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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.

Monday, August 25, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: August 28, 2005 ~ Hitting & Crying

Geoffrey,

After talking about the teasing...I also feel like crying which is stuck in my throat. I can also feel it in my chest and stomach. Really just wanting to just go away. Completely numb out. I remember feeling like this a lot growing up.

I am really wanting to hurt myself so much. I so much want to cut and bruise...both, one doesn't seem like enough right now. Remember, so much hurt when they teased. It was like they were intentionally being mean and felt like a personal attack on who I was, so I wanted to just go away disappear and die. Felt so embarrassed that I even asked or shared anything.

Had difficulty staying asleep Friday night. Kept waking up feeling like I was being teased, but mostly feeling like my mother was hitting me. Remember, so many times just sitting in my room feeling like crying, but not daring to do so. Somewhere very, very early I decided not to cry. And it became easy to shut it down quickly where no one would notice. Crying would just create more difficulties. Either, I would get teased more. Or if if was related to an argument, or getting hit or screamed at, it would just make it worse. On/off flashing back to sitting in my room or lying in my bed feeling like crying. Seems like I wanted to cry quite frequently.

Some flashbacks are of my mother slapping me...scared me so much and I felt so trapped...couldn't move because it would make her more angry and she would hit me more. Couldn't say anything and I wouldn't dare cry, no matter what...it would just make it worse. Just pretend nothing happened which is what she did too.

Remember, how hard she would hit, sometimes knocking me off balance, sometimes, she would grab me up off the floor, sometimes she'd knock my glasses off my face. I remember some how how hard she would hit. Sometimes, it would sting for a long time after she left. It really hurt. And sometimes it really, really hurt if she caught my cheek bone with her wedding ring which was really heavy. Feeling panicky now.

Sometimes, she would use her right hand, but mostly, she would use he left hand. She was able to use both with equal force. Sometimes, she would grab my arm and hold me when she slapped me which meant she was really angry, so it hurt more and then it could mean multiple slaps. I just wanted to hide my face which would have made it worse.

A couple of times, I bit the inside of my lip or cheek and bleed, but never let her see it. Afterward, I just went to the restroom and rinsed my mouth out. When I was older, she it harder and sometimes slugged me with her fist on my back which was worse because I was usually taken off guard some as she came from behind. She would knock the wind out of me. She rarely left marks except for maybe some small bruises on my arms. Sometimes, she would be completely silent and just leave, other times, she would be screaming at me...never understood what I did wrong.

It was so much worse if she was screaming because that would enrage my step-father and he would grab me and start screaming in my face. Sometimes, I would hit myself afterward or later that evening or the next day. When I was a little older, I would either cut or bruise. What I really wanted to do, but could not even do so by myself is cry and scream.

Sometimes, I could identify what I did wrong, but that was rare. Funny thing is that when I actually did something wrong, my mother usually lectured and grounded me which was rare. Sometimes, she would ignore what I did. Really confusing and unpredictable.

I'm really feeling like cutting and bruising. Numb out. Feel bad. Feel sick and keep having flashbacks. Want the feeling to stop. My feelings were hurt a lot...realizing maybe I wasn't too sensitive, but that is was just really bad. I feel like crying and it is still stuck.

Observations: When I first wrote this two years ago, I was really for the first time writing down somewhat of how bad my mother used to get with hitting me. What also strikes me is my inability to cry which stopped in infancy. It currently, like my last session, is a problem because I really, really feel like crying, but all my defenses are extremely high (fragmenting, suicidal thoughts, want to injure myself, etc...) There just seems to be so much prohibition to not cry. I can really feel it now and I just ache all over and my throat, chest, stomach and neck really hurt.

8 comments:

catatonickid said...

*big, gentle hugs*

I'm sorry you weren't taken care of like you should've been, Clueless. I get this sense that there was constant invalidation of you growing up, and I wish it had not have been that way.

The violence is bad enough, of course but to not be able to get angry right back or respond how you wanted to - that makes it that much worse. That's where the lasting damage is really done, to my mind. Not that hitting doesn't do damage but just that it's slightly easier to heal a punch than to undo learning not to cry for so many years.

It's like there's this river of denied pain that runs under everything you remember, and that's what I wish I could change most of all. Your feelings matter now, though, they really do and I hope there's something in that for you.

Clueless said...

Hi CK,

Thank you for the hugs. They are always welcome. You hit it right on the nose with the invalidation which is why I have trouble with just "being" and with self-hatred.

The river of pain is so difficult and it is even harder that it all points back at my mother which is why I've been having such a rough time for the past several weeks. I am defending, so much in dealing with pain and anger toward my mother. Thank you for the encouragement, support and understanding.

Mike Golch said...

C.C. there are times that we just have to let go of the anger and give it to a higher power.
Her is a litle thing about me that I have not shared. Wen my Father died in 1984 and my shift supervisor denied me the paid time off I hated that man, than the first day back to work some jackass called me when I was working in a controll room saying something so low down nasty and dirty about both my parents,(that I will not repeat what was said) I told him that I just buried my father this week and if I ever got my hands on him I would kill him.
It took me sewveral years to finally admit that part of me to my therepist. and that I was giving that poor excuse for a human being to God to handle.
It might help you to let the feeling go as well. I know it sounds hard,but you can do it.
even if you have to say this out loud to your mother,I will no longer allow you to dominate me. you will have to answer to God for what you have done to me. I hope that this helps you as it did me.

marci said...

Courageous may you be wrapped in goodness and healing as you journey on.

Can so relate to not being able to cry. For years i too had reels of memories but could not cry about the abuse. I remember one day at work realizing that if i did not get away i was going to crack. So booked a trip to the Coast to take in the Ocean. Went to Sea World and while there noticed a walled off area with a door left open. Was curious and walked through the gate and found it was the orphan animal rehab area. In one of the tanks there was a beautiful silvery dolphin. She came over and stood erect from the water and gazed in my eyes. The two of us made such a deep contact and started crying. We both were emitting such strong feeling of love mixed with sadness. One of the workers walked up to me and told me i was in a restricted area, but he was glad i was there, because the dolphin had been rescued and had been with them for a while and they had been very concerned for her, because she had not made a connection with anyone. He asked me if i would just stay with her and allow the exchange for he thought it was good for her and also for me. The two of us stood for over an hour just emitting tears and love. From that day on had access to tears, and from that day on, never had to deal with the feelings of self injury. It was such a deep healing.

I so wish you had a dolphin, dear one. And am sending prayers that the Holy Spirit will bring to you a healing that will release, and claim the power and healing of all your feelings.

Sending you love and light.

Clueless said...

Marci,

Thank you. Your dolphin experience was really great to read. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Courageous

Emma F said...

Hi Clueless - I've followed you here from Flowers.

First - let me say what an amazing lady you are. I admire you for your courage in facing the things you face. You have lived through them once, and now re-live them in order to be healed from the damage.

I too had learned not to cry, although for different reasons. I know that sensation you describe - for me the pressure would build up in my head. God used that pressure to help me - It became my signal that I needed to cry (normally with lots of people around). The tears flowed when I allowed them to, and God used them as part of my healing.

Clueless said...

Hi Emma, thank you for following me and taking a look around. Thank you for the compliment also.

For me, it is a signal too, but it is so automatic that I stop that most of the time I can't. It is extremely frustration and it builds, but I cried in my therapist's office last week!!! Then, slept for three hours. Thanks again.

Emma F said...

I am learning to give myself permission to cry. The response not to was replced by a desire not to - in case I made a fool of myself (or worse - some well meaning person come and try to help but not).

Your therapist's office is a safe place - and then a sleep after - great!

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