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Dr. D started off the session with, did you know there's going to be an eclipse today? He said, I wanted to let you know because its going to get dark. I didn't want it to catch you by surprise. It would have but I would have figured it out I think, maybe.
Michelle 2:13 pm

We talked about how my sister lived with my friend and her husband only three miles from me. She lived there for a year. A year! We went to the same grocery store but never ran into one another. How is it possible to be that close to me but not see me? Dr. D asked what about this knowledge is so upsetting. It's the magic, ya know, the wand that tosses out fairy dust that makes her see me in a different light. If she could just see me from time to time maybe she wouldn't hate me so much. Its the fantasy of her changing because I need her to.

What a vicious thing to tear family apart by abuse and lies. That is a crime that keeps offending.

We talked about how to move past how I think about my sister, how I think about my needs from her. It all starts with my thinking. If I change my thinking I can change my actions. Maybe I'll stop longing for her so grievously.

First and foremost, I have nothing to prove.
I'm not disgusting or dirty. I've not committed a crime to say the opposite. I don't have to convenience myself of anything. It is well established that I'm lovable. That was one of the biggest and most destructive lies they told. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Prove Yourself"

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He asked about my depression. I was honest. I agreed that I need to find a psychiatrist because the depression isn't something that's getting better. I have days where I don't feel so heavy but this depression isn't getting any better. Where do I find the energy or drive to search for a psychiatrist.

He asked about my eating. I was honest. I'm eating mostly crackers, peanut butter sandwiches and Cheerios. I stay close to bed. He knows it's not like me to neglect hygiene. Even as I type that I'm thinking about going back to sleep.

My leg is back to normal. I see the new doctor the 22nd. Thinking about these appointments I have this month make me want to go back to sleep. It feels so big. I don't want to get to know a new doctor. I don't want to look at this woman and see a look on her face that says she doesn't want to treat me. I don't want the rejection. What if I get there and she says its better for me if I go somewhere else because I need more care than she can give?

The last few years I've had such a hard time with my birthday. It feels like something is slipping away with each birthday. Something? I don't know what, but it hurts. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Crackers and Carrots"

i sketch without heart. not much of anything is getting done because my pain level has risen.

my therapist double booked for friday which means i won't go in. he called at 5:33 pm wed, 30 min after hours to say he doubled book friday. he doesn't work thursday's at all. he said to call the office thursday to see if i can reschedule that appointment for a later time on friday. i told him up front that i am not able to reschedule those appointments bc the person taking me has a very full schedule. 5 min of a call from him out of the blue, after hours, where i can't talk to him again until friday evening isn't good. i'm not pleased. i'm going to have to get ok with it in my head. it was a mistake. i can live with it. my body isn't allowing me to sit long anyway. i'll fix it in my head so that it doesn't feel like more than it is, a mistake.

i'm having a hard time sitting. i can stand or lay flat but sitting is painful. spasming has been a problem again. i just want to cry.

i was going to say that i don't care about stuff right now and that i don't want to do anything but not caring doesn't totally fit. i'm angry about a few things. i think most of it has to do with pain levels rising and not being able to sit longer than 10 min without spasms. i've come back to this entry 3 times now to finish it.

i'm raw at the moment bc i'm getting closer to the date to see my new general practitioner. this month seems extra full of appointments, stuff i can't get out of. i'm going to the very last dental appointment which i'm not looking forward to.

i'm raw after finding out that its my brother my sister feels guilty about. i can't believe i actually thought she could/would feel anything for me other than contempt. i wonder why i allowed myself to believe she's capable of feeling anything for me? why did i again put myself in front of a speeding bus then ask why it ran me over. is she always going to be a dangling carrot? the type of temptation i just can't resist? i feel so stupid. what was i thinking?

yesterday someone wanted to adopt all three of my fire belly frogs. they are now with a larger pod in a much larger terrarium. this means my only frog is Pete the African Clawed Frog. i don't want any more fire bellies. they're adorable but they aren't for me. i want a land frog not semi aquatic. the good thing is that i've got the correct set up for frogs here. i never sell of major equipment i know i can't replace. tanks are easy to replace but other equipment may not be. ah... snails. i thought all 5 of my little baby snails died but it appears i have one little guy. he's adorable. i tried to out source getting a snail but it hasn't worked. now i have to out source even further and bug my friend one state over about putting a snail in the mail. i just don't know enough people willing to dig in their yard for stuff. wow, the things a girl does for pets. anyway, as long as i have a few live things to fuss over and care for then i'm good to go.

oh yeah, my web mistress is working on the rss feed and the issue with commenting from the wordpress reader.

Content: Discussion of childhood sexual abuse. Processing a life of lies and abuse that leaves us unable to connect to others. Being raised by a female sadist.

I hung up from my therapy session and tossed it out of my head. These sessions have been too hard to deal with.

The main thing I got from therapy was that I am able to stand back and look at a person's track record and see that person as multidimensional instead of having just one characteristic. The reason that's important is because it makes me better able to see myself as the sum of my experiences without defining myself by just one.

If you ask me, my mother was primarily an abuser. She was a self centered, me first, sadistic abuser. If my mother was an abuser, what does that make me? The immediate answer is, guilty. Was I guilty of being bad and that's why my mother abused me? Can I really back up that claim? Even if my heart fears I am bad, I know for a fact that being abused had nothing to do with who I was as a child or who I am as an adult.  My heart can deny that truth but it still stands firm that it was about her needs not my behavior. No matter who was born to that household, they would have been abused. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Wildflowers"

5

I'm still awake. I was saying a prayer before bed where I talked to God about how hard it is to say I love you even to him. I have a hard time hearing others say, "I love you." Most of the time terms of endearment irritate the snot out of me. Hun, sweetie, yuck! "I love you" will make me recoil with mistrust.

My mother told me if I didn't change my ways I'd end up like my Aunty S and die alone and unlovable. How dare she? I was told early on that I was killing her love for me. I was killing my mother's ability to love me. When younger, my sister would catch me as I walked around the corner, hit me in the stomach and say, "love hurts." She tried to tell me in better ways but it ended up being awkward. "I'd tell you I love you but you'd just do something to make me regret it." At the time I couldn't hear past the words.

Here I am at 5:53 in the morning, hours after saying a prayer, and I'm still awake because of how three words feel on my ears. To hear someone say those three words feels like a shackle has just been put on me.  ...continue reading "A hard time with the words “I love you”"

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Content: Heavily emotional. Being labeled heartless is the main topic but I also mention the death of a grandparent and a grandparent complicit in abuse by his silence. There is extreme child abuse listed in a noted paragraph ***.

I read a blog entry this evening concerning a survivor that worries she may have a heart of stone because she can't cry. Follow her blog here. The subject has come up before, survivors that don't cry at all or don't cry easily may feel they are different from those of us who have found the vulnerability of tears less triggering.

I know a lot of people think crying is a show of weakness. If we didn't, we wouldn't hide our faces or apologize to others who see us cry. There's a need to protect others from our emotions so we shield them from our tears. Here in the West, tears in front of others may include guilt or it may suggest weakness. Weakness in relation to automatic emotional response is what I want to talk about.

When I was younger I figured out that my mother was looking for a reaction to her abuse. She was looking for shock value, for panic, for pain response. I knew when she hit me with dowel rods, when she assaulted me at all that she was looking for an emotional response. She looked me dead in the eye and I looked back. I learned with each session how to withhold her prize, a response. I held my ground. I refused to scream, to panic, to beg. Absolutely not! That's what she was after and that's what she would never get from me. Now, my sister, a totally different kind of survivor, one with her own adaptive skills, would scream when the mother was looking for a scream, would express pain from torture when that's what my mother was looking for. And she's shed her tears when the mother was looking for a response after humiliation. I realized it was all about the response and once I knew that, I refused it. I locked it up and I refused it. Admittedly, it wasn't all at one time. Being able to control outward emotion matched the effort taken to force it.  ...continue reading "Child Abuse and the Sought After Reaction 1"

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Strange Sisters - Young Children in the Sun 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.

Christopher
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 happened the 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 "Thoughts on Tea for Christopher"

My style is to just write and only correct spelling once I've completed it. Even the names of characters are made up as I go. I write until I feel I've released enough.

Content: After reading through it, I realized I'm all the characters, all of them, without exception. The story includes domestic violence, child abuse, the death of a child, blood from an accidental cut on the hand, physical violence towards a male teenage child. No sexual abuse is discussed in this quick write. Spaces are added to distinguish one speaker from another. I used a phrase taken from congressional hearings but left out all other sarcasm or humor.

"Christopher, your father will be here any minute, please set the table. Get his tea cups, please." Christopher rolls his eyes and says, "He''ll be here just a minute?"
"Not now, just finish setting the table, please."

He sighed heavily but very carefully pulled down four small, black Japanese cups with a red flower he couldn't identify. He sat them beside four square black plates and utensils he just figured out how to use. He's frustrated.... no, offended. His father will be home soon so his parents can begin their ritual of pretending to be happy. In the blink of an eye the tide will change from a perfect brew to boiling lava spilling from his mouth burning his mother to the core. She lets him and she won't stick up for her son. Her whole world is a man who comes home angrier each night and stays only to start another war. He leaves the carnage on the floor and goes out for the night.

Christopher's mother begins to bring the meal out to the table but upon seeing the settings she gasps and drops the platter. "Why would you do that? Why are you so cruel to me?"
Christopher feels the weight of what he's done and turns his head away from her. "Do it right and quickly!" she demands, but he's firm in his resolve.
"No. The table is set. You wanted a family dinner and I've set the table for us all."

By the end of her teenage son's sentence she has become a quivering ball of tears. "Why? Why would you do this? I just wanted a nice night for once. Help me clean this mess. Help me get this off the floor before he gets here." Christopher's eyes begin to well with tears, his breath is heavier and his heart has moved to his throat, but he leans next to his mother whose tears now mix with the ruined dish. He cleans the broken glass from the floor. Mother is still crying, heartbroken that she won't get it right, again. She can't seem to do anything right. She's a failure, a disappointment, again. As she hears the same old argument of worthlessness, she notices that Christopher's hand is bleeding. He continued to pick up the pieces one by one, leaving drops behind as a witness to his loyalty, to his love and exasperation for the woman he calls mother.

His mother grabbed his hand and looked at him, "You're bleeding. Honey, you're bleeding. Don't you see?" He dropped his head and shook it in disbelief that she for once saw that he too bleeds. "Christopher, what are you doing, go wash your hands, you're hurt." Christopher pulls back and continues to pick up tiny shards of glass. He pauses and says, "You never make special tea for me."
"What? What are you talking about?" She's confused. I mean my goodness, her husband is going to walk in the house and they'll both be on the floor cleaning up her hundredth failure of the day. Her mind is cluttered, she tries to prioritize. Clean this up, get something else, get a reason for the delay and stay calm.

Christopher places the last of the glass on top of the pile of broken pieces. His hand drips a steady stream and shocks his mother back to the person standing right in front of her. She says nothing this time. Still crying she looks at him bewildered then holds his hand, wiping the blood away with her dress, the one she put on for her husband who will come through that door any minute. She wipes away the blood, but can't stop his steady stream of tears. "What's going on with you? What's all this about? Tell me." ...continue reading "Creative Writing – Tea for Christopher"

Watch over Our Children - original digital art

There is no update on the eviction threat or my sister. There's a temporary resolution to lack of transportation to see my therapist.

As always, I think of my sister every single day, just not every single second of every day.

I realize I focus on my brother's death more than my mother's. It reminds me very much of being a child who felt it was too dangerous to be angry with the abuser so she chose the safest route of blame and anger.

I can't touch my mother's dramatic exit without trembling. At least there are words to describe how I feel about my brother. I wasn't prepared for the changes his death would make in my life, but I'm not short on words, not by far. I could easily fill the heart of a violin telling him how it feels to be left this way. ...continue reading "Do Not Betray Your Sister"

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black tearsI told Dr. D that I realize I don't trust as fluidly since my brother died.

There is a sense of betrayal by him because of committing suicide.

I vomited out my heart the day he died.

We talked about getting some old violin so I can write him letters and put notes in there about things I remember we did together, about when he discovered he was HIV positive and when he picked up and left the state, did his thing with music, went to Spain, went back home to New York and died. There's a lot I'd like to write and put inside the heart of those strings.

My favorite instrument is the cello. I'm a strings girl. He was a violinist.

I want to tell him I was at his recital when he was 15. He gave it at the Children's Museum here in Indy.

I want to tell him I'm proud of him for not accepting that a man with large hands can't play the violin. He grew to 6'5. When he began to struggle he hired a man to help him learn to play at his size. He loved the violin and he was bound and determined to play and play well.

...continue reading "Therapy Review: My Vivaldi Kid. Grief."

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