Letter to my brother…..

I sent the following letter to him 3 weeks ago telling him about the abuse at the hands of our father.  No reply has come…. so I guess that means he has chosen what kind of man he will be.

Brother,

I hope you and the kids are doing well.  I am writing because I haven’t been completely honest with you and I am trusting that our relationship is one that I can do just that.

I would like to be honest with you about what my life has been like since Dad started coming to my room at night when I was four (after he had passed out on the sofa from coming home drunk 4 times a week….mom’s words not mine) and sexually abusing me.  At the age of 7 it progressed to him taking me on car rides where he would tell me he was teaching me what love was like and that I really wanted all that he was doing to me.  On occasion when I would get up enough nerve to cry out and try to get out of reach he tied my hands up.  The abuse seemed to never end, year after year after year.  Finally, at the age of 10-11 the abuse stopped probably because I had reached an age that no longer “attracted” him.  Do you know what this does to a child?  I will forever have Complex PTSD, depression, and anxiety because of him. I have flash-backs, nightmares, and physical pain because of all he did to me.  If I don’t have medication I do not sleep through the night.  As a little girl I had to wait in my bed…waiting, knowing when he stood up from the sofa that he would be coming to hurt and haunt me.  No amount of counseling will take away all the effects that the abuse has had on me.  Can you imagine being an adult having panic attacks just because you are in a certain part of your own house?  That is what it is like for me in our bedroom and any bathroom.   I have had many many years of counseling just to help me deal with life, being a parent, a wife, and a friend.

I have had to learn boundaries because our family didn’t have any.   I was taught instead that my body belongs to others not me.  I was taught that I am in the world to please others, never myself.  I was taught my pain wasn’t worth being seen, heard, or attended to.  My being was not worth respect or love.  As I walk on this healing journey I have learned how to set boundaries and to stand up for myself.  One of those was to set the boundary with our parents that if they want a relationship with me they would need to acknowledge the abuse and work on having a healthy relationship.  Unfortunately, they have no interest in working on a real relationship.  Even when Mom’s own counselor in Roanoke told her she was in denial about Dad molesting me Mom still refused to help her daughter and chose AGAIN to protect the molester.  There is a quote that I have grown to love.  It comes from a book about the trauma of child abuse.

“It is morally impossible to remain neutral for those that bear witness to conflict between the victim and the perpetrator.  The bystander is forced to take sides.  It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator.  All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing.  He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear and speak no evil.  The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden or pain.  The victim demands action, engagement and remembering.  After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies:  it never happened, the victim lies, the victim exaggerates, the victim brought it on herself.”

After one of the car rides that Dad took me on in order to sexually attack me, I came home with my legs and insides feeling as if they were on fire.  The inside of my legs felt completely raw from what he had done.  When he and I walked into the house, Mom and you were sitting on the floor playing.  Mom asked why I was walking funny.  Dad spoke up quickly saying I had fallen but was his “little trooper”.  Mom never asked me how it happened, how I was feeling, etc.  Of course I wasn’t crying, I had already learned my cries were never answered.   Mom decided it was safer for her not to know what was happening.  I was thrown into the lion’s den and left alone with no one to protect or love me.

So you have a choice to believe me and stand by me or choose to do nothing and support the abuser.  What kind of man will you choose to be?

At the bottom of the letter I hand wrote “I know this letter may sound angry, and I guess I am at dad, but not at you.  I have some really good memories of you and I playing together in the drainage ditch behind our house and smearing mulberries on our skin to play cowboys and Indians.  I have missed you and hope we can talk soon.”

The New Day

It has been three months since I went off Cymbalta and onto a small dose of a new medication.  My life has completely changed from searching for and desiring with every cell of my body suicide to now not even thinking about it.  Well, that’s not quite true.  I notice quite often that the thought is no longer there.  It feels strange but also glorious.  I have been interacting  and enjoying life with my boys and have even signed up for a Bible Study in hopes of meeting others.  I still have a lot of work to do concerning memories and integration and have had a few days of anguish but with the suicidal thoughts gone it has been much more doable.  As far as integration goes I have been working on feeling my feelings and trying to stay with them.  That’s not really integration but it is a step in the right direction.

I still get on here everyday to check and read other’s blogs but don’t have time to comment like I used to.  Thank you to everyone of you who have supported me during my darkest days when I didn’t have anyone else other than my therapist to lean on.  Writing helped me express what was going on inside and in that way helped me start to heal.  I am grateful to each of you that helped pull me out of the mire.

My horrible, messed up, insane brain

Possible TW:  suicide ideation, and general crazy thinking

I have been trying to figure out why I haven’t been on here for a long time.  I tried to make excuses (I’m needing to move towards making ‘real’ friends out in the ‘real’ world, I don’t know what’s really going on inside my head so how can I put it into words, etc) but they kept just being excuses.  Maybe the truth is I have learned to care for fellow bloggers and I was 1) afraid of contaminating others 2) wanting to please everyone and try to act healthy, which I am far from right now.

When I read others posts where they say “I had a good day…I wasn’t suicidal” my first thought, for a very long time now, has been “that is not my idea of a good day”.  I wake up every day wanting to be suicidal, searching to be suicidal, pushing myself to be suicidal.  And those are my good days.  My bad days are when I have pushed too far and know that in the next few hours something horrible will happen unless I am able to jump from the freight train driving my thoughts.  That’s when I get scared.

On the good days I research ways to do it.  This is difficult because my husband has activated settings on my phone and computer that prevent it so I spend time trying to cleverly access sites without using certain words that trigger the settings.  I also read books about mental illness in the attempt to trigger myself (sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t).  I spend time planning, re-planning, scheduling and re-scheduling.

My reading has gotten me scared out of my mind about going into the psych ward because of the use of restraints and seclusion.  But, I don’t call the hotlines, my counselor, or tell my husband because I don’t want to be stopped.

At my yearly psychiatrist appointment I had to tell her about the suicide ideation and that is when she suggested a medication change.  She kept saying “You don’t want to be suicidal.  You don’t want to be suicidal.”

I felt like screaming, “uh, you are so wrong.  That is all I want.”

But is it?  Don’t I want a life beyond all this pain?  Don’t I want to think about my three kids and the mess that would be left behind if I make a bad decision.  It just seems hard to live a life without the suicide now.

My counselor told me that he is going on vacation next week.  He goes every year but this is the first year I have admitted to myself and him that I am scared out of my mind for him to not be available through email.  I know he cares.  I know him leaving doesn’t change his caring for me.  But, I feel abandoned.  And I hate myself for that.  I hate that I trusted and am now feeling hurt.  I hate myself that I am feeling abandoned by My Counselor.  I am not a kid.  I KNOW he will be back the following week.  There is no rational reason to feel abandoned.  But, none of that changes the fact that I feel abandoned.  And weak.  And stupid.

So now I have suicide ideation and the feeling of being abandoned by my counselor because he is doing something he has every right to do.

Oh, and did I forget to add that I sent a letter last week to a previous Christian counselor that abused me for two years?  I doubt seriously that she has a healthy bone in her body to be able to respond in a healthy manner so if she does write back it will be filled with evil narcissism.  I told my counselor and husband that I won’t read it if she sends something in return.  But I know I will read it because I want to push myself over the edge.  And what better timing than to do it while my counselor is out of town.

What a mess I am.

 

The dreaded med changes

My annual psychiatrist appointment was last week and I knew I would have to be honest about my suicide ideation.  And I KNEW she would want to change my antidepressant. Six years ago, after I was already on the medication, I researched all the terrible withdrawal effects this medication has.  There have many lawsuits against Eli Lilly because the withdrawals have been so dreadful.  The literature given with Cymbalta states that 1% or more experience withdrawal symptoms.  BUT, in their actual trials the percent is 49%!

So, I am on day four of the decrease of medication, have increased my counseling appointments and warned my husband of things to look out for.  From the forums I learned of people having lost their jobs because of the rages, spending loads of money while experiencing hypomania for over a week, and beating their spouses.  I am prepared for having flu like symptoms, depression, involuntary laughing, seizures, nightmares, and brain zaps.  The two I am most concerned about are the rages and the suicidal thoughts.  I have two small kids at home that I need to be sane for.  So far I have had excessive sweating and nauseousness but that’s it.  I am hoping for the best but trying to prepare for the worst.

Darkness

all reason is lost

i’ll never get back

past and present merge

pain locks with hopelessness

 

the costs are high

secrets accumulate

closing in on me

condemnations, accusations, judgements whisper

 

death envelopes darkness

swirling flight takes place

giving in easier than the fight

Update on stress and where I am mentally

I don’t know why all of a sudden I’m no longer able to blog what is going on with me.  The words just aren’t there or the fear to be vulnerable is too great. Here’s a few updates.

* I quit my job about six weeks ago.  Things had gotten so bad for me mentally that I couldn’t even give him two weeks notice.  I quit over the phone because he wasn’t in the office that day.  I had stressful nightmares every night for two weeks afterwards.

* I decided not to try to sue my dad or even ask for money from him.  It would have opened me up to a lot more pain because he wouldn’t have paid because he truly doesn’t care.

* I have been obsessively reading autobiographies of people with mental illness.  This sounds on the surface an okay thing but actually it has been very triggering.  Maybe it’s a way to punish myself? I’m not sure.

* I got the mistaken idea that I was close to being completely integrated which in my head meant no more memories.   Well, after several more new memories and a frank conversation with my counselor I realize now how far I am from that goal.

* Staying home from work has greatly reduced the stress but now I’ve become a depressed hermit that sleeps all day.

Will life ever get better?  Is there anything else out there that life can offer me? Do I even want to see it if it were put in front of me?