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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

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.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

James Taylor ~ The Concert That Wasn't!!

We had concert tickets last night to see one of my favorite artists, James Taylor, at the Greek Theatre, which is a beautiful outdoor venue in Los Angeles. I was having somewhat of a difficult time prior to the event as I knew that I really didn’t feel like going due to my depression. However, I knew that I would have a good time once I got there. Maybe, not as good as normal, but would have enjoyed myself. Now, he is someone that I have lost track of the number of concerts that I’ve been to. He gives a great performance and The Greek has such fantastic sound. I just love his music.

Well, as usual, I took my PRNs prior to becoming anxious. We fought Los Angeles traffic in during rush hour and arrived one and a half hours later. We had a nice picnic dinner in our car along with two other couples doing the same on each side of us. Now, the Greek has what is known as stacked parking which is crazy. Basically, as you arrive you get directed to park in rows behind each other, so you only get to leave it the cars around you leave and give you the space you need to get out. The cars are all packed in and it is a free for all to leave. However, we were lucky because we were in the front row of an exit. Lucky meaning…if you get lucky enough and the line of cars in front of you lets you in to leave. LOL!! It is really a great spot.

I started to have difficulty with some of the noises around me toward the end of our dinner, but I was okay. I was taking my PRNs regularly. So, we walked down to the theatre, the young security guy had the nerve to confiscate my 1 ounce sealed bag of potato chips. Power hungry kid!! Most of the people, would have let me take it even though you are not supposed to bring food in. In hindsight, I wish I would have started yelling, “I’m nauseated and those are the only chips that help. Now, unless you can provide the same type for me to purchase, I’m taking them in.” I really would have done it too (maybe not), but not make too much of a scene. Maybe, if I wasn’t old enough to be his mother and were cuter and wore my sexy outfit, I could have gotten my little bag in. What sexy outfit? LOL!!

Anyway, I purchased a cool shirt that looks like an eye chart in the backside. The woman said, “for some reason these are selling the best.” I told her, “that’s because we are all getting old, can’t see and can relate to it.” She laughed, I purchased the last one in my size. The seats we had were nice and dead center.

Then, it started to happen. I began to have a full blown panic attack. My chest tightened, everything started to echo and things started to look distorted. I was even more hypervigilant to the point that my husband’s own voice startled me. I felt like everything was closing in and no one around us was seated yet. My husband suggested we go home, but I wanted to wait to see if the last dose of medication would help. Things got worse and he asked what I wanted and although I didn’t verbalize it the first thought was, “I want to go home.” Everything kept getting more distorted and I felt like I was going to faint or die. He asked what I wanted and I started crying and said, “I want to go home.”

We left and didn't have a problem leaving since we were in the front row. But, I kept apologizing because we spent good money for the tickets, the water, and the parking. I wanted to see the concert at that point. I felt and feel so bad both about needing to leave and emotionally and physically. My husband kept reassuring me that I was more important than the money we spent. Once home, I curled up next to him on the bed and he stroked my hair and I fell asleep in his arms.

It is 4 am and I’m feeling a bit on edge, really bad about last night, my body aches from the tension and also a little confused on why things got so bad. My session was not that rough that yesterday. However, Monday was and resulted in a special extra session on Tuesday, so maybe I wasn’t doing so well. I haven't been sleeping either. I don’t know, I’m trying to figure it out and I’m feeling really bad. At least, I have therapy today. So that was the concert that wasn’t. In honor, of not being there, here is a You Tube video of James in concert singing our favorite song, (Whenever, I See) Your Smiling Face.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Borderline personality disorder ~ Part IV ~ DSM

Okay, change of plans. I pulled Part III because it was too academic. I think, I forgot that I wasn't working or in school anymore, so I didn't take into account you or my purpose. Instead, I'm posting Part IV. Sorry, folks...but, if no one will understand it, it is useless. You were all probably going...What is she talking about? When I just read it I was going, "huh, what was I thinking!!" This one is much better.

According to the DSM the criteria to meet borderline personality disorder the five of the following features must be present:

1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
7. chronic feelings of emptiness
8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

There are many other issues which I will discuss in another post for this series. It is time again where I want you to make your comments before I disclose my own experience of my mother being untreated and having severe symptoms and my own diagnosis. I’ll pay someone to go first…I’ll even give up my chocolate chip cookies. (No response) Okay, but how about the weather these days…Anyway, the following information is adapted from Stop Walking on Eggshells and Surviving a Borderline Parent

1. Frantic attempts to prevent feelings of actual or preceived abandonment or rejection. People with BPD rely on others for their feelings of worth and emotional caretaking. The fearfulness can be so strong that they often act in ways that bring about the abandonment and rejection they are trying to avoid (and which therefore validates and reinforces their fears). They panic and may have burst of rage or beg the person to stay.
With my mother, she would panic and become angry even rageful if my step-father or I were not home when she expected or was going to be home alone. She also could not leave a marriage that was clearly dangerous to herself and I. As a result of her not wanting to be alone, I would usually not participate in regular events with my friends if I knew that she was going to be home alone. I didn’t do this consciously, but looking back I new on some level that there was going to be a cost if I didn’t stay home.

For me, I still have difficulty anytime my therapist goes on vacation or there is a holiday. I think that he is never going to come back and, at one time, thought that he was intentionally trying to hurt me. The feelings of abandonment, panic and self-worth would send me into a tail spin and to calm down I would self-injure.

2. Patterns of relationships that are intense and unstable; repeated tendencies to shift between extremes of loving and hating another person. This is referred to as splitting, people with BPD have difficulty experiencing two feeling states at one time. An example would be that some is all bad and ungiving versus all good and idealized. It may happen without any provocation or even any interaction. They look to others to provide self-esteem, approval, and a sense of identity. They look out for any cues that someone doesn’t like or love them. When fears seem confirmed, they may fly into rages, make accusations, become hysterical, seek revenge, mutilate themselves, have an affair or any number of destructive things.
Being an only child, my mother would shift me constantly form the all good child (“I never have to worry about you”) to the all bad (“you are the reason for all my problems”) It was very confusing and resulted in unprovocated rages. I ended up feeling responsible for her happiness, keeping the peace, felt worthless and helpless to change things. She could be fine one moment and the next raging at me. I would also listen to her do that with my step-father and her boss all the time.

For me, I would do that in my head with friends, co-workers and especially my supervisors. I was always looking and finding some reason to feel rejected and then hate them. With my husband, it was not as bad, but we got into quite a few arguments over nothing…I just hated myself so much that I’d try to make him hate me or feel all bad because I got him angry.

3. Difficulty describing the self, interests, or aspirations; frequent shifts in self-perception. Depending on who they are with, they may change their opinion, thoughts and even values to please the other person. There is a chronic feeling of emptiness. Roles played could be the over-achiever, the victim, the helper or caretaker. They need someone else to tell them who they are.
For my mother, I saw her play this dance all the time. She was like a chameleon because she was a different person with different people. Different stated interests and values. It was very confusing. I didn’t know where she really stood. She was also the victim and I was her caretaker.

For me, I became the victim for survival. The target for her rages and constantly changing to adapt to her mood or what she wanted to do. I was her caretaker and until recently, I still did this. Now, I am slowly moving away from that role, but it is very difficult because she experiences it as abandonment and then, I’m the all bad object. In school, work and home, I was the over-achiever and without those things, I didn’t know who I was.

4. Impulsive, often reckless, self-harming behaviors in areas such as substance abuse, binge eating, overspending, promiscuous sex, reckless driving, shoplifting, etc. All of these are addictive behaviors and temporarily fill the emptiness. There is a very high connection between BPD and substance abuse.
I don’t think my mother falls into this category. My therapist said that BPD is about rage. My mother’s was directed outward and mine was inward. So, let’s see eating disorder and overspending fit.
5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior. The suicide rate is high for this disorder at 8%-10% of those diagnosed with BPD. People with BPD have many, many, many periods of overwhelming uncontrollable emotional pain. Self-mutilation is a coping mechanism used to release or manage these emotions. Usually they are feelings of shame, anger, sadness and abandonment. Self-mutilation may release the body’s own opiates, known as beta-endorphins. These chemicals lead to a general feeling of well being. Self-mutilation may include, but is not limited to cutting, burning, breaking bones, head banging, needle poking, skin scratching, pulling out hairs, and ripping off scabs – all without suicidal intent. I will cover self-injury and the reasons for it in a separate post series.
Again, my mother does not fall into this category. Her rage is all about taking it out on others and mine is all about destroying myself. So, I fit this category with cutting, bruising, and burning.
6. Frequent mood swings and intense emotional reactions, irritability or anxiety of changing duration – anywhere from a few hours to a few days. A Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde situation with switching from happy and loving to furious, fearful, or depressed within hours or less. Often, the person himself doesn’t remember–or claims not to remember-what was said or done during this state. When most people feel bad, they can take steps to feel better. They can also control, to some extent, how much their moods affect their relationships with others. People with BPD have difficulty doing this.
Oh, did I ever experience this with my mother. It was literally like walking on eggshells all the time or like walking through a minefield and the mines keep changing position with every step you take. No predictability and there is nothing that can be done to prevent this. I learned to be hypervigilant. I never knew if I was going to be teased, ignored, physically attacked, verbally attacked, demanded upon, discounted, minimized or if everything would be normal which was rarely the case. I became so afraid of asking or saying anything. There were many times that I questioned my sense of reality because she wouldn’t remember or deny something she said or a ragefest.

I personally experience it now, but I am aware of it and try to take steps not to act upon my feelings. After I was married, I start doing this with my husband, but it was not frequent enough to be too problematic and I was getting better. Then, when the memories started, it got really bad, but therapy really helped. I’ll catch myself and apologize and he just hugs me and says that he loves me. He is so supportive and understanding. At work and school, I was able to keep it together unless I was under tremendous stress like during the last year before I stopped working. Toward the end, I was having quite a bit of difficulty.

7. Ongoing or frequent feelings of being hollow, empty or fake; chronic feelings of emptiness. People with BPD commonly report a deep sense of boredom or a profound emptiness, which is why they may turn to drugs or alcohol, become obsessed with money and possession, or harm themselves. Lacking a strong core, a sense of self they can trust, they feel out of control and dependent upon others, forever victimized. Despite their sometimes larger than life, hard to ignore exterior, those with BPD are sometimes described by loved ones and clinicians as seeming hollow and as putting up a façade.
I am sorry. My mother fits this, but I don’t want to think or write about it at this time. I keep going away everytime I try, so I’m not going to try anymore. I really wish I could. For me, I often feel fake like I’m fooling others. I rarely have a sense of trusting myself; however, that is growing. When really stressed, I feel like a little kid helpless and dependent on specific people.
8. Either underexpressed or overexpressed feelings of anger, seen in frequent displays of temper, rage, recurrent physical fights, or extreme sarcasm or withdrawl. Rages. Many adult children know them all too well, whether the trigger is a coat hung askew in the closet, a spilled drink, a loud TV, sickness, the suggestion that the person with BPD doesn’t remember something the way others do, or a request for divorce. Whether precipitated by something seemingly trivial or serious, the storm-not uncommonly comprised of verbal assaults or physical abuse-can subside just as quickly as it rolled in.
Hmmm…which one of these describe my mother…ALL of them overexpressed. (Now, was I a bit sarcastic…naw!!) Mine all underexpressed. It seems like I was the only one in the family that was not allowed to express my anger, but was the receptacle of everyone elses.
9. Brief extreme periods of mistrust, paranoia, of feelings of unreality (numbness, disconnection, dissociation).
I was recently discussing with my therapist whether or not my mother had any psychosis, which would be beyond dissociation. His response was to begin reading my Wordle, that is in the right hand bottom of the side bar…the one you can’t read without clicking on it. It has many, but not even close to all of the things I remember her saying to me. In case you missed it, he was implying that she was psychotic at times. For me, I often go through periods of mistrust, but especially of numbness, disconnection and dissociation).

This post of the series was much, much more difficult than I thought it would be. I found myself becoming numb or dissociating quite a bit. It is such a fresh area that I am looking at that it is too raw to process right now. I hope, even though, I was unable to give you more personal examples that you were able to understand the information. I feel like I need a PRN and a long nap now. Goodnight!!

Oh, Monday, I'll cover some other random issues related to BPD.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What Borderline Personality Disorder feels like...Part II

This is from YouTube contributed by aperfectingangel. It may be triggering.

Dedicated to those that suffer from BPD and those who wish to understand it better. I found this on YouTube. This is the first video that helped me understand what has been going on inside me for so very long. I don't feel so alone or crazy now. Well, sort of. Also, while making my first slide show, I realized that the pictures and the stories that they told were indicators of BPD, but I didn't connect it with me. Clinically clueless, again. Yes, I know it now. And, I think I have a little more compassion for myself. Imagine that. I hope the video is helpful to you. Thank you to aperfectingangel at YouTube.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fun, Humorous & Healing ~ Slide Show II

This second slideshow is an extension of the first one. This one shows some of the rest of me which uses pictures that are fun, humorous, silly, inspirational and Christian.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Shine Jesus Shine" ~ Worship in Song

After this heavy week, I thought we could use an upbeat and uplifting worship song. In the song, it basically asks for more of Jesus's light. I love this song and it is always uplifting to me. I hope it is the same for you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Past & Present all in my head and feelings!! ~ Slideshow I

This slide show will be triggering, so if you are not in a good place do not watch it!!! Don't even try to push yourself!! If you are triggered, please go to your safe places and people. You can also blog or write a long comment. I don't mind and Blogger seems to take it. Be gentle with yourself.

I wasn't feeling up to writing, but felt like I really wanted to finish this slide show that I've been working on. It is a way to tell myself and others what has been going on inside due to my current work in therapy and the flashbacks. I am overwhelmed, but I feel good about the slideshow. Yet, a little ashamed and embarrased as I again feel like I'm showing you a little too much of my soul. But, there must be a part of me that wants to share it; otherwise, I would not have posted it. It was also helpful for me in expressing, in someway, what it feels like in my head and my body. I think I will also put it up in my sidebar, but it will be more difficult to see.

"Moonshadow" ~ a labrador puppy's life!

I thought I would pick some things that usually makes me happy. Black labradors and music used to be two of things that would cheer me up. At least, I feel a little better after watching this. I also love this song, but don't listen to the lyrics because they can be depressing. Enjoy the story of Moonshadow the black labrador puppy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: July 28, 2005~during work day

Hi Everyone!!! Yesterday's post and Wordle did me in...cannot focus on my mother right now. I am emotionally exhausted. So, here is a journal entry.


It is so very loud today...the suicidal thoughts, the plans, wanting to cut and bruise and planning ways to do it at work, wanting to die, the flashbacks and feeling bad.

I think, the feeling bad was made worse by two of my coworkers being very loud and wearing a lot of fragrance. Also, I've been panicky and generally on edge and overwhelmed and when they came in it just added, so much to it.

Feeling bad about what we talked about yesterday and just this week. Also, getting anxious with you being out of town. Also, feels like I need to cry. I just want to disappear and go away. Just die.

"Why," keeps running through my head. Why did my step-father and his father, Jon and the day program do what they did? I find it confusing. I also feel bad because I liked their attention and special treatment. I liked them and though that they liked me.

I keep hearing you saying that my step-father was sadistic. That seems really hard to accept. I don't want to see it like that. Yet, I know it fits. Even harder to see my mother in that light.

I've been in the car trying to get some quiet, bet now there is a jack hammer and gardeners going on all around me. I am feeling overwhelmed by all the noise. And, I don;t want to go back to the office.

So, I went for a walk. Came back and it was quiet until the two same coworkers returned from lunch. However, they did eventually quiet some. But, I've been feeling really overwhelmed, panicky and on edge. The thoughts have been getting louder. I found the utility knife at work, but didn't use it. Tempting. Feel like crying.

Sometimes, I feel like crying just because it feels good to have you listen to me. Your support and encouragement feels good. Really scares me too.

Also, thinking about what I said about when you went to San Jose about feeling like you were intentionally trying to hurt me. Makes more sense now, but only if I take into account that my step-father and my mother were sadistic. It is such a harsh word.

It has been bugging me trying to remember what you said over the weekend about why the teasing bothered me so much.

Flash of pictures, feelings and sensations about all the things we've been talking about. Feels so crazy, intrusive and stressing.

Observations: I am really emotionally wiped out, so I am not going to make any here. Maybe, later tomorrow or maybe not.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Growing up with a mother with a borderline personality disorder!!

If you are a parent with borderline personality disorder or any other type of mental illness, do not run away and I hope you don’t take this personally or become defensive because this is not my intent. I want to tell you what I experienced. Part of the damage is because my mother does not take responsibility for anything and everything is someone else’s fault. She doesn’t have any insight, does not think anything is wrong with her, has never had any treatment and still treats me in the same manner. Also, I did not have any sort of counter balance with her. If you are reading this, it probably means that you do have insight and have some way of counter balancing when you slip. When reading this please be gentle with yourself. Even with my having had a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, my therapist told me that I would make a good mother.

Over the last couple of weeks, besides what has been going on in my blog, therapy has been extremely difficult as I am having a flood of auditory, visual and body memories related to the things that my mother used to say to me. My therapist is trying to get me to see that it doesn’t make sense because she has a borderline personality disorder (BPD). It only makes sense in the context that she was severly borderline.

Yes, my mother has a severe borderline personality disorder which I don’t really want to look at. I am defending and trying everything I can to look at something else, but her voice and what she said has been so loud in my head. My therapist assigned a Wordle to put those thoughts down on paper and I put over 100 phrases. I posted it, but you can’t read it because it is too small. You have to click on the picture to get a larger view. But, I don’t want anyone doing that until I’ve explained some of what a borderline personality disorder is and how I experienced it. This is going to be at least a two part series.

There are four books I recommend which are on the Amazon recommendation list on the widget in the right sidebar. They are I Hate You-Don't Leave Me, Stop Walking on Eggshells, Understanding the Borderline Mother and Surviving a Borderline Parent. Almost all of the clinical information will be coming from these books. Stop Walking on Eggshells has a workbook also their subtitle is Taking You Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder.

For me, the sexual abuse was horrendous and I am still working though it, but it was not the most damaging part of my abuse. It actually has its roots in my mother’s BPD and her ambivalence in not wanting me. Actually, neither of my parents wanted me and seemed to hate each other along with my father’s father not wanting me and blaming my mother on the pregnancy. Yes, they were married because of her being pregnant with me. She was never treated for her BPD and will deny that she needs therapy as a result she still does some of the same things to me as when I was a child.

In the Introduction to Surviving a Borderline Parent, it explains some of what a child might go through.
“As a child, did you feel like you fell short, disappointing a parent, stepparent, or caretaker because you weren’t good enough, didn’t do enough, or just weren’t able to please, no matter how hard you tried? Did you feel responsible for your parent’s happiness and guilty if you felt happy yourself? Did you feel damned if you did and damned if you didn’t, that whatever you did or said was the wrong thing (and boy would you pay for it)? Were you accused of things you hadn’t done? Did you feel manipulated at times? Feel appreciated one minute and attacked the next? Thought you must be ‘crazy’ because a parent’s actions or reactions didn’t make any sense? Question your own intuition, judgment, or memory, believing you must have missed or misinterpreted something? Did you feel on guard all the time, that life with you parent was never predictable?

You weren’t crazy. Not then, and not now, though it may still feel that way. What felt crazy-making to you may well have been being parented by someone who had traits of borderline personality disorder.

No one chooses their parents and, as young children, once you’re brought into this world, you’re not in a position to opt out of your relationship with them In fact, you desperately need them-to provide food and shelter, to prompt you to learn, to model ways to interact in society, to nurture you, to show you affection, and to provide unconditional love. A parent with BPD, however, may not have been able to consistently provide all of these things to you, through no fault of deficit of yours. They may not have received that kind of care themselves. It may seem ironic, but your parent may actually have consciously or unconsciously reinforced you as the caretaker to meet his or her needs, to be the nurturer and provider of emotional support, even though you were a child.”

A couple of years ago when I first read this opening, I was quite shocked to see that someone put into words everything I experienced. Even, today as I write it, I still feel as if those words were meant directly for me. Also, I was definitely the "adult" and caretaker of my mother feeling the need to protect her, defend her and calm her down. (This is a really difficult post for me to write...I just want to go away, but it is also reinforcing that she really was borderline)

The following is a table taken from Understanding the Borderline Mother.

Variations in Maternal Functioning

The Ideal Mother versus The Borderline Mother

  1. Comforts her child versus Confuses her child.

  2. Apologized for inappropriate behavior versus Does not apologize or remember inappropriate behavior.

  3. Takes care of herself versus Expects to be taken care of.

  4. Encourages independence in her children versus Punishes or discourages independence.

  5. Is proud of her children's accomplishments versus Envies, ignores, or demeans her children's accomplishments.

  6. Builds her children's self-esteem versus Destroys, denigrates, or undermines self-esteem.

  7. Responds to her children's changing needs versus Expects children to respond to her needs.

  8. Calms and comforts her children versus Frightens and upsets her children.

  9. Disciplines with logical and natural consequences verses Disciplines inconsistently or punitively.

  10. Expects that her children will be loved by others versus Feels left out, jealous or resentful if the child is loved by someone else.

  11. Never threatens abandonment versus Uses threats of abandonment (or actual abandonment) to punish the child.

  12. Believes in her children's basic goodness versus Does not believe in her children's basic goodness.

  13. Trusts her children versus Does not trust her children.

Okay, it is my turn to address each one of these the best I can in terms of my relationship with my mother...does anyone else want to volunteer for this please...oh, this is a blog not an interactive class. *sigh* I guess, I make the first comments, huh?

  1. Comfort was always confusing to me because even to this day I do not think of her as a comforting person to go to. I would end up being yelled at, teased, comforting her, discounted or completely ignored. I quickly learned that she was not a person to go to.

  2. Apologies are definitely not one of my mother's strong points. I actually cannot ever remember her apologizing to me. And, when "confronted" she would deny having done anything or saying anything wrong.

  3. Taking care of herself is something that she did not do very well and I often, as I stated above, took care of her. My family tells a story of my getting angry at my grandmother for yelling at my mother. I kicked my grandmother and told her to be nice to her. I was only three.

  4. Independence was a fine line because sometimes she wanted me to be more independent than I was prepared for or was age appropriate and, other times, I was too stupid to do it myself. At the age of 6, I walked halfway down the block to a major street past the 7-11, which was robbed numerous times, past the gun shop across one small street to purchase bread at the little bread store in the neighborhood.

  5. Being proud is one thing that I'm actually unsure of because I know that she has said that she was proud of my accomplishments at school. I graduated with highest honors from high school and with honors from college and was given an big deal award from our faculty, but there was something in it that always felt like I was an extension of her so she was proud of herself and not necessarily me. I don't know if that makes sense to you. My therapist understands though. I've experience envy, ignoring and demeaning behavior toward me especially in relationship to my marriage, but I won't get into it. It would be a whole post in itself.

  6. What self-esteem can occur when you are constantly being told you are stupid, evil, can't do anything and are teased and taunted at every opportunity.

  7. Needs are something I don't think she ever saw in me. She has always said that she never had to worry about me. Even when I was admitted for my first psychiatric hospitalization she told me, "that I've always had a good head on my shoulders and have made good decisions." So, does that mean that I didn't need anyone because I had decided to hospitalize myself? What part of psychiatric hospitalization do people not get?

  8. Well, I already wrote about calms and comforts. When I was a kid, I hit my head on a sharp edge of a coffee table and a family member saw it and I was calm and so was she. But, when my mother saw it she became hysterical and had to be calmed down and then I burst into tears because she scared me. I ended up needing stitches, but she was outside with a nurse who calmed her down while a family member held my hand and calmed me. Normally, I'm the one who can most immediately calm her down.

  9. Discipline is something that was rather confusing because it never made sense when I would get into trouble or not. I could do exactly the same thing or say the same thing in the same circumstances and be ignored or it would blow up into this huge thing with her yelling at me and hitting me. It was like walking on eggshells all the time or a minefield, never knowing what was going to be set off and the mines kept moving. This was both with my mother and step-father. I received it from both sides.

  10. Expects that others would love me. Uh, no not my experience because I was told that I was unlovable, evil, bad and that no one wanted me, liked me or loved me. "Feels left out, jealous or resentful if the child is loved by someone else." I do remember thinking in some circumstances that she was jealous or resentful of the attention I received versus her from certain individuals. Then, she would become extremely hostile and passive-aggressive toward me.

  11. Abandonment, well my life started out with that, but as I became older it was threatened. She would tell me that she was going to just leave me somewhere or to kill me.

  12. My goodness was obviously not a thing she believed with all the stuff that she did and said that constantly told me that I was evil and bad. I don't think I can get into that now...too difficult. Although the Wordle would give you an idea of what it has been like. It is on the side bar entitled, "Mommy Says!"

  13. I really don't want to think or write about my mother trusting me or not.

So, that was difficult and that is a glimpse into what growing up with a borderline mother. No solid attachment anywhere or predictability. Please, unless you think you might be triggered, read the Wordle to gain a better perspective of the types of things that were said to me. I have left out quite a bit of information that would identify me much of which is the teasing and taunting phrases and family stuff. But, you will get a good enough picture.

Well, I am exhausted after doing this post and dealing with this in therapy. I think the most tiring part is that I am fighting the process. So enough for now, if I feel up to it, I'll do another part of it for tomorrow's post; otherwise, my old journal entries will have to do. Oh, don't forget to check out my Amazon book recommendations also. (hee-hee. I get paid if you purchase the books via my link or even if you click on it. Shhhh).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: July 27, 2005 ~ 6:20 pm ~ before session


I got through my afternoon meetings okay. Actually, I think, I did some good work with some difficult situations. But, it was like the moment the meeting ended the flashbacks, wanting to die, wanting to kill myself, make purchases and cut and bruise myself started even before I would leave the room.

Your call this afternoon was helpful, as well, as your recordings. [I was having a continually escalating difficult time with the thoughts and flashbacks. I was also calling him much more than before.] I went home in between meetings just to use the restroom and was tempted to bruise, but I remembered my promise to you this afternoon during our telephone call and did not do anything. Waiting for the Metrolink train to pass, I thought about that being a way to kill myself, but I wouldn't want to put anyone through that.

I've been thinking about what my step-father did is in a different category than his father, Jon and the day program. Then, I began to remember some of those incidents. After the time with my step-father, his father used to come into the room in the morning when I spent the night there or if his mother were with a client and I was taking a nap. I thought, I figured out a way to stop him in the morning as I remembered I started waking up first and then going into their room. He still bothered me sometimes during my nap or if we were alone in the garage he would put his hand in my underwear and put his fingers inside.

With Jon, I remember going to Magic Mountain with him on year and had a good time just the two of us. I even have some pictures of the park which had recently opened. He took me the following year and I had a good time. But, when we got to the parking lot, he had me lay down in the back seat, took my shorts and underwear off and forced himself on me. We never went anywhere together again. I remember thinking I made him mad, that I did something wrong because he didn't like me anymore.

At the day program, I remember one of the Mexican staff used to somehow get me away from the group to a fairly secluded areas at some of the parks. He would sort of playfully tackle me to the ground and put his fingers inside me. But, after one outing there wasn't many people left and I was playing billiards back at the center with the Kinks, "Lola" in the background.

He took me and his friend to one of the activity rooms furthest away from the everyone and locked the door and he forced himself on me. Then, his friend, who I thought was going to do the same, took some sort of wooden handled thing, like a broom handle or something...it was painted red and shoved it into me which really hurt. I remember the feel of the plastic mats under me sticking and just staring at the color blocks on the wall. He used to give me special treats like ice cream and let me sit in the front seat. I thought he liked me.

What my step-father's father, Jon and what happened at the day program was bad, but somehow I really put it in a different category and discount it as it wasn't as bad as what my step-father did...they seemed gentler. Seems confusing.

Observations: At the time that these memories began, I was in much denial. Also, I did not have all of the details of the extent of the sexual abuse from my step-father, his father or Jon. I also kept trying to really minimize what did occur. What I know now is that everyone except for the day program guys participated in sadistic ritualistic sexual abuse, but first gained my trust. As a result, my feeling betrayed and that I did something wrong was really heightened. In my journals, I can tell that I am slowly remembering details of the abuse. To this day, I still have a few new memories. I'm really tired of them and wish that it would stop.

Monday, July 21, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: July 25/26, 2005


As we discussed, I told my husband tonight about my bruising, but not the extent of how. I told him that this is why I've been so secretive. I also told him that I've been having flashbacks. He asked if he could do anything to help and I told him that even though during these times that I want to push him away that I really need him to hug me. He told me he really liked me letting him in and trusting him more. However, I'm feeling badly and wanting to bruise [automatic reaction to talking]

The question "why" keeps running through my head. Sometimes, followed by "what did I do wrong?" It is really difficult to accept that I couldn't do anything. Also, difficult to comprehend how my mother could know and not do anything. [It wasn't why me, but why do people do these things.]

Actually, she just hurt me more. I keep remembering how physically painful everything was. Feels like a part of me is just screaming "why?" I even remember the feel of the carpet on my skin. I keep thinking that I just wanted my step-father to like me. I don't know why that was so important. Maybe, I thought he wouldn't hurt me anymore if I could just get him to like me. I thought he hated me and sometimes thought my mother hated me too.

Beginning with last week and especially last night, I keep having flashes of my step-father and his father being on top of me in his bedroom. I want to talk and I don't want to talk. But, the flashbacks are becoming progressively louder, more vivid and there are more sensations. I think, waking up in a panic last night had to do with remembering my step-father being on top of me.

I didn't sleep very well last night and woke up extremely tired. It was good that I didn't have anything until 10 am and 10 minutes from home, so I could just do documentation and not have to interact with anyone. I think, part of the difficulty in sleeping has to do with having told my husband. Still makes me feel anxious and bad.

I'm really wanting to bruise today and I am trying really hard not to do so. I've been having some of the same flashbacks and new ones of being at my step-father's parents. I really hated going there in the summer with just him.

If my mother came, it was sort of okay. But, the summers were bad even spent several nights at a time including a week stay at a time. I really didn't want to stay. I remember being scared of my step-father and his father. It was kind of confusing because his father paid attention to me and he played the game and stuff I wanted to play, so I sort of liked him, but he scared me.

I didn't hate him like my step-father. Kind of confusing to me. But, I remember his father touching me. The house was usually really loud and lots of people were in and out all the time. I remember the smell of the incesnse which was being burned most of the time. I remember that was the first time I burned myself with the incense when no one was looking.

I remember his father being relatively quiet and passive and that he didn't work...don't know why. However, his mother was really loud and bossy. She did psychic reading usually in their bedroom and she seemed to talk non-stop. She wasn't able to work due to some neurological disease. It was fairly easy for his father to come into my step-father's room when I was taking a nap or sleeping, as know one noticed he was gone and it was so loud I don't think anyone ever heard him with me.

He was gentler than my step-father, so sometimes, I think, it wasn't as bad. And, in someways, it wasn't. It didn't hurt as much and I wasn't scared that he would harm me. I kind of liked him and thought he liked me. [My journals are telling my story as I remembered things. It was only until much later that I remembered the real truth...I couldn't handle it then.]

Feels like I need to talk about this stuff. But, it makes me really anxious. And I start to question if I'm making things up or that you are not going to believe me or that it isn't okay to talk. I've already talked about some of this before. [Again, my own thoughts and feeling and what I was told projected onto my therapist. However, every bit of it felt real and was automatic thinking.]

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hear the debate in my head!!

Word of warning...this post is not preplanned, so it is the ramblings off the top of my head...

I am at a point in my past journal entries where I begin to defend, project, and fragment more which means that my therapist becomes the target of a lot of my feelings and my borderline traits are shining through. It really is about my process of therapy, but it is embarrassing because of the way I behave, the thoughts in my head and my feelings. I know they are not based in any reality, but it is how I was handling things.

One part of me says that I need to share it because it shows me how far I've come. Also, says that others may benefit from seeing and hearing the interaction and craziness between myself and my therapist. Maybe, I won't feel so ashamed if I let it out in the open and it was how I was handling the intensity of therapy and working at the same time and what led up to my hospitalization.

On the other hand, does anyone need to or want to hear it. Why should I reveal it. I don't have to. I can just get into the part of my journal where I'm dealing with the flashbacks. No one really needs to hear the whole process.

However, it does put everything into context and how trusting my therapist came to be...with a lot of anger and pain. Sigh, I guess, I just am embarassed about it all and don't want people to think I'm crazy. But, it really does show my borderline thinking in action and I've come so far. So, maybe it will help me and others.

Then, what do I want? Huh? I started this thing to tell my story and I really didn't think about it, but this is part of it. My relationship with my therapist through it all brings me to where I am today...and it is real. And the commentary I add will give me better perspective. Sigh...I didn't think that this would be so difficult which usually means that I'm supposed to share it.

I think my head is saying that I am boring people with my past journal. I'm not thinking very clearly and I am not in a good place. It is hard because right now, I keep hearing in my head all the things my mother used to scream and say to me...it is very loud. So, guess what my Wordle assignment for the weekend is. I need to put all those things down into a Wordle. I started yesterday and was so overwhelmed. Now, I am really rambling...I'd better stop.

The Banana Splits ~ Blast from the Past

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, syndicated as The Banana Splits and Friends Show, was an hour-long package television program featuring both live action and animated segments, that ran for 31 episodes on NBC Saturday mornings from September 7, 1968 to September 5, 1970. The series was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, the Banana Splits characters were designed by Sid and Marty Krofft and the series' sponsor was Kellogg's Cereals.

The format of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour was loosely based on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, a comedy-variety show airing on NBC at the time. Each show represented a meeting of the "Banana Splits Club," and the wraparounds featured the adventures of the club members, who doubled as a musical quartet (meant to be reminiscent of The Beatles and The Monkees). The main characters were Fleegle, a beagle; Bingo, a gorilla; Drooper, a lion, and Snorky (called "Snork" in the theme song lyrics), an elephant. (Information from Wikipedia)

A blast from my past that always makes me smile. I love the song, but careful...it gets locked into the brain and loops all day.

Here are the lyrics...in case you missed them.

Banana Splits Song (The Tra La La Song)
Written by Ritchie Adams & Mark Barkan
One banana, two banana, three banana, four
Four bananas make a bunch and so do many more.
Over hill and highway the banana buggies go
Comin'on to bring you the Banana Splits show

Makin' up a mess of fun,
makin' up a mess of fun
Lots of fun for everyone
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la

Four banana, three banana, two banana, one
All bananas playin' in the bright warm sun.
Flippin' like a pancake, popping like a cork
Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper an' Snork


Two banana, four banana, one banana, three
Swingin' like a bunch on monkeys, hangin' from a tree.
Hey there, ev'rybody, won't you come along and see
How much like Banana Splits ev'ryone can be

Makin' up a mess of fun,
makin' up a mess of fun
Lots of fun for everyone
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Luka" ~ Suzanne Vega

In 1987, when this song was released. I heard it fell in love with it, purchased it and burst into tears. Never told anyone that not even my therapist who I was seeing at the time, same one now. I had no context in which to put it because I had not considered what I knew to be abuse or did not remember anything, at least, on a conscious level. I still love this song because they use it also for child abuse awareness campaigns. (Yes, I still have my 45 with the picture sleeve...for those of you old enough to know what those are!!!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Feel Special!!!

Today, this Wordle was made for me by human carvery aka mini uk. Click on photo for a better view. This really made my day especially since I was having a really rough time with flashbacks. It was quite a wonderful surprise and made me feel special. I have it above my Wordles on my side bar as well. It really touched me and made me tearful. Thank you so much mini uk.

Who am I?

Mike's and Tamara's blogs both had this MEME and left it an open tag, so whoever wanted to do it could. I thought it was very interesting, so I am going to give it a go.

I am: a child of God, His daughter.

I think: too much. Need to verbalize and/or write more.

I know: that that I am not alone in my healing journey.

I have: a blessed life and a wonderful husband.

I wish: that depression and PTSD did not turn my life upside down.

I hate: injustice, lies, twisted truths especially when it comes to Jesus and some of the horrible things people can do to one another.

I miss: enjoying my life.

I fear: my feelings and trusting others.

I hear: too many negative thoughts in my head. Not voices, just my own thoughts

I smell: my coffee. How comforting and soothing.

I crave: chocolate and cookies right now. Want cookies!!! (I'm trying to reduce the simple refined sugars in my diet!!! Want cookies!!!)

I search: for God's presence everyday and find Him.

I wonder: why God allows so many horrendous things to happen. I know all the Biblical reasons, but bottom line I am not God and I will not know. It is probably better...our tiny brains are probably not equipped to handle such things.

I regret: nothing. Eveything I've said or done was something that I cannot take back, but I can try to make it better now. Remind me that when I'm being hard on myself.

I love: God, my husband, my family, my friends and some of the people I've met in blog world for they have touched my heart.

I ache: all over, as a feeling, but can't put words to it.

I am not: bad, evil or deserve to die. (Keep telling myself, keep telling myself, keep telling myself...brainwashing is hard to deprogram)

I believe: that people can change. If you look enough and they let their defenses down that everyone has value and worth and something to give.

I dance: (when not depressed) at concerts, during worship songs at church, while doing housework with music on.

I sing: (when not depressed) most of the time especially if there is music playing.

I cry: during happy and sad movies and for other people's pain. However, this is difficult for me to do for myself.

I fight: my inner battles of ambivalence inside myself.

I win: because I lived through my traumas and now have a great life.

I lose: my mind...if found, please send it to me ASAP. I'll pay for shipping and handling fees.

I never: n/a. Too polarized of a word.

I always: n/a. Too polarized of a word. No, change that to I always love my husband even when I don't like him, I still love him with everything that I have.

I confuse: others sometimes because I can be intensely serious to completely silly. People have difficulty putting the two together. Right, Bradley?

I listen: well to others. I am always working on listening to God and to myself. The latter being the most difficult.

I am scared: of trusting others and my feelings especially rage, terror and pain. Also, of my needs...I don't have any needs...lies!!! (oh, I'm having a conversation with myself. Hey, it is private. Don't listen in. Don't worry. I'm just fine!)

I need: to allow others into my life and to trust more.

I am happy about: that I have a great life now...I just wish I could hurry up and deal with the past and move on. In reality, I really do have a good life now with the exception of dealing with major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

I imagine: a world where God's love is the only thing we can see...one day when there is no more tears, pain, horror, terror and evil.

I would like to tag no one. I will follow Mike's and Tamara's leads and tag anyone who wants to give this a try and then leave me a message so I can see what you wrote.

Past Journal Entry: July 22, 2005 ~ 6:00 pm


I haven't been feeling very good since last night. I was really feeling bad and felt like when I got in my car that I detached and just went away. Felt like that when I got home which is why, I think, I pushed my husband away. Also, why I didn't leave too many messages with you ...not that I didn't thing to do so. However, at work, it was a little difficult as I had a two-hour meeting in the morning at the office.

I've felt buzzy and been having trouble staying present even during my afternoon meeting. I've been feeling really bad and kind of sensitive to everything. Feel like I've just been going away. The thoughts have been loud too. Really, really want to bruise. Having flashbacks too. Feel like crying.

I remember how bad I felt all the time and confused and scared. I wish I could stop seeing my step-father or my mother's face when they were angry. I was so scared. I sometimes feel my mother grabbing my right arm to get my attention or to slap me. She grabbed really hard. Sometimes, I can feel him grabbing my left arm to yell at me. Sometimes, I can hear them yelling at each other or at me and how scared I was and how my stomach hurt and how much I just wanted to cry.

And, I keep having flashes of the whole Barbie thing, including the physical sensations, how much it hurt, how terrified I was, how angry I was at both of them, how painful it was that no one listened to me, how bad I felt, how confused and how much I wanted to cry, but didn't.

Just the look in his eyes scared me. I wasn't sure how much he was going to do because he seemed so out of control and so angry with me. I remember dreading my mother coming home because at that point, I think, I had already given up hope that she would listen to me. She listened to what he said and that was it...she always believed whatever he said, so he set me up sometimes. I can feel myself going away right now.

Felt like everyone was so angry all the time. I guess they were. The look he had in his eyes was the same look he had when we were at his parents in his bedroom. By then, I really knew not to make a sound especially cry. It was the same look that he would get when he would scream at me. My chest and stomach really hurt. I really want to just disappear...make it all go away.

There is also a small part that wants to talk to you and not carry it on my own. There is also a part that says, not to talk because I already have talked about this stuff. I really was scared all the time of him and of my mother. I'm tearing up a little.

I am back to work after taking time off and continuing to have greater difficulties despite the increased medications. I felt like I was barely holding it together, but felt like I had to...it was like I couldn't lose control over work too. Work and school were always two places that I excelled and I kept thinking I'll get caught up which, under normal circumstances, I could have.

In actuality, I was having greater and greater difficulties at the time being present and focusing. I was still seeing Geoffrey, I think, five times a week. Yesterday, I was talking with a friend who was also a coworker, but left before this time. She is one of the few people that know about this blog. We are alot alike and she asked me, "What the hell were you working for? Your ass should have been out of there!" I told her that in writing my blog that I realize that I should not have been working or functioning at the level that I was. Then she said, "You had to keep it together at work for you." Looking at it now, I think it was a pretty unwise decision, but I don't think it would change my actions. Thing is no one at work really knew. Oh, I was also rapidly losing weight which was being monitored and people began to make comments at work.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Past Journal Entry: July 21, 2005 ~ 6:30 PM & Gap in Time

Although my last journal entry was not that many days from this one's date, I wrote almost everyday. However, much of it was repetitive with the suicidal thoughts, and wanting to bruise. I somewhere along the way had taken some time off from work, but remained even more symptomatic. As a result, my medications were increased and the option of taking more time off was discussed. The whole Barbie incident really became intrusive and kept replaying in my head, visually and the worst part was the physical sensations. Also, I did go back to work, but had even a more difficult time in concentrating.

What I am writing today is an excerpt from that day's entry. I'm feeling a little buzzy today. I can't wait for this week to be over. It has been very hot. I'm glad for air conditioning [I have always been extremely sensitive to heat even now, I get over heated, to the point of fainting, in an air conditioned house if it is hot outside.] Remember going minature golfing and telling my mother that I wasn't feeling well and that everything was getting dark. She told me to stop playing around and didn't believe what I said...she will even refer to it now telling me that she thought I was just fooling around.

In actuality, I was reacting to the heat and was beginning to faint, so I went inside the air conditioned arcade and found a corner quickly and sat down until I felt better. I just told my mother, I was going to the restroom and rejoined them after. This began while I was in elementary school. Although others, in my family believed me and had experienced my fainting, my mother just told them that I was dramatic and looking for attention.

Feeling buzzy like my head doesn't want to take in what I wrote. Kind of feels that way about what we've been talking about for the past two weeks. Feels confusing and hard to grasp. My stomach hurts...both my stomach and chest have been hurting on/off all week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Don't Want To Look Behind The Door By Myself!!

I hate to break up my own party, but this has been on my mind for a while. It started on Friday during my therapy session. We talked about my suicidal ideation. My therapist said, something like, "I always take you seriously, but realize that it has been more intense before and you haven't followed through." He said a bunch of other stuff, but I had gone away.

I immediately thought that he wasn't taking my suicidal thoughts seriously and that I was making too big a deal about it, that I would never follow through, was being manipulative with it, that it was not that bad, etc... All the same stuff that runs through my head all the time, at some level.

Well, that put me in a bad place for the weekend. I left a couple of messages and starting crying on them. I just didn't feel good and did not know what that meant. Toward the end of Sunday, I realized that I wanted to be angry at him. Meaning that I knew that I wasn't really angry at him, but he was the target and I didn't feel angry toward him and didn't know what to do. (Are you confused yet?...Then, I'm not trying hard enough.)

When I saw him on Monday, he pushed the issue and had me focus on being angry at him. With much reluctance and after a time of trying to decide to go away or stay in the room emotionally and mentally, not physically, I told him that I felt like he didn't take me seriously. He did state that he always takes it seriously, and that I could kill myself anytime. He also said that he takes my history into account that I have always told him when I've been in trouble and needed hospitalization.
I started to talk about how young and how the thoughts seem like they never stop. We kept talking about that and my still feeling like he didn't understand.

Then, there was a turn. He kept asking me questions and I began to cry and he continued to gently push and I felt comforted and like he put his arm around me. And, somewhere inside of me we found this really hidden door, but I was terrified because I had no idea what was inside. Normally, I would back away and not share the room with anyone until I looked. This time was different because I felt like we opened the unknown door together.

I began to really cry and told him that I realized that as a child I felt like something was wrong with me and that the suicidal thoughts I was having really did mean that I was bad and evil. That I believed I had evil spirits and this is why I thought that way. Explains why I had such a strong reaction to the woman on the Godlinked site. It also hit me that the cult and my mother and almost everyone else had really brainwashed me, but it did hit me until that moment that I really did believe them as a child. Also, there still is a small part that still believes it.

I left not in a good place (I was feeling like I was evil and deserved to die) and left a message asking him to call me. Talking to him was very helpful. I am being flooded with the feelings that I had as a child of not only the suicidal/hopeless thoughts, but of feeling, bad, evil and that I did not deserve to live. It is quite overwhelming. They are really intense flashbacks.

I am angry that I believed them and the lies and that it has had such an impact on me. I am also sad thinking and seeing myself as a little girl even at two having all that going through her head. How must it be for a child if my being an adult has difficulty with it being overwhelming. As expected, the suicidal thoughts and wanting to cut are loud.

I keep going away as a way to avoid feeling and thinking about the reality. How does a child grow up thinking that everytime she has a suicidal thought, which was all the time, that she is evil, bad and deserves to die? Or to even believe that she really does deserve to die, is bad and is evil. What an awful way to grow up and to continue these thoughts into adulthood.

I really was brainwashed and believed that I was evil...overwhelmed, angry, sad, confused. However, I don't feel alone...I feel like I am trusting my therapist further which is also scary and comforting. I feel like he is there right with me...finally someone to talk to and to listen to all the thoughts that are hidden behind such a tangled maze...what else is there?

MY 100th POST...WOW!!!!!

Today, I have reached a milestone and I am proud of it. Since I began Clinically Clueless on 5/8/08, I have posted 99 posts, so this is officially number 100. Wow!! I can’t believe it. When I started, I really did not know what a blog was and had seen only a few. I also had never looked at a mental health or personal journal type. Well, now I feel like, even though, it has been just over two months that I’ve seen, read and written much.

I also have grown personally and it has helped my therapy process tremendously along with my Internet skills. Writing about my past, having people read and know, receiving affirmation & encouragement & support and redirection has been especially helpful. I don’t feel so alone and I feel like I can say whatever I need to…now, whether or not I want to or am read is a whole different thing. I also don't feel so alone with the the struggles I share that are going on currently.

I also feel like I’m gaining my voice back by making comments on other people’s blogs, becoming active in some of the social networking communities, becoming more outspoken, being more assertive, being edgy (stirring the pot, which is what I am like when I am not depressed), accepting and letting compliments sink in without deflecting most of the time.

I really want to thank everyone who has encouraged and supported me and even those who haven’t for that has been a learning experience and helped me to grow. Three “communities” have been influential in this process the
Experience Project, Godlinked and most importantly, GO! Smell the Flowers (GSTF). GSTF is a great place to go for a break. They have many contributors from all over the world with all sorts of different view points and backgrounds. There are several posts a day and can range from hilarious, odd, zany, serious, makes you think to I never thought of that. Check them out and get involved in their community...no one has bitten yet, but there are so many view points which can make for some heated topics. Most roses come with thorns remember. But, they have been a place where I feel I can really be myself with my opinions and all...I am becoming brave there.

I’m sorry if I don’t mention you specifically, but everyone along the last two months have been important to me in my process. However, at the very beginning there are some special bloggers that really welcomed me and helped me to feel accepted and comforted into this strange world. So, I want to say a special thank you to (in no particular order)
Catatonic Kid, Shiv’s Brain, The People Behind My Eyes, How is Bradley and Writing to Survive.

I don’t plan to go anywhere for a while. I still need this type of environment to tell my truth~my story of what has happened to me. Besides, I’m only in July of 2005 in my journal and it really takes off in, I thing February of 2006. Thanks for following the confusion of past to present to past past. I know it gets complicated, but it all is interwoven and related to my process.

The thing that I am actually most grateful for is that my blog has helped de-stigmatize mental illness, has encouraged others to open up more in therapy and on their own blogs, has helped others not to feel so alone, and are learning from my experiences. It feels good to know that I can help someone even when I’m depressed and can’t seem to do the things I want for myself. So, happy 100th post to me!! (Next milestone…one year…I have a way to go until then). Thanks again!!! :-)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Past Journal Entry: July 14, 2005


When I came home today, I really wanted to bruise myself, so I decided to fingerpaint. After the fourth one, when I looked at it my stomach dropped and it scared me. Made me feel my hopeless and I just wanted to cry, so I stopped painting.

Remembered how hopeless I felt that it would get better, anyone would ever listen, anyone would ever understand, that I would ever feel better, that the suicidal thoughts would stop or I would stop wanting to hurt myself. Right now, my stomach and chest hurt and I want to cry. Remember being hopeless that my mother would ever listen to me, understand me, take care of me or protect me.

I really don't feel good right now...really wanting to hurt myself. Really want to bruise. Self-injury seems like it was my way of numbing out, punishing myself and expressing rage toward myself, my step-father and my mother.

Keep having flashbacks. Mostly, just waves of feelings and just wanting to cry. So, overwhelmed, panicked, sad, scared, angry, confused, trapped, helpless and hopeless. Feeling like I was bad all the time and deserved to die. Either feels like I'm in the apartment or in our house. Felt so alone and like no one would ever listen or understand.

Sometimes the flashbacks are an actual event. Remembering some of the arguments, getting hit, screamed at, my step-father forcing me to eat the tofu or just the anger in his face like he had with the Barbie stuff. [I'll explain this in the observation section.]

Sometimes, remember numbing out, going away, trying to disappear, etc... Happened frequently even at school, in the car, listening to music, reading, watching television, etc... Remember not knowing what was being said or losing track of my teachers or the television show...basically, like losing time. Sometimes, the suicidal thoughts would take me away. Other times, there would be nothing. Just buzzy and numb. My stomach and chest hurt. Can feel myself tearing up.

Observations: Today as I write this I find it interesting that I used the words, "I don't feel good right now," because that is what I have been saying and have not been able to be very specific. I did have a "homework" assignment with doing another Wordle about "I don't feel good." I posted as the last image on the side bar, if you want to see.

Well, up above, I said I would write about the "Barbie" stuff. I'm really not wanting to do it. Feeling a little ashamed and I know it will make it more real than I want to do right now...or maybe I want it to be more real. This memory isn't one that I repressed until this go-around in therapy. I spoke about it when I first was in therapy with Geoffrey, but that is as far as it went and there was not much else.

Okay, here goes...During the time my-stepfather and I were alone in the apartment, he only grew more violent and sadistic, at times, almost verges on torture. There was an incident when he wanted to play Monopoly, but I didn’t. I wanted to play with my Barbie’s. He began to scream at me and called me spoiled and that I need to do what he tells me to do. He pushed me to the ground and pulled my pants and underwear off and shoved one of my Barbie’s feet first into my vagina and then removed it and shoved the second one in…it felt like he was intentionally trying to hurt me and like he shoved it in as far as he could while turning it. I felt like I was going to pass out it hurt so much. I also remember the green carpet and my trying to dig my nails into it because it hurt so much. I remember the feel of the shallow pattern on my hand. Then, later on my face, I could feel the carpet.

Then, he had forced me on my stomach and began beating me with his belt. I wanted to die…felt like he was going to kill me. When my mother came home, she immediately began yelling and hitting and slapping me because my step-father had told her that I "misbehaved" that day. I was assaulted and raped by my step-father with my Barbies and then assaulted by my mother. (Okay now, I want to go away and take it all back, no one is going to believe me, shouldn't have written it, it wasn't that bad, I'm lying, etc...all going through my head.)

When I did the fingerpaintings below, my last one scared me because I felt the hopelessness which is, I think, represented by the black. Right now, I'm thinking about feeling that black hole in my chest, the one that all I can say now is, "I don't feel good."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Arms of Love ~ written by Craig Musseau ~ Worship In Song!

This worship song was released in 1991 and continues to be one of the most comforting songs for me and I thought it would be a nice way to end off last week and begin this week. May the Lord touch you with this song today.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Humor for the Day: Rapid Cycling?

This is dedicated to all my friends with bipolar disorder.
Permission granted for non-profit use by artist: Chato B. Stewart.
Go to http://www.mentalhealthhumor.com/ to see more of his work.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Past Journal Entry: July 12, 2005 ~ Evening ~ Part II

Continuation of Past Journal Entry of July 12, 2005

Feels like I'm trying to comprehend how bad it got when I was a teenager, but it is like trying to grasp a cloud. I can't seem to quite get it. But, if how I've been feeling and thinking is any indication...it was quite awful [At this point in time, I am having a difficult time with finding the right words to describe how I am feeling so I just keep saying awful. My therapist says that it is/was an indication of how young I was during the first sets of trauma]. I feel like crying.

School, church and our family friend were my escapes. And, Miss B was really a good buffer...Also, someone else to take care of my mother. I really wanted to live with her...almost did one summer and semester because it was so hot. She had air conditioning, but we didn't.

From my senior year on, it seems that the only time my step-father and I spoke was when we were arguing or he was screaming or yelling at me. Not, that he was home much even when my mother was pregnant and required bed rest. I got to the point where on most nights, he didn't come home after work, but went out with his buddies and played basketball and then went drinking afterward. My mother either took her anger out on me and before she needed bed rest we would go out to eat and go shopping. Most of the time, Miss B would come.

My step-father really enjoyed boxing and would do the pay per view stuff and invite a bunch of friends over. I just remember being so on edge (even more so than just the fear of being killed) because about a week before the event my mother would start to get moody and then the whole cleaning of the house while screaming at me the day of the event.

Then, the party would be so loud. Sometimes, I had to stay home and listen to my mother complain. Other times, we would go shopping. He would always end up drunk and would never help setting up or cleaning after. So, my mother would be even angrier when we cleaned up and would either complain the whole time, throw things and/or scream at me. I used to get so anxious throughout the whole process. And, everyone in the house would be on edge and there would be daily arguments about it.

I am really grateful that my husband doesn't watch sports or even television much and doesn't need to have things loud.

During my second semester in college, my step-father had a psychiatric hospitalization for almost slugging his supervisor, but instead hit his locker injuring his hand. (Sure wish, I could have seen his chart) Afterward, he was home all the time on disability and began a lawsuit against his employer, which he eventually won a settlement. But, that was another source of their arguing.

Often, I didn't sleep as, he would be typing notes on an electric typewriter all night without going to bed or he would be up all night watching television...usually adult films...the volume was loud. Since he wasn't working, he was home all the time. I started working which helped, but that was also when my eating disorder became a more significant problem as my boss even talked to me about my weight loss and not eating.

My third semester was really awful because I wasn't going to school as I took time off to go to Europe, so took the whole semester off. The problem was that my step-father wasn't working, so often it was the two of us at home. I tried to stay in my bedroom as much as I could and worked as much as I could. It made me even more anxious all the time. Also, a couple I met at church befriended me, and "adopted" me into their family which helped a great deal as they had a son that required "babysitting."

I came across some of my journaling during this time and afterward until the divorce and it all sounds so familiar. Constantly, thinking of specific ways to kill myself and thinking that it would be better off if I were dead, that no one cares, I don't matter, I'm manipulative, I want too much and that I really hate myself. So many writings with those exact words. I though of suicide everyday and continued with the self-injury with bruising and cutting. I remember feeling so hopeless, misunderstood, alone, trapped and that I was bad.

Also, in the writing was my anger toward my mother because she constantly compared me to my best friend and say things like, "Why couldn't you be more like her." According to my writings, she used to tell me that my best friend was prettier, smarted, got along with her parents, didn't cause problems, etc...

I guess, I have always felt I wasn't enough or didn't deserve to be alive or exist. I just caused too many problems. I was also anxious and scared all the time. Although I don't remember it, the college group leader recently told me that he remembers my being afraid to go home.

Isaiah 49 :15 -16

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