Monthly Archives: December 2007

Needs and Wants

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I’ve been tagged for a meme by Marj at Survivors Can Thrive. I think this is my first one, so be gentle with me.

Rules of the “Survivor Needs” Meme:

Please link back to the originating meme at Survivors Can Thrive, so people can see its origins, get ideas for their own self-care list, see who’s already been tagged, and maybe we can track how far this meme goes.

  • List 25 needs and 5 wants. Try to restrict your needs list to things that have to do with being a survivor of some sort of abuse, assault, etc. Your list can be anything…you want!
  • Use this list to remind yourself to get your needs met this holiday season and in the New Year.
  • Pass on this meme and tag five people to play this meme with you.
  1. I need food.
  2. I need shelter.
  3. I need clothing.
  4. I need water.
  5. I need sleep.
  6. I need my friends.
  7. I need understanding.
  8. I need help with some things.
  9. I need to give myself a break.
  10. I need to have fun.
  11. I need alone time.
  12. I need to learn how to trust.
  13. I need to learn how to say “no”.
  14. I need for my story to be heard.
  15. I need to stay in the present.
  16. I need to give myself credit when credit is due.
  17. I need love.
  18. I need to communicate with others when I’m struggling.
  19. I need to lose weight.
  20. I need to continue moving forward.
  21. I need to be gentle with myself.
  22. I need to learn to feel my emotions.
  23. I need to be courageous.
  24. I need to learn to accept affection from others.
  25. I need to educate others about the impacts of abuse.
  1. I want to cut. (Not that I’ll do it.)
  2. I want chocolate.
  3. I want my family to acknowledge the harm they did.
  4. I want a pet.
  5. I want my past to go away.

So now comes the part where I tag five people.  This is not mandatory.  Please feel free to ignore me if you’d like.  But it is insightful.  Maybe I’ll blog about that in a few days once I get my thoughts and feelings sorted out.  So here goes. 

TAG!!

And that’s why…

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I’ve been have the same general nightmare over and over again for the last week or so.  I don’t understand it.  And I only remember the very end of it.  I never know what leads up to the ending.

I’m usually outside talking to a faceless person.  I can’t even tell if the person is male or female.   The only part I remember of the dream is handing this person some broken object and saying “And that’s why I’d make a bad _______.”

The one that shook me up the most was me handing the person a teddy bear with its head ripped off and saying “And that’s why I’d make a bad mother.”.  Variation of the dream include smashed up computer/bad programmer, broken dishes/bad chef, ripped up book/bad teacher and dead flower/gardener.

The dreams are just weird.

Crowds

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Two days in a row now I’ve tried to do my grocery shopping.  Two days in a row I’ve come home with nothing.  Last night I went to LotteMart to see the doctor and get my Zoloft prescription renewed.  After doing that I headed to the grocery section and promptly had a panic attack.  I managed to get out of there in one piece and walked the mile home because I didn’t think I could stand being cooped up in a cab with an insane driver.

I knew I had to go back to LotteMart today because the pharmacy didn’t have enough Zoloft to fill the entire prescription (in all fairness, I’m probably the only person who gets it from them and they probably weren’t expecting the doctor to double the dosage).  So I went back and picked up the rest of my Zoloft.  I headed downstairs to the grocery section, got a cart and started for the produce.  I don’t know how long I was in there, probably only a few minutes.  I had another panic attack.  I had to get out of there.  Again, I walked home because I couldn’t deal with the cabs.

I know  the crowds are worse right now because of the upcoming holiday.  But I didn’t think they would impact me quite this much.  I’m not even sure if the crowds were worse than usual last night, but I know they were worse today.

I’ve decided that I’ll catch a cab to HomePlus early tomorrow morning.  They’re open 24 hours and I’ve been there at like 10 AM on a Sunday and it’s not very crowded at all.  That’s the only way I’m going to get my shopping done.

*sigh*

Dumbledore’s Wisdom

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I’ve been rereading the Harry Potter series. Well sort of. I read books 1 and 2 a long time ago. I read 6 when it came out (because my roommate had a copy) and I read 7 when it came out (bought my own copy). So there was a lot I missed. I realized a few weeks ago the English bookstore here in town had the entire series in paper back. Why not I thought? I get a 25% discount for being a teacher.

So I just finished book 4 “The Goblet of Fire”. A good book, I really enjoyed it.

You’re probably asking yourself what this has to with anything. I promise I really do have a point.

At the very end of the book, Harry is back in Dumbledore’s office after dueling with Voldemort. Sirius is asking Dumbledore to let Harry sleep and not question him about the events in the graveyard. And Dumbledore says

“If I thought I could help you,” Dumbledore said gently, “by putting you into an enchanted sleep and allowing you to postpone the moment when you would have to think about what has happened tonight, I would do it. But I know better. Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”

So often I have wished that I could fall into an enchanted sleep. A time where the nightmares and the memories couldn’t touch me. I have often wished to be able to forget my entire history. To start over from scratch as an adult. I have often wished for a magic wand where I could wave it through the air and go back in time. How far, I don’t know.

I know there’s only one path out of the nightmare. I know that what I’m doing now is the only way to keep on moving forward. I know that even though I don’t have access to therapy right now, I can still apply what I learned from the various therapists in my life.

The more I try to push down the memories, the more they hurt when they do come flooding to the surface. My mind is screaming at me to make them go away. And I essentially have two choices. I can keep stuffing. But eventually the place where I stuff them will fill and there will be no room for more. Once that happens it all comes flooding out at once. And that is worse than dealing with it as it comes up. Both ways hurt. There’s no two ways around that. But I have my choice between a moderate amount of pain and a soul crushing amount of pain.  I just need to remember that although it’s easier to stuff all of it, in the long run, I’m better of dealing with it all.

I want to move forward.  I don’t want to be stuck in this spot forever.  But it hurts damn it.  And I’d give my right arm not to have to go through this pain.  I believe with all my heart that other people feel the same way too.  I’m trying.  And that’s all I can do.  I’m trying to face what frightens me the most.  I’m trying to trust other people.  I’m trying to share my story.

Creating a Dialog with your Inner Toddler

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This is a continuation of what I started ages ago in this post. There were some questions in this exercise that are just too hard to answer right now. But I’ll try to come back to them when I feel a little bit stronger.

CREATING A DIALOG WITH YOUR INNER TODDLER

From: Cathryn L. Taylor M.A. The Inner Child Workbook

Creating a Dialog:

1. What is her favorite color?

Her favorite color is blue. She really likes deep, dark blues.

2. What is her favorite bedtime story? Favorite toy?

Her favorite story is “The Cat in the Hat”. But her parents don’t read it to her. She reads it to herself. Her favorite toy is her stuffed mouse.

3 What activity does she most enjoy?

She loves sitting in the stuffed chair in her room and reading. She doesn’t like going outside to play with other children. She feels like she doesn’t fit in. She feels so much older than the other kids in the neighborhood, even though she’s the same age.

4. Ask her to tell you about its fear of being left because of misbehavior, or fear of hearing or saying no.

Ever since her mother put her in the car and threatened to drive her to the orphanage and leave her, she is very afraid of being left anywhere. She is convinced that her parents will never come back for her. She never says “no” to her parents. She is afraid of being hit or being sent away. But she is very used to hearing “no” from them.

5 What does she need most from you?

She needs to be understood. She needs to be told that it is really OK to have feelings. She needs to know that she won’t be sent away no matter what she does.

6. Ask her if you parent her the way your parents did you. If so, how does this feel?

Sometimes it does feel the same way. She feels like she is ignored or not wanted.

As an adult, this hurts me. I don’t want to make her sad. I don’t want to hurt her.

7. How does she feel about you? Does she understand what it means to be reclaimed by you?

Sometimes she is scared of me. She’s afraid that I’ll hurt her the way she was hurt before.

She doesn’t really understand what it means to be reclaimed. It sounds more like the empty promises made by her parents.

8. Does she feel comfortable with your setting limits and saying no?

—Later—

9. Is there anything she wants to know about you? Does she trust you to protect her boundaries and to respond to her needs?

She has many of the same questions as the inner infants. She want to know if I’ll hurt her like other adults in her life. She wants to know if I’ll listen to her fears or if I’ll just make fun of them. She wants to know if it’s OK to just be that little girl that she is.

She doesn’t really trust me though. So many of the adults that were supposed to take care of her ended up hurting her. She’s skeptical that I would be any different.

10. What joys does she want to offer you and what prevents this from happening?

—Later—

Anxious tonight

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My anxiety seems to be going through the roof tonight.  I guess it’s anxiety.  It might be more of the PTSD stuff coming through.  Not so much flashbacks as the body stuff.  I’ve been trying to distract myself for the last few hours and it’s just not working.

I’ve noticed quite a bit more dissociation than typical.   I find myself going away while teaching.  I guess I keep on teaching, but I have no real conscious memory of it.  I assume a student would say something to someone if I totally shut down during class.  It would freak the little kids out, that’s for sure.  So I must just be working on auto-pilot.

There feels like there is so much to say.  But it just won’t come out.  It’s more of those gut level feelings that I can’t describe in any coherent way.  I get especially frustrated when this starts.

The only good thing I can say is that I think the Zoloft is finally starting to kick in.  I’m not as depressed as before.  Although, that’s not saying much because I’m still pretty damn depressed.  My sleep isn’t great.  I’ve been falling asleep faster, but waking up early.  It was 5:30 AM today.  After tossing and turning for an hour I gave up and got up.  I’ve also been waking up multiple times a night.  Note to self… don’t turn the TV on at 3 AM.  Korean porn isn’t the best thing to see in the middle of the night.  Hell, I’m not sure I’d want to see Korean porn even during the day.

Heh…  I just started wondering how many hits I’m going to get from people searching for “Korean Porn”.

God I need a life.