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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: August 23, 2005

Geoffrey,

I've been feeling tearful on and off for the past couple of weeks. Not really sure why. I think, some of it is remembering how bad I felt all the time and how anxious and overwhelmed and scared. Also, realizing how young the self-injury began and the circumstance of my family and how I wouldn't cry.

Yesterday, at the end of the session, was really difficult because usually the flashbacks are more isolated to one room...like I'm not aware of the whole atmosphere or the other rooms in the house. But, it was like I was literally in my room at the apartment and was aware of the whole place, the atmosphere, the sounds, the sounds outside, feeling my feet on the carpet, just aware of all my surroundings. It was quite disturbing because how I felt then went with it.

It was like I was standing in my room after my mother came in and yelled at me, grabbed me and slapped me during an argument with my step-father. I remember how bad I felt and how confused I was and feeling really alone and scared to move or say anything. I just stood in the middle of my room feeling like crying, but not daring to do so.

So easy to make the tears go away. Wanting so much to just disappear and die. Not understanding what I did wrong. And afraid she would come in again. Remember Gene turning up the volume of the television and my mother banging around in the kitchen. The dilemma, do I go in and offer to help to calm her down or will it make it worse or will she suddenly call me angry that I didn't know that she wanted help. (my stomach, chest and throat hurt)

In that position so many times. She really did hit a lot and I was scared all the time. After a while it didn't hurt anymore and I got a little more attuned when it was going to happen, so I was able to brace myself and numb out a little. And, she yelled or screamed at me quite frequently. Sometimes, it would anger my step-father then he'd start screaming at me. I was terrified...he'd get that look in his eyes and would grab my arm and get right in my face. I couldn't move because of the way he held my arm. I hurt too.

I can hear them yelling at each other and at me in my head...it is so loud and I just want to die. I was so scared all the time. I used to bruise or burn myself sometimes just to numb out or stop myself from crying. I used to hit myself after my-step father would touch me. I used to think that he only used his fingers when I was in bed except for the time at his parents, but he did more. I feel like crying. It was on the days that he would take care of me. It was in the morning.

Seems like there was yelling almost constantly from before I was even born. Feels like I was scared of everyone my mother, my step-father, his father, my father, and his father.

I also remember I liked living with my grandparents and grandpa walking me to school, kindergarten. Also, remembering wishing I could disappear or that I needed to die because they argued about me, my mother and father. Afterward, I was never sure if she was going to come to me angry or wanting my comfort.

I remember a few times waiting on the porch for him and them arguing before we left. I remember his apartment and sleeping on the couch staring at the Cheerios on top of the refrigerator. Remember being afraid of his temper. He was really strict, so I felt like I was afraid to say anything. One time, he spanked me with his belt with my pants down because I spilled the cereal. I was three and terrified. Slowly, the visits stopped and were never overnight or where he lived.

Just seems like I was scared and anxious all the time...don't really remember not being so. Felt so alone, my stomach, chest and throat hurt again. Every now and then, I get like a wave of sadness or fear go through my body. I remember feeling that much of the time. I can't cry even though I feel like it.

The arguing, my mother or my step-father screaming at me, my mother slapping me and the bruising and burning happened a lot more than I thought I wanted to acknowledge. Keep having waves of anxiety and wanting to cry. I guess, that is what it was like then, all the time, even when it was quiet. It didn't take much for it to change in a split second. I think panic and overwhelmed are good descriptions of how I felt. On edge is a good one too.

Hurting myself numbed me out...also, a way to express my anger and how bad I felt. Feels like there was so much pressure to do the "right thing." Remember how painful and confusing the teasing was and how bad I felt. Wanting to immediately cry and feeling really crushed...I eventually stopped sharing even positive stuff and asking questions. Numb out...just go away. Slowly disappearing and losing myself.

Can't remember when I stopped crying I know we talked about that it probably happened in infancy. I feel kind of a numb sadness. I can hear so much yelling in my head...feels a little crazy...like I don't have control to turn it off or lower the volume. Sometimes, this goes through my head during the day. Feeling like crying or screaming or both.

Observations: I don't preview what is coming next in my journal, I usual just write as I go. However, I would swear this sounds like I completed the slideshow in time for this journal entry because so much of it is contained in the images. It is also a little of where I am at with still trying to accept and come to terms with how bad it was and how bad my acting out was. I still can't cry even though it feels like I would feel better if I could just sob.

5 comments:

April_optimist said...

Big (((((((((((hugs))))))))))). So much of what you write sounds like my story, too. I watched the slideshow and kept nodding--yes, I remember that, too. The good thing is that NOW we can be nice to ourselves, pamper ourselves, do things that bring us joy and the funny thing is that these things (after we get used to being nice to ourselves) can accomplish what hurting ourselves used to do.

Tempy said...

Thanks for the comment.

Which video on YouTube is it?

Clueless said...

April, thank you for the hugs. Although it makes me sad that you can relate, it makes me feel good that I am not alone. Now, that being good to ourselves...that is a tough one for me, but I am getting there.

Tempy, I answered your question on your comments.

Carol Van Atta, Princess Warrior said...

So appreciate your honesty. I never quite thought of teasing in such a way. I know I get very uncomfortable as an adult when I'm teased past a certain point. Yet, at times it seems I invite teasing. God has healed my heart in some major, major ways. Without Him, ug, the options are none too pretty.

Clueless said...

Thank you for visiting and for commenting. God too has healed be quite significantly otherwise I would not be able to do what I am doing now.

For me teasing, I can take it and dish it out up to a point then it starts to become personal or hurtful. I also think that it is a way to bond with someone else, but also can be passive-aggressive. I'm glad my posts prompted you to think.

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