July 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm #38830
Sitting down to type this is kind of overwhelming. There are so many aspects to this I hardly know where to begin. I’m not even sure the title really is the best one.
Here’s my background:
I come from an intensely abusive home. I KNOW there are other people who have had much worse home lives. I KNOW, however that doesn’t make the pain go away and it doesn’t heal my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Most of the abuse I endured was emotional but I definitely experienced and witnessed physical abuse more than a handful of times. I was also sexually molested. All of the abuse was from my father, other than the sexual abuse.
My mother did her best to protect my sister and I. I truly believe this. I have no resentment towards the fact that she couldn’t stop my father from abusing my sister and I. Growing up my mother was constantly abused and both of her parents were criminals. Sadly she is emotionally distant and I have witnessed her suicidal attempts quiet a few times.
My parents divorced when I was 12.
Present day I have a close bond with my mother and I have some sort of relationship with my father although he has a new spouse and doesn’t pay much attention to me, or my sister. He has a new life.
Through my school life, middle school and up I always had friends but I was bullied. And when I was 14 I was raped but someone I thought wanted to be my friend.
So obviously I have practiced forgiveness and I really don’t feel resentful of either of my parents but I just feel…. messed up. I’m a social outcast and always have been. I KNOW that my emotional scars aren’t who I AM. I kinda thought I had moved past all of this….
But I’ve noticed a lot of self-destructive patterns in my life. I feel like I’ve regressed but I think it’s more that I’ve just become AWARE of it all, I’m just NOW realizing what going on.
I feel suicidal on a daily basis. I have thought about suicide on a frequent basis for nearly as long as I can remember. I have trouble expressing my emotions, especially to men. I attribute this to the fact that every time I would express my feelings to my father he would blow up into a fist of rage. It was TERRIFYING.
I feel like I have no identity. I feel walked all over by people. My inner fire has been doused. People mistake my meekness for stupidity and weakness.
I know I need to stop feeling sorry for myself. I just wish someone understood. People are always telling me that it’s in the past and that other people have had it much worse and I feel bad that I can’t just be grateful for the her and now but…. I can’t get hold of myself, of my emotions. And in my relationships especially my inmate ones I ruin them because of my ego. Saying and doing things I really don’t mean and know I shouldn’t do. I KNOW BETTER! So why can’t I stop?
Is it that I don’t feel I deserve love? Is it that I won’t let myself feel happiness because I’ve never felt it one a consist basis or for an extended period of time?
I want to slap myself because I have become everything I said I would not. I get walked on, I am emotionally distant when I choose to be and I say and do things I KNOW are self-destructive and are ruining my relationships!
Where do I find balance? How do I stand my ground and compromise at once?
I’m learning. I need help. I have SO much more to say but it’s difficult for me to express it.
Someone? Anyone?July 17, 2013 at 7:20 pm #38833David GoettschParticipant
Crissy, you have every right to feel the way you do, considering your history. Anyone who tells you to get over is being insensitive at best. It was a long process that created some of the issues, and it is going to be a long way back from there, but there is an abundance of happiness waiting for you along every step of that journey. I wish i could provide a cure all statement or piece of advice, but for some of those deeper seated issues, it sounds like you are a great candidate for counseling. We can only get so far by ourselves, and good counselor can help you navigate your own thoughts and help you solve some of those inner issues.
What you need to do is to break out of your state of mind you are in. Understand something, the way we feel is just a “state”. Happiness is a mindset, so is depression. If you have no control over your thought flow and your feelings about yourself, you are going to continue a downward spiral and live inside of that depressed world. You have to take control of your thoughts again. There are a number of ways to go about this, but meditation is the most effective way. If meditation isn’t for you, I recommend using other methods to get yourself shook out of the state of mind you have yourself in. The bottom line is you need to break free from the negative cycle you are in. The best way I have found to change my mental state and by using my body. When I am depressed or anxious, I go get a hard workout in and somehow it breaks the cycle. As soon as you notice the cycle starting, you need to shake out of it. Emotions can also be a very powerful tool to change your state. This is going to sound strange, but people do it unknowingly all of the time. The next time you start feeling depressed, channel your depressive energy into anger, or another powerful emotion. I’m not saying anger is healthier, but I guarantee you will be able to change your feelings from depressed to angry if you focus hard enough. This will mentally show you that you control your mental state. Emotions can be extremely useful when you need to break a certain mental state, so experiment with that as well. The take home message here is that no matter how you feel, remember that ultimately, it is a choice. What you focus on is what you will feel, so if you don’t like it, don’t let yourself focus on those negative things. Use meditation, exercise, and other emotions to prevent yourself from dwelling in negative thoughts. Sorry this isn’t very organized, I just wanted to share what has worked for me when I get myself in a rut like you are in. Experiment with some of these ideas, you will be amazed at how pliable the mind is. If you need some help learning a few simple meditations, check out my blog I write about all kinds of topics related to what I just mentioned. Things will get better, i promise you, but you need to start putting in the effort to better yourself, wanting to feel better isn’t enough, personal development is an active thing!July 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm #38836
David, Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me. Just the fact that you took the time really warms my heart. I have actually been looking into learning transcendental meditation and I also practice yoga and you’re right about how being active can change the state you are in emotionally. I know I don’t <i>really</i> want to die and I know that life can be so beautiful. It’s just hard to stay strong just because I feel like I’ve been trying for so long, but I know this is all a choice, it’s just that I let my ego really take over and I sulk in all the sadness because frankly it’s easier. But I know like I know that when I decide to be strong enough to overcome it I’ll think “wow, that was easy, why didn’t I do it sooner?” I know the suffering just isn’t necessary…. but I don’t feel it. You know?
My current circumstances really aren’t bad. They’re actually very good. I’m just not able to appreciate it all. I’m tired of sulking and I’m tired of the self-sabotaging behavior. I know that this is all that stands in the way of my own empowerment and happiness. It’s all me. I know it, I’m just stubborn and it’s so difficult to accept.July 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm #38837Sapnap3Participant
So sorry that you had to go through all of that. its not fair. I don’t come from similar situation but my mother is a wonderful but very tough woman. She always tells me and my sister to look within before blaming others. When I was little and if I came home bloody because some boy pushed me, she will say “what did you do to provoke him?”. recently, I went through a devastating break up where the man just broke up with me few days before a planned trip. Again, my ma’s first response was, “what did you do to him?” she never hears my cries and sadness in my voice. But stubbornly enough and after 30 years of not saying anything, I sat her down and told her how I felt. To my surprise, she understood. I have been in therapy for a few years now for various issues, self esteem, self hatred, anger issues and always “self blame”. It helps a lot. I have actually started seeing a psychiatrist lately as well. she is very holistic and we are going towards a good path to find out if there is anything I can take to manage my emotions. I tried anti depressant but it wasn’t for me. I am more of a exercise and eat right kind of person. Any who, what I am trying to say is that please try everything you can to manage this devastating feeling of betrayal and depression. No one can relate to your pain cause its yours. We can all give you every advise in the book but eventually you will have to decide what you want to do. Please do not hurt yourself or anyone else cause its not worth it.
Another big part of my healing process is volunteering. When you see a sick or handicap child smile, you know that you are very lucky cause you don’t feel the pain this tiny, beautiful creature is feeling. Special Olympics organization does a great job of recruiting volunteers. When I see a special child hit a ball or run around the bases in their soft ball game, something in my heart melts and says “this is the most beautiful site in the whole world”. Please try to volunteer for people you can help. You can probably be a great role model for abused youth. Even in your “bad” times, you seemed like a very smart woman and a good person. don’t ever loose that!
A good person is what you are!!
love and lots of good wishes
SJuly 18, 2013 at 8:22 am #38847
Hello dear S,
Thank you for your response. 🙂 Although It’s important to take personal responsibility (because this is giving yourself the power to change) of course, everything cannot be all your fault. Some things just are. It’s all what you take from it right?
Sorry to hear about what you have recently experienced, but I’m glad to hear that you’re mother listened to how you felt, that’s great! And I am the same, I am anti-pharmaceutical.
I will volunteer, I think that’s a wonderful idea and it’s selfless. Why not take the time to do something so wonderful right?
You seem very kind S, thanks again for taking the time to respond to me, it means a lot.
Love and light to youJuly 18, 2013 at 8:53 am #38849MattParticipant
I am so very sorry for all you have been through. My heart goes out to you, deeply and full of sorrow that a dear sister has been wounded in such a way. One of the hardest things for us to accept is how terrible things happen to great people, and as we encounter one another, all we can do is weep for the past and offer our love.
I was also molested as a child, and there are some things that I learned about healing from it that came to heart as I read your words. Take heart, because the path of healing is one you’re already walking, and for me at least, freedom was only a few key ideas away… and with courage to jump off of an old cliff into a new view, healing is like one beautiful fruit after another.
For me, at least, the most challenging obstacle was shame. As I would sit in a group of people and watched how they interacted, I would feel isolated… like I had a dark secret that prevented me from being myself around them. Almost like my experiences were some kind of disease that I was afraid I would spread if I opened myself up to them. I would compensate by being “reactionary” or playing with the ideas they brought up, but never exposing myself. For fear for them, and for fear of me. Could they really accept someone as broken and abused as I?
This knot of view/action comprised what one of my teachers called my “shame core” and was difficult to untangle. It sapped my confidence and destroyed my inner peace. Almost as if I was forcing myself to live with armor that was always on. The first untangling happened when I realized that what had happened to me was not sex.
My teacher helped me see what sex was. Its a moment of love and connection between two people. That it was a sacred act of beauty, and full of togetherness and wonder, exploration and pleasure. Even though I had been penetrated, it was not sex… it was something else.
The shame was being fueled by my body’s reaction to abuse. Even though my mind knew something was wrong, my body enjoyed it. There was pain involved, but there was also a lot of pleasure. I would even seek my abuser for more! As I grew up and realized what had happened, I had a difficult time forgiving myself for acting in such a way. For me, this was the center of the knot. How could I accept that I initiated acts of penetration and still call it abuse?
My teacher very gently explained that it was very common in victims of sexual abuse. Even though it was painful and demeaning to the spirit, it was a connection. It was something I knew I could do right. This tied it into my self esteem, and self identity.
As I opened up to others, and shared my story with close friends (after carrying it around like a weight for a long time) I was surprised at the responses. They would throw their arms around me and cry. They would show amazing sympathy, and I began to realize that the past did not define who I was, and I was not alone.
I wasn’t a little kid anymore, unable to escape or find my way home. I was an adult, with the ability to say no, to ignore critics, to walk away from the past and move on. I have the memory of what feels wrong (even when at the physical level it feels pleasurable) and through it have a knowledge and intuition of what feels right.
I don’t know how much of my struggle relates to yours, but I can say with absolute certainty that you are neither alone or unlovable. On the contrary, you are very, easily, lovable. And there are many people who have been through similar experiences, and who know the feeling of isolation.
The second knot was boundaries. As you noted, people might “walk all over us”. It up to us to understand and set boundaries. In the past, we may have had no escape, and perhaps it was less dangerous for us to let go and have no boundaries. That was fine for then, but not now! Now we are older, capable and safe. It is actually quite helpful for others when we set them, because it gives people a way to relax and trust. Said differently, when we are clear about what we do like and do not like, other people don’t have to waste energy trying to guess.
The path of healing these knots (as opposed to just seeing them) is all about the courage to be honest. Brene Brown has a great TED talk about the power of vulnerability which I highly recommend. Another I reccomend is a movie called “Lars and the Real Girl”.
Essentially, when we are in a situation or conversation, we surrender into our spontaneous creativity. Said differently, we open up by talking about what comes into our heart and mind, and learn very directly that others not only accept us, and love us, but that what we have to say is part of the divine love that we are seeking. Fear arises when we feel disconnected, but the solution is to say “yes, that’s fear” and jump anyway. Consider that courage can only arise in the presence of fear. After we jump in a few times, we become almost fearless, because even if the exchange goes poorly, we feel content that we tried our best… and it feels waaay better to try and fail than to sit and wallow in the feeling of isolation. Especially when our creativity is nurturing to others, because we’ve seen the ick in this world and can surrender into unconditional love for self and others… knowing that healing and peace is available for all.
Have hope, Crissy. Now that the external circumstances are more settled, the internal circumstances will also settle. Keep jumping, keep asking, and know you are loved. As we open up and speak from the heart, the dissatisfaction or “tastelessness” erodes and we are left with a view that shines like the sun. And, if I missed with these words, disregard any of them. 🙂 Or, feel free to ask other questions, both myself and this community are full of innovations and ideas that help with even the most oddly challenging puzzles. Buddha said that community is critical to development, because it is often easier to see others’ difficulties than our own. Namaste.
MattJuly 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm #38858
I wish I could truly express my gratitude for the kind, helpful, touching and insightful words you have shared with me. For the first time in my life I truly feel not alone. You described to a T the way I’ve been feeling. The saying “A weight off my chest” is how I feel after reading your words. I’ve never felt this before, I’ve been carrying the same heavy weight around for as long as I can remember until now. I feel great relief.
I’ve never interacted with people the way I notice people interact, especially in a group setting. I’ve never really been able to express and share my ideas, I’ve always had trouble expressing myself. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember, but now I can make some sense of it. I remember often people disliking me and thinking I was a bad person and I couldn’t understand why, but now I see I was just seriously misunderstood due to my lack of expression and the fact I was carrying around so many dark secrets.
I know exactly what you’re talking about, when I was being molested as a child, I too went back to my abuser. And when I was sexually assaulted as a young teen, I again went back to my abuser because this person was one of the only “friends” I had at the time. I had just moved to a new school and they were the first person to offer me ‘friendship’ and I thought because this person wanted to sleep with me it was love. I’ve pretty much grasped the concept that it was not. After I finally cut this person off, he pretty much turned everyone against me at school, telling them I was a whore etc. etc. I struggled with the fact that I kept going back to this person after what they had done to me the first time, and the fact that i let it happen a number of other times after that.
I have opened up to people but when it comes to the sexual assault… Sadly many people do not understand. They can’t understand why I went back. But your words have really helped me understand it much better and I know that I am not alone and I now know there is a path to heal, to get unstuck from the pain.
And I get what you mean about the boundaries. This is something I don’t do that I will start doing, today. I’m always asking people what they want/need and I never express my own wants/needs and I’ve noticed this frustrates people. Others really take advantage of it and before I know it I’m doing something I totally do not have any desire to do.
I am going to take your suggestions and check out the TED talk and the movie as well, I know it’s different to see you have healing to do and to actually take action to heal. Like you said it takes courage.
I have not been able to really open up and have a good free flowing conversation in a long time, purely because of fear. It’s sometimes a struggle and I feel restless, that tastelessness you’re taking about, when it comes to knowing I’m going to have to communicate and often times it’ll stop me from doing anything where I’ll be in a group setting, but I do always feel better when I try than when I just stay alone.
I’ve been looking into holistic solutions to heal my PTSD and if you have any suggestions about this I would love to hear them! And also how I can stop the self-sabotaging behavior I’ve developed.
In love and light,
CrissyJuly 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm #38866MattParticipant
I’m deeply moved by your response, and your gratitude was clear ringing as a bell. You’re welcome, and I am glad we connected! A few things came to heart as I read your words.
In terms of holistic health, it really depends on what speaks to you. Its said that selenite crystals resonate with an angelic healing energy, and when I used to feel isolated and down, I would hold one in each hand and did feel the emotion settle. Over time, as I began to meditate more frequently, they became unnecessary as Buddhist styles of meditation are very profoundly helpful in settling emotions. Depending on how thick the icky is, it might help you get started (like crutches for a sprained ankle.)
Another thing that might really help is if you become a reiki healer. With traumas like ours, there are sometimes lots of root, sacral and crown chakra issues that being able to self soothe with direct energy healing is beneficial. Or, you can lightly trace spirals with your finger tips (almost not touching the skin) around your legs, pelvis, navel and head. This can help areas we’ve put to sleep to protect ourselves. If you have a partner, and you have a stable intimacy, they could also do that for you. Reiki would personally be my first choice however, and the method would be taught during the class.
As for the self sabotaging, that means different things to different people. There are some great books out there on positive self talk. If you’re referring to the all or nothing perfection or worthless behavior, that’s a vacillation that will dismantle as the patterns of shame dismantle. Said differently, when we have a block in our crown, instead of feeling confident humility no matter what result we see, we vibrate between shame (when we feel we failed/dislike the results) and pride (when we feel we succeeded/like the results). The pride/shame knot inhibits the nourishment we get from our creation. I don’t want to dive too deep into all of that, its already a lot to take in! 🙂
Remember to be patient. You’re worth taking the time to heal, and step by step the clouds will part. The sun shines, the rain falls, the grass grows, the flowers bloom. Namaste.