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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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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Respecting the Process

It’s been a while since I blogged.  So many wonderful things have happened.
For one, I am now employed FT and kicking major booty in the performance department.
I actually have health benefits… WHOA!
I have met some wonderful new people at work that I am starting to consider friends.
I am super flippin’ thankful!
Now with all that being said, it doesn’t mean that it’s all peaches and cream.  I’m still struggling.  I’m still fighting a daily battle to love myself unconditionally.  There are times that life is not what I want, but yet what I sadly choose.  I don’t beat myself up for choices that are not good for me, but I do realize that they are indicators.  Red flags that something must be put in check, because I know what a slippery slope things can be.
I am learning to respect the process, though.  I understand, fully, that my transformation into who I was and where I want to be is going to take time.  As they say, Rome wasn’t built overnight…

All in all, though, I’m still surviving and at times… even thriving.

Keep on keeping on and don’t lose patience or understanding of the journey.  It’s not quick and easy.  It’s hard as hell.  But I respect the process and I acknowledge that I am taking steps in the right direction.  Even though I may stumble, it’s that I get the hell back up that matters.
“Illegitimi non carborundum.”

((Don’t let the bastards grind you down.))

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“…gifts from suffering…”

While in treatment at The Healing Center, I found that I heard this phrase a lot: “…gifts from suffering…”

That’s pretty deep to me.

A lot of times I can spend time dwelling on all of the losses and all of the pain and just basically stay focused on my trauma in the past.  But when I think about what my gifts are from suffering, I feel “the journey”.

Although there have been and will be times that seem dismal and overwhelming… the tides of life keep it moving.  It truly is a journey.

My gift from suffering is the ability to tune into another person’s emotions on a very empathic level.  I feel their pain.  I feel their joy.  While it’s a bit much sometimes, it is a gift.  I feel as though I can relate to people and show a level of compassion that people who have never experienced trauma could.  I feel comfort in seeking those people out, because they understand, I understand.  It’s a connection that a lot of people in life will never experience.  I feel like I am alive, alert… aware that life is precious but can be gone in the blink of an eye.  And just because we are breathing most certainly does not mean we are alive.

Blessed with gifts from suffering.

I ask you, my friend, can you identify a gift from your suffering?

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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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Open Wounds

Spending my life self medicating and finding ways to numb myself from the emotions that I have always felt from the moment of disclosure was how I survived.  I have to honor that.  Things that happened to me as a child went far beyond any coping skills I had acquired at that moment.  Because of this, now that I am in treatment, every feeling/emotion that I had then is resurfacing now, but with some extra added ones.  I am going through an anger stage.  I am mad that I wasn’t protected nor believed.  I was ostracized and removed from my family at an early age.  It left me feeling unwanted, unloved, not believed, guilty, shameful and I was betrayed by those closest to me.

I know therapy will help but right now I am drudging up a lot of negative feelings, but they do say it gets worse before it gets better.  I do believe that or I would have stopped some time ago.  It’s one of those days.  I am having a lot of flashbacks today and I’m going to stop blogging and go work some of my other coping skills.  All I know is that I somehow want to get this off my mind so I don’t have nightmares about this.

On a positive note, the weather was amazing and I’ll be spending time with family and friends over the weekend.

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Valentine’s Day With Someone Special <3

I’m slowly starting to embrace most holidays with a certain level of tolerance unlike many years where I would just want to break down and cry uncontrollably.  This is the year of prioritizing myself and my healing.  Spent way too many years miserable!  Today, I am with the most amazing Valentine ever – myself 😉  We have our “Love Bites” t-shirt on and we made a Talking Tom video that says “Bite Me”.  Me, Myself and I are actually having a very fun day.  I may be using humor to fake it until I make it, but it’s much better of a coping skill than what I have used in the past.

I hope all of my friends and family are having an amazing day filled with lots of laughter, love and moments that build lifetime memories!

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