Emery spoke up. She told Dr. D about what happened outside the restroom window then read him the piece of writing we did to release anxiety concerning recent violence and past violence. She read the entire story and cried while doing so. (Here I am again sitting up after hiding my face in my hands.) Reading that story to myself is one thing but reading it out loud felt even more intense. He agreed it was an intense and emotional piece of writing. He agreed that I made the right decision to stay secured in the apartment while yelling for the people to stop fighting. He understood the trigger.
As if there aren't enough therapy assignments, I am to paint the emotional response to my brother being beaten at age three as well as my present day emotion concerning his death. In all, there are 4 paintings whose design is to help desensitize trauma.
As I type this I am still very tired and struggling to keep my eyes open. I hope this entry makes some kind of sense.
Reading the story out loud was painful and helpful. I remember thinking, dang, this story is good, too bad it's based on real events. I liked some of the imagery.
He asked if I feel suicidal. I said no. He asked about self injury impulses and I said yes but I've been watchful, proactive in preventing triggers. One major thing I do is make sure my meds aren't close to my bed. They don't sit out in the open, either. I set up each dose in a small clay bowl then put the bottles in a basket with a doll made to cover the basket. The amount of PRN's allowable are in a different little clay bowl. By my bed I have a small container of colored pencils and various kinds of markers. In general I use an x-acto knife to sharpen my pencils but I only use that blade in the studio area. By the bed I use a pencil sharpener. Doing this removes a ready to use instrument for self harm. ...continue reading →
Well, that was heavy. I felt relieved after writing that story. Reading over it I'm able to see how close I stuck to reality. I'll put this to bed after I process why I said there's a reflection of me in each character in the story Tea for Christopher.
Content: Physical abuse of a young child. Processing the previous entry. No sexual abuse mentioned or discussed.
I'm primarily Christopher in the story who tries to manage the unmanageable. I had Christopher leave home just the way I did, an unplanned exit on a night of routine abuse. I couldn't do it another night, not another second. I left Feb 2, 1992 at 10:30 pm and I never went back home. I went to a hotel that evening then got up to go to work. I never went back home.
Just like with Christopher, I did watch my little brother beaten with a dowel rod. Just like in the story, he was held down with one hand by my mother and beaten with a dowel rod until he was no longer even screaming. I walked away and left him with that monster. A few days later he was removed from our home by Child Protective Services. I felt so broken by that loss.
It is safe to say, the story Tea for Christopher was triggered by what happenedthe other night outside my window.
Ruby, the mother
It's interesting that the mother wasn't given a name until about the middle of the story. I realized I kept calling her 'his mother'. I didn't think too hard about a name for her but I immediately rejected Diamond. Now, the name Ruby seems appropriate only because of the color.
Why am I the mother in the story? I see how much my life revolved around creating situations that would appease my abuser while ignoring myself and my needs. An abused child is always at the beck and call of the abuser, there is no time for anything else.
I never told her, but I apologized in my heart for being a bad daughter. Though my mother left us repeatedly (a few days tops) there was a constant threat of being sent to the orphanage where my grandfather grew up. She was neglectful in criminal ways. Abandonment issues are still a huge problem for me. ...continue reading →
Content: The comment option has been turned off. 11:06 pm EST a man on meth and drunk upset a child and mother. Threat of violence to the mother and child. I yelled at them as the child screamed, "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy."
If I don't get this out of my head right now I won't be in any shape to finish the remainder of my evening in peace...and I do plan on spending it peacefully.
I'm shaking inside. I was in the restroom and the window was open. I heard a child screaming and crying "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy." The child was in a lot of distress. It was an emotional call not a tantrum. He was emotional and screaming over and over, "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy." I heard the mother tell the little one to be quiet because its late and people are sleeping. (not). He quieted down a little but then a man came up and started cursing and screaming at the woman. He called her all kinds of things while the child still cried. Things got even more heated and louder and louder to where it was going to explode into violence. I know that sound just before tipping point. I know that sound!
Both parents were yelling and screaming. I couldn't see them. It was too dark. As things got heated to the point where I feared someone would get hurt I just started yelling out my window, "Stop! Stop!" I just kept repeating it. When there was a moment of silence, and I mean a moment, I yelled to them, "For the baby, please stop!" There was only a fraction of a breath before they started again. It was like they realized someone else was in their world but then they started right back up so I started yelling again. Then it was just silent so I said (I didn't yell it) I said, "For the baby, please, please stop." The man had to get in a few more words then they went their separate ways with him still running his mouth. The last insults included the stuff about him being drunk and on meth. ...continue reading →
A few sessions ago Dr. D said something to me that made me flinch. He said, it seems important that you be treated fairly. I flinched because the word fair was used. It sounded so childish. He went on to explain that for most of my life I was abused. Most of my life until I left home at age 19 was filled with back and forth of being in nice homes with her to living in garbage heaps with her to going to foster care to living in a car. And why did these things come about? According to my mother, I was the root of all her problems.
I was a scapegoat. An arrow pointed right at my face when it came to trying to explain why things in her life weren't going well. Her family would never accept her. She'd never marry again. She's never have any friends. According to her all that was my fault. The entire family took part in abusing each and every one of the children including cousins, everyone took part. Was that fair? No.
What I heard Dr D say was, "You seem obsessed with being treated fairly." That's not what he said at all. At no time did he make it sound childish that I expect people to act like they have some sense. But my history and social training makes the word fair sound rather childish. What's the answer to not feeling like something is fair? Life's not fair! How diminishing and dismissive!!!
Content: Physical pain. Physical torture as a child. Mother and uncle standing in the doorway. Being watched as I shower. Reassuring myself that I'm safe. Robert's session.
When my pain level gets really high I get confused about why I'm in pain. When my eye lids hurt, when it hurts to talk, when I struggle to breathe I forget it Lupus or CRSD. I forget I have a medical condition and feel trapped in the past. Yesterday I lay in bed, just on the sheet, the fan was blowing over me. I had my face buried in the pillow when I became flushed with dread. I expected to look at the door and see my mother standing there. I fully expected her face to become clearer, for her to fill the doorway. I pulled the covers over me and felt more protected. I had to tell myself she can't ever again stand in my doorway. I slept with uneasiness and woke feeling bogged down.
Dr. D asked the question: Can your mother come to your house and get in? Me: No. Dr. D: Can she get in and stand in your doorway? Me. No. Dr. D. Can she ever hurt you again? Me: No.
It's what she left me with that haunts me. I feel her hand from the grave touch my skin and make it crawl. I see her in my head but I try to talk to myself and remind myself that I truly am safe. As far as living family members, as long as I have a cat, no one is coming here.
This spring I was to decide if I could manage a dog which would help me sleep better but I am not able, sadly, I am not able. ...continue reading →
Snow took me to therapy. I chattered the entire time about why on earth Prez Trump would allow these men in the Oval Office itself. Is he losing it or acting? I asked the same question of my therapist who said he has the maturity of a 5 year old. He then said, "among other things." Understanding the level of ???? that Prez Trump shows has been disturbing.
I seem to need to know why people behave the way they do. Why are people so disrespectful. Why are people so hateful, willingly hateful? Why is it so difficult to live beside another person without seeing them as lesser than? Why? And yet I know why. I was raised a bigot. I understand the thinking process, the training it takes to have someone believe that another human being isn't equal to you. But then we have to consider my background of abuse and neglect at well. Wouldn't I understand, from experience, that there are some people who simply don't matter and they are there to be abused? All the things said against me, against my person have left a huge mark. I believed them and still struggle with seeing myself as equal to others. As a survivor of abuse I know from experience that some people aren't equal to others. They aren't believed for whatever reason. Its okay to overlook them, okay to blame them for everything, okay to laugh at them in their face, okay to step on them. Isn't that the perfect set up for teaching a person how to view others on a sliding scale of worth? ...continue reading →
There's a blog magazine I read called What's your grief?. It helps me process some of what I feel in a more tangible way. Recently I saw an entry called 64 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Griefand immediately honed in on number thirty, “The last 24 hours of their lives will replay in your mind” and 36, “You lose yourself, your identity, meaning, purpose, values, your trust”.
I knew I'd go all over the emotional scale with grief. I knew I'd be in disbelief. I knew I'd sit shocked and trip over myself. I knew I'd bargain, that the world would look different, that I'd have memories so real it felt like I was standing there with him again. I knew these things, but I didn't know my ability to trust would be tested. I wasn't expecting that. I wasn't expecting to feel betrayed by the entire world for having the audacity to continue on without him. I was offended. How could you? How could you possibly keep spinning as if nothing happened? It's an insult.
I hugged the lady very tight. She knows my sister. She gave me an update. My sister has locked herself in the apartment and there is still no movement, no contact, nothing has changed. They do know she was last seen in there. No phone activity, no FB activity.
I hand wrote a letter to her. I said nothing negative at all. I said she doesn't deserve to die and that I understand a lot of what she's going through. I asked her to rethink things, to let her support system do what she gathered them to do. She sought out good, solid supporters. I know 2 of them personally.
Of her friends, I asked them to have patience with her. She's a 50-year-old woman who doesn't know what to do with herself. She has to be told what to do and when she's told, she will do exactly as she's instructed. She won't do more or less. The lady kept looking at me like it should be simple for her to function because she's a 50-year-old woman. I said, she's not a 50-year-old woman who has matured. Being on her own is culture shock. She has no clue what she's doing, none. I shared the story that tells exactly how she thinks. I told the story about the garbage bag that my mother told her to get. She got the bag and then waited to be told to put the trash in it. Her friend put her hand over her mouth then said, that's exactly what she does. She waits to be told what to do.
Content: Spiritual abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse, homelessness, covert sexual abuse
Mother taught me that if I do the little things right I'll do the big things right. She taught me that a strong foundation must be laid but that all foundations start with a grain of sand. Their grains packed together to support materials much stronger than a grain of sand standing alone. To build up a solid foundation we must do the small things right.
My mother taught me that I have no foundation and that my presence was like a sledgehammer against her house.
My mother taught me a scripture that says, "By my God I can climb a wall" and a scripture that says, "If a tree gets cut down it will sprout again."
My mother placed walls around me I felt I could never escape. Inside those walls she did her best to root out willfulness, individualism and hope.
My mother taught me that I can only trust her and that I don't have the intelligence to live without her. She said I'd never survive out here in the world, that she alone could protect me.
She said to tell her if anyone ever touched me wrong. It was her hands around my mouth, my neck. She touched every aspect of me and left me ruptured.
My dear mother, my poor mother is food for worms. How undignified. I hate that.
Today's therapy discussion focused on family matters: mother's thorough brainwashing and effective divisive tactics, scapegoating, emotional boundaries between myself and all birth family and a recap of nightmares from a few days back. After writing this entry I was reminded of the paintings "Resilience Tree," so I included them in the entry.
I was awake all night and until around 10:30 this morning. I had my session to go over the graphically violent and blood dream about cannibals and going to a psychiatric prison for the mentally insane because I was guilty of murdering my child self, the inner child of my sister and the inner child of my brother. I'll pick up more on that topic later.
We talked about the complete lack of protection from my mother: physical, emotional and spiritual responsibilities were ignored or out right withheld.