of homework. I begged her not to. She would have found out that there was maybe two hours of work, not five or six. My teachers noticed how tired I always was. I learned very quickly that I needed to hide it. Mr. V, my eighth grade science teacher sent me to Mrs. M, the school counselor once. She kept wanting to know if everything was all right at home. I lied to her too. I just told her that I had to work really hard in my algebra class to maintain my grade. I wonder how many people I’ve lied to over the years?

I wasn’t always able to stay awake . Those nights were the worst. The lights would be on because I was working. He’d come in and turn them off. That usually woke me up because I was a very light sleeper. When the lights went off, I just tried to separate myself from what he was doing. I had some kind of mental fantasy land, but I don’t really remember much about it. I do remember it being very calm and a very beautiful place to live.

There wasn’t very much penetration by this point in time. As best as I can remember (and it’s all very unclear now), it happened maybe once or twice a week. His favorite activity was to spread my legs apart and lay his head down there. He would move a little later, and put his head on my stomach and his hands down there. He would stroke, gently at first. And then harder and harder. It hurt so bad. I was never able to stay in my fantasy world for very long. The pain brought me back to reality. He moved from outside to inside. His fingers would probe, just like when I was little. My muscles would tighten making it hurt even more.
I never knew how long he was there until I looked at the clock after he left. Sometimes it was just ten minutes. Other times, it was much, much longer. The whole time, I had to lay there. I was so afraid. I wanted to scream. But I was too afraid to. I was too scared to even open my eyes.
He would talk sometimes. I can hear him so clearly saying how much I wanted this. I didn’t do anything to stop it. That much has sent a clear message to him. I could have stopped it. Or I could have tried harder to stay awake. That would have prevented it from happening in the first place. It was my fault, plain and simple.