A Beautiful Mess

A Sexual Abuse and Addiction Recovery Blog

Fighting the Good Fight

Some days are definitely better than others.  My mind is fucking with me today.  My insecurities are shining like a lighthouse.  I feel like a downer to people around me and I’m just not in the greatest place.  There is a strong urgency to numb it all somehow, but I know that’s not the answer.  I know that these feelings are fleeting, but I’ve just been in a negative space in my head this past week.  It has included flash backs to the night my father passed, feeling inadequate, not loved equally, lesser than… a big ol’ ball of my dis-ease talking to me.  I’m fighting back and not giving in to all this amazingly crazy talk inside my head.  I’m giving myself pep talks in the mirror.  I want to cry, I want to laugh… I feel like crying, but I really WANT to laugh.  I don’t want to feel like crying.  I want to feel happiness and contentment and actually believe the affirmations that I recite when I feel like this.  I’m just working on trying to validate myself and not look to the external world to give me my worth.

This week has just been off.  First, it was someone bringing up the night my father died and the shriek I let out when I found out.  Then it was a meeting with a woman who was talking over me with large words and science type shit about a field I had chosen to explore.  On to listening to praise of others from a loved one, when inside I was wishing that they’d think that highly of me.  Did a makeup application when the woman loved it, but then went home for her husband to convince her she looked bad.  I’m not having a bad life, I’m having a really off week.  I just needed to journal to get this shit off my chest, because when I voice it to others, I feel like I’m either a downer or they are telling me I need to let it go, in so many words.

Ugh.

PTSD sucks.  Codependency sucks.  Addiction sucks.

Despite all this, I am choosing recovery.  I am choosing to say no to the demons inside my mind.  I will fight.

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Emotional Challenges

I am being challenged with keeping a stable emotional state of mind.  Most of it is due to things that are out of my control, but I know that certain things are negatively impacting my state of mind.

My significant other is constantly mood swinging and I’m having to detach from how he chooses to feel on a moment to moment basis.  My natural instinct is to fix it, cheer him up, do whatever to make him smile… put my own happiness second to his.  It’s literally going to kill me if I don’t change my ways.  He’s not physically violent, but the emotional instability from all this certainly isn’t good for my recovery.

Codependency sucks.

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Christmas Hangover

When I refer to “Christmas Hangover”, I’m not talking about alcohol or any mind altering substances.  I’m talking about the emotional buildup of hanging out for the obligatory socializing with people I may not normally see or talk to any other time of the year.  It is awkward for me and a painful reminder of childhood circumstances and the damage I’ve caused with addiction and side effects of PTSD.

I do my best to attend and really work on keeping my perspective on the side of feeding the “good” within me.  I can make a heaven out of hell – or – a hell out of heaven.  I did pretty well until I sat down for dinner for day two of festivities and the absence of my father just set in… all at once like someone sat a huge cement block on my chest.  I feel like I did well overall, but I had reached my maximum output.  I could no longer keep the mask on of holiday festivities and the real me starting shining through.  I don’t like to come across as a drama queen.  It’s kind of been my forte over the years and I’ve come to terms with the need for a higher level of emotional maturity.  I succeed most of the time, but man oh man, I could feel a break down bubbling up.  It’s not that I don’t love my family, but I don’t have the relationship with the them that I wish I did.  So… being there, feeling the obligatory invite, and seeing them interact and all that… it just saddens me in a way that I don’t think they could understand without personally experiencing.  I feel like they are doing my stepmother a favor by having me there.

I’m fighting some severe codependency issues.  I was in denial and only recently identified that it’s a severe issue in my life.  Putting myself in the center of my own universe and accepting responsibility for my own happiness is extremely scary and foreign to me.  But I know that it’s intensely affecting my quality of life.

So the day after Christmas is always wonderful for me… it’s the furthest I can get from having to Christmas again.  Today let the celebration commence.  Also, the days are getting longer, as well, so that in itself is another reason to celebrate.

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Being My Own Friend – Connecting With the World

When I hit a bump along my recovery journey, I will continue to reference back here:

Connect With Others to Get Friendly With Yourself

Crafting has been very therapeutic for me lately.  Makes for nice gifts and the feeling of creating something so beautiful is validating to my inner child.

 

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Blessed by the BEST – The Healing Center

Rock on with their bad selves 🙂  I love The Healing Center.  I love everything it embodies and their reaction to my dislike for my experience with my first therapist only reinforces why I keep going back.  Less than a week later, they have found me a new therapist.  I spoke with the director of the program and she wasted absolutely no time getting me the help I need.  I am incredibly blessed to have this resource available to me.

We are starting our disclosures, so one on one is really on time.  Particularly because I am thinking about confrontations, as well.  But one step at a time.

I wish my arms were big enough to hug them all in one big, big hug.  🙂  Blessed.  Truly blessed.

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Emotions

I can’t say I didn’t know this was coming or that I haven’t experienced it, but it’s really coming to a head.  I’ve been really scared of my emotions from the beginning.  They were so intense and overwhelming at times that I began to think that I was going to be a hot mess for my lifetime.

It’s been an emotional roller coaster this past year, but thankfully due to lots of handouts and worksheets and yes, this blog, I am able to see a lot of progress.  I woke up this morning feeling a bit of sadness thinking about some of the losses I have endured and some that I am still enduring, but what was different is that I didn’t try and stuff it.  I let it out.  Laid in bed from 7:30 to 8:30 and allowed myself to cry.  I felt better after and hey, it really wasn’t as bad as it was when I was in the emergency stage of things.  It was cleansing and I validated myself in a way.  I have a right to cry.  What happened to me was traumatic.  I should cry.

A small step in the healing process.  Actually a big step for me.  Scary, yes.  Did it kill me?  No. 🙂  Life is good today.

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Meeting My Own Needs

Just an update about what’s been going on in life.  Life has actually been quite busy for me.  I remember a time when I used to fret about building a support network.  Somehow, somewhere along the lines, a support network much larger than I dreamed of has materialized.  I am blessed.

The hardest part of recovery and healing for me, right now anyways, is looking at my mother for the role that she played in things.  It’s hard for me to categorize her as one of my abusers, but it is the truth.  And I guess, the truth hurts.  I fantasized for a long time about her someday becoming the mother I always wanted.  Her apologizing for what happened, taking accountability, and us getting help and moving forward.  This will never happen.  I do feel silly sometimes because well into my adulthood my inner child was still seeking to have my basic childhood needs met, but through the wrong people.  I chased my abusers affection and attempted to get validation and acceptance from them.  Well, that’s like blood from a turnip.  I could rationalize all day about why things happened and all of that, but when it comes down to it.  I don’t have to rationalize what my abusers did to me.  In fact, it’s best that I create some boundaries and just accept things for what they are.  Hurts quite a bit, and deep down I feel guilty for placing the accountability where it belongs and not on me, but … it is what it is.

Anyways, in group last week, we made a list of things we felt a child needed.  Point: We still need these things and now that we are adults, it is our obligation to provide these to ourselves one way or another.

  • Protection (physical and emotional)
  • Guidance
  • Healthy food and dessert 😉
  • Unconditional Love
  • Safety
  • Trust
  • Positive encouragement
  • Acceptance
  • Healthy outlets
  • Loving healthy touch
  • Permanence
  • Stability
  • Sense of belonging
  • Toys
  • Consistency
  • Enrichment
  • Warmth and nurturing
  • Hope
  • Support
  • Someone in their corner
  • Spiritual development
  • Healthy boundaries
  • Positive role models
  • Mirroring
  • Limits with love
  • Age appropriate rules and rewards
  • Solitude
  • Natural consequences
  • Clothing
  • Life-applicable lessons
  • Respect
  • Friends
  • Validation
  • Hygiene
  • Outdoor activities
  • Exercise
  • Innocence
  • Fun/humor
  • Mother/Father figures
  • Education
  • Healthy sex education
  • Artistic expression
  • Age appropriate responsibilities
  • Privacy
  • Autonomy (rights to thoughts and feelings)
  • Morals/Values
  • Culture/Diversity
  • Imagination

How am I giving these to myself?  What am I already receiving?  How do I self soothe / calm myself?  Celebrate what I’m doing right!  What feels out of reach?

I am going to touch on those in the list that affect me the most:

Someone in my corner —->  Build support network, do unto others as I would like to have done to me, start getting more involved in my interests and find people who share the same ones (although, I have to admit, going to the gym was and still is to get fit, but all the cute gents… well, that’s just a perk – hey I’m single, I can soooo look ;)), working on character and integrity, I realize that in order for people to want to be in my corner, I must do all I can to be the kind of person that I would like to attract

Protection (physical and emotional) —-> I am more careful to look before I leap, I take heed of red flags when meeting people, work on physical fitness, prioritize my recovery and my family above all, avoid alcohol and drugs, create barriers between me and those that are not respectful of me, practice patience and not rush into exposing too much of myself to complete strangers

Stability —->  I still struggle with this one, because economically, I am usually in some form of crisis.  I only work very part time, but I did put together a resume that isn’t the most impressive, but hey, it’s the truth and THC is going to provide me with a letter or two that can at least provide the employer with notes to my consistency and showing up on time.  I am not quick to attach to people, so I am not dealing with the ups and downs of losing people in my life, because I don’t just invite them in immediately.

Respect —-> Respecting myself is rough.  Not because I don’t want to, but because when setting boundaries and being assertive, there is always the chance of rippling the waters and having to stand my ground, regardless of the outcome.  When, in group, it’s easy because the environment is “safe”, but in the real world, I’ve seen some really crazy shit and sometimes it’s scary for me to follow through and really stand up for myself.  I intellectualize a lot of this and know what I am supposed to do, but it’s a lot harder for me to DO, than to simply say.  My boundaries are constantly being tested by some people and I am realizing that these people lack respect for me and I have a great need to create distance between me and them.

Unconditional Love —-> I am not perfect.  There isn’t a person alive that is.  Although, I know these things, sometimes I want to beat myself up for mistakes and allowances I make for those that abuse or have abused me.  I am a work in progress and I will find ways, such as positive self talk, working my coping mechanisms, providing myself with a safe environment and surround myself with family as much as possible.  I am learning to love myself.  I’m not where I want to be, but this is a process and I’m dedicated.  I have gotten to a point where I can look at myself in the mirror and like who I am becoming.

Autonomy (Rights to Feelings and Emotions) —->  Sometimes this one is hard for me because others will not validate what I am feelings and sometimes they make me feel as though I don’t have a right to feel what I am feeling.  These people are NOT experts in my life, nor have they walked in my shoes, so I need to take the power back and validate myself, first.  Another one of those things that I am working on, but it’s much easier to intellectualize.

Privacy —->  I do not owe anyone my life story.  It’s a privilege for me to share it.  By allowing myself some privacy, I also protect myself.  This one is hard to wrap my head around sometimes because I feel like I owe authenticity to everyone I meet, but that is not true.  I owe it to those that deserve it.

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My family has been incredibly supportive.  I can’t begin to express in words how much it means to me to have their unconditional love and I could cry every time I think about it.  They mean the world to me and without them, surely I wouldn’t be here.  In my darkest hours, my dad, my stepmother, my aunt and my grandmother (RIP) have been so strong and there for me.  Because of them, I know what love is.  BLESSED.

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No Love Lost

Bah.  Got a call from “jerkface”.  I’m so not referring to these people by real name, nor will I refer to them as my family.  Tired of perpetuating abuse by seeking the love and validation from people who protect my abusers / perpetrators, what have you.  It’s disgusting that somehow in all of this mess, they try and hide it all so much.  And then to want to have a “secret” relationship with me because they don’t want to rock the boat.  Well, let me help you… I’ll change my number, cut ties and move on.  That way you can sit in your boat with the comfort of all of them and just enjoy “being” ((insert heavy sarcasm)).  I don’t need anyone to support me … “secretly”.  Either you do or you don’t, but no love lost.  Because I’m tired of seeking and searching and trying to make amends with people who hurt me and continue to do so.  Feel free to carry on with your lives and just know that I am no longer silent, but fret not, I do not wish to confront any of my abusers.  Why would I do something like that when they don’t have half a sense in their damn brain anyways and they continuously lie to themselves to stay safe inside this fake ass world they created so that they can cope.  I choose to be enlightened.  Get me the hell out of this dark closet with all of you.  I don’t care anymore.  I throw my hands up and I give up.  I am not interested in seeking validation from any of my abusers anymore.  I was just a very confused child who didn’t know any better.  But now that I am a grown woman and I can see things for what they are… I’m all good.  I forgive every last one of them, but for my own good, I am not pursuing any type of relationship with any of them from this day forward.

It’s bittersweet.

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Anxiety, Fears and Phobias (Academic Portion)

Anxiety

Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional and behavioral components.  It creates an unpleasant feeling typically associated with uneasiness, apprehension, fear or worry.  Anxiety does NOT need a trigger to occur.  It can literally come out of ‘nowhere’.  It is a future orientated mood state that prepares or readies a person to cope with upcoming negative events.  It is a normal reaction to stress.  It actually serves its own purpose.  It prepares us for events that we are anxious of happening.

Some physical effects of anxiety are heart palpitations, muscle weakness, tension, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach aches, and headaches.  Some emotional effects are feelings of apprehension or dread, trouble concentrating, feeling tense or jumpy, anticipating the worst, irritability, restlessness, watching and waiting for signs of danger, feeling like your mind’s gone blank, feelings of unreality, feelings like everything is scary.  Cognitive effects are thoughts about suspected danger.

When anxiety becomes excessive, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder.  It is curable!

Fear

Fear is a present-orientated mood state to help one take protective action when safety or health is threatened.  Physiological responses include rapid heartbeat, breathlessness, increased blood pressure, may feel hot, nauseous, sweat, adrenaline increase to increase energy if one needs to fight or flee, become more aware of surroundings.

NOTE: Many confuse anxiety with fear and vice versa.  Anxiety, the act of being anxious, is worrying about a possibility of something happening and preparing for it.  Fear is being in the moment and having right here, right now fight or flight feelings.  Anxiety does serve it’s purpose though, that needs to be reiterated, because simply put, it does allow us to prepare for whatever it is that we are anxious about in the event that it does happen.

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Summer, Not What I Expected

So here I sit, kind of feeling like I was sucked into a tornado and spit out.  I’m still dazed from what came to be right after graduation from SATR (recovery) group.  All those tools and information available to me.  I guess I should be grateful for having them, because things could have been incredibly worse.

I moved to 920 because a friend of mine lost their home due to being incarcerated.  This was a blessing, I had thought to myself.  I thought being closer to family and facing my demons of the past would be good for me.  HAH.  Well, not only did I ignorantly move into a former drug house thinking I could turn into a home with no consequence, I also was way too early in my recovery to be “testing” myself.  After four attempted break in’s, I started to really dread being in that house.  It was to the point that I was afraid to be in there and I felt nauseous the minute I walked in.  I would immediately feel relief upon walking out the door.  This ended up causing me a lot of turmoil.  Some of which lead to drug usage.

Another unrealistic expectation I had – my family isn’t going to come running back to me immediately after everything I’ve put them through.  So I was expecting that the minute I graduated from my recovery program, that they would welcome me with open arms and be calling me in their free time to hang out.  That’s not the case.  I sacrificed the trust and open arms of my family by using drugs.  Fifteen years of usage and a 16 week program doesn’t send family rushing in.  They are overtly cautious.  I understand.

I spent a lot of time alone and the people I did know, were nothing more than con artists, manipulators and people who loved my money – masked as friends.  They did a good job of fooling me when I was in the throws of self medicating, but dealing with them in a sober mind and really wanting recovery, I saw another side to these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

I felt like I was running away from my problems.  But I just am not strong enough yet to have to deal like that on a daily basis.  I brought my butt back to 414.

I have enough money to get my apartment.  I’ve been searching.  I know that even my family is being cautious, anyone who looks at my background is probably going to be as well.  I am being patient and having faith that it will happen for me.

Been spending more time on SMART Message Board and I really like the community of it right now.  I’ve been isolating a lot and using food as a comfort.  I’m ready to make some progress changing those things.

I finished my Cost/Benefit Analysis on my alcohol/drug usage.  You can check it out here.

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