Day 84 – Two Words

I had a really great day today. I did an interview and therapy and shopping etc.

But I heard two words on the radio that really triggered me.

Just two words. How is it possible to have hundreds of memories come flooding back in one small moment of time.

I immediately wanted to throw up. Little movies were playing in my mind.

This is PTSD. You think you have finally knocked it out and it sweeps over you like a tsunami.

I’m tired. Physically. Mentally. I went to the grocery store and couldnt shop. I came home with nothing. I wandered up and down each aisle thinking that I probably will never feel like eating again anyway.

I’m going to try to lay down and pray for the world to stop spinning.

Until next time – I am despising being MJ every day.

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Day 83 – Long Days

Since my second job is in retail, I’ve worked very long hours the last few weeks. I’m tired but it’s been good for me.

It took my mind off of healing and recovery. I was working so hard at trying to get better. I put so much pressure on myself to get well.

A couple of times during the past few weeks, I have really struggled with emotions and every day life. I tried to keep it to myself because I was sure that my friends would be annoyed that I’m still going thru stuff.

Ms. A says that I shouldn’t decide what other people will think and let them think for theirselves. Most of the time, I decide in my mind how someone will react to what I say long before I even say it.

I guess part of being vulnerable is not being able to predict the future.

I spent so much of my life trying to prepare for the worst, that I forgot that good results do happen.

I want to change my expectations, but what happens if I set myself up just to be let down again?

Having low expectations is much easier than the emotions of being hurt or let down.

Anyway, I am tired. From long hours of hard work. At least I’m not tired from crying, nightmares, flashbacks and awful memories.

True, I am sleeping very little because of working but again, I’m ok with blocking out these things when I’m overwhelmed.

Any family holiday is very hard for me and I’d prefer for them all to be cancelled.

Lonliness is hard to admit. Missing loved ones is hard to admit. Watching other families be together at the holidays is painful. Even though most of my family has disowned me, I still miss them.

I did some Christmas shopping today and was mostly just annoyed at what I used to enjoy celebrating.

I also think of my three brothers and my mother, as they have already passed.

My brother, Michael, loved Christmas. My favorite memory is of us flying a remote control helicopter in the nursing home. We laughed so much. It turned out to be his last Christmas.

This post is all over the place with random thoughts, but it’s really where my mind is. I feel scattered and messy. Like I need to sweep up my emotions and put them in a jar.

But now that they are open beginning to become real, I don’t think I can put them back. I would if I could, believe me.

I’m in for a very long busy week and a very important meeting on Tuesday. I’m going to try to just let it happen and not pre-judge the outcome.

If the week turns out bad I’m sure I will survive. Right?

Until next time, I am being MJ every day.

Day 82 – Am I hopeless?

This day. These feelings. I’m overwhelmed. I’m shocked that I’m once again overwhelmed. It feels like my first day of revovery and yet it seems like years since I had a stable week.

I am lost. Am I hopeless? Am I ever going to have peace? I want so badly to go back to my old ways of numbness. Maybe I missed some feelings or love but at least I didn’t feel hopeless.

I am going to lay down and pray that I wake up with a better feeling about myself.

I’m tired. The tired that can’t be fixed with sleep.

Until next time – I am being MJ everyday.

Day 81 – She was Innocent

I haven’t written since Friday because I’m trying to digest what happened in my therapy session on that day.

I went into it with a determination to start getting out all of this toxic waste I have stored in my head and heart.   I wasn’t sure I could do it, since I have been trying for 14 months now.

This stuff has been stored in me for more than 40 years.  No outlet.  No exit wounds.  Just stuffing it further down with things that only silenced the pain.  There were many things I did to hide it.  I did many things to keep the world from knowing how much waste was brewing inside.

At times, I felt I was free, but never because I had talked about it.  Only because I had managed to put it away for a while.  The problem is that since I never let it out, it never went away.

I guess I should be proud that I was able to at least start to share the “stuff”.  But it’s a lot like opening Pandora’s box.  You share one memory and dozens more come to your mind.  Then come the nightmares and the flashbacks.  The real time live memories, like it happened yesterday.

As I am recovering memories, I realize how much I had minimized each event.  I would say to myself, “Oh, that one wasn’t as bad as the other one”, etc.  The truth is that each time, I lost a piece of me.  Each time, one more shred of innocence was taken.

We all start out with a certain amount childhood innocence.  We are vulnerable and open to life and learning.   We are like clay waiting to be molded.  We are like a canvas waiting to be painted.  For me, it only took one event to change that clay to stone.  My canvas had black paint scattered all over it, before I could even begin to paint my picture of  my childhood.

Once that happened, there was no going back.  There was no way to find another blank canvas.  I couldn’t just ask for a do-over.  I couldn’t be put back into a womb and have a rebirth.  God, how I prayed for a new life or an early death many times.  I just wanted any other life besides my own.

I left out many details in my sessions with Ms. A for several reasons.  One, I thought that some of them were insignificant.  And two, I thought some details were just too unbelievable.  Usually, when I’m telling her something, I can’t look directly at her.. for fear of what her expression might be.  Would it be disbelief? Or sadness? Or anger? 

Since my memories of disclosing (the very few details that I did share) are so awful, I just never wanted to take the chance again.  

Now, my biggest challenge is to forgive myself for being innocent.   Forgive myself for being a child.  Forgive myself for not protecting myself.  I could never begin to be angry at those adults that didn’t protect me.  I just gave them a free pass.  

Putting it all into perspective as an adult is the most confusing and hardest thing I’ve had to do.  Each time a flashback comes, I’m 5 years old again.  I’m so small and insignificant.

My biggest obstacle now is loving that 5 year old and realizing that she can no longer be hurt. More than that, learning to love the adult that I am now and recognizing what an amazing story of survival I have to tell.

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I’m here to tell the story and that in itself is a miracle.  Thank you for taking this journey with me. 

Until next time –  I am being MJ every day.

 

 

 

 

Day 80 – Fearing Rest

I planned a vacation day today. I was going to be off work and enjoy some me time.

I did end up having me time but not the way I planned it.

I had some routine bloodwork yesterday morning and went on to work. I’ve been pretty tired the last few days but continued my normal workaholic life.

Late in the afternoon, I had a call from my Doctor’s office but missed them. By this time, Im feeling like I have the flu or something. I went out shopping for a bit but had to cut it short and go home.

I woke up this morning with zero energy so I just stayed in bed. I got another call from the doctor’s office and it turns out my potassium and electrolytes were out of whack.

I did what I hate to do. And that is rest. The whole time I’m bored and anxious.

I’m awful at self care and it does eventually catch up with me.

As I’m laying here today, I’m forced to think about why it’s so hard for me.

I think the number one reason is that I feel like such a failure if I have to rest. It wasn’t until this year that I realized where that comes from.

When I was a child, staying awake was my protection. Staying vigilant during the night meant that I could be aware and prepare for any visitors during the night.

And during the day, if I appeared rested and happy, no one would know the secrets.

It became a life long habit of hiding my weakness and failures.

Today I was forced to rest. My body said, “No more!”.

It’s frustrating and humiliating to know that I am, infact, human.

I have to conciously forgive myself. I was praying for God to help me with my lack of self care. I don’t thinks it’s intentional but more like habit and fear.

Fearing rest is what I do. It’s a bad habit. It’s not normal. I want to change all of my abnormal fears. Where do I start? Maybe I’ll start by just learning to breathe.

Until next time – I am being MJ every day.

Day 79 – I’m in Boston

I’m sitting here having dinner alone in Boston Market. I was just thinking that I should be trying not to think.

I don’t have great pictures or quotes to represent my mood. I’m feeling blank tonight. A combination of exhaustion andemotion overload.

Tomorrow is therapy with Ms. A. Every week, I say I’m not going, and every week I go.

Two reasons. One, it would be total rebellion to not show up. I would never do that. Two, I keep thinking that this will be the magic week. The session that cures me. The one where I walk out finally knowing who I am.

But the apprehension of what to say and how to act while I’m there drives me crazy.

Does everyone do this before therapy?

Last night I woke up yelling and crying in my sleep again. Only I guess I handled it a little better because I had a relatively non-emotional day.

Was that handling it well? Who knows? I don’t know what is right and wrong in this process.

All I know is that this disorder has me disordered.

So as I sit here (literally the only customer) trying to quiet my brain, I can’t help thinking that I should be in Boston. Or Atlanta. Or Houston. Or anyplace other than where I am at this moment.

Until next time – I am being MJ everyday.

Day 78 – The Past Lies

The last few days have been ok. I say that with a little bit of hesitation because I’m always thinking that another meltdown could be just around the corner.

Of course, I base most of my misbeliefs on details of the past.

If it happened before, it will happen again.

The truth is that the past lies. The past tells you that you can never change. The past tells you that life will always be hard. The past tells you that you can’t have a future.

The past has nothing new to say, no matter how many times you go back there.

Yes, we must learn from the past but if we don’t move forward, we cannot apply the lessons we have learned to our future.

My past is dark. Of course, not all of it. I do have great accomplishments. I do have a beautiful son and granddaughter. I did have love in my life at one time.

But looking back, all I see is the evil and darkness. I’m trying so hard to change the glasses that I view the past thru.

Looking back sometimes distorts your vision. But if you turn toward the future, the sunlight can always seep in.

Yes the parts of the past were horrible but it can’t determine my future. I have to face the truth but put it in perspective.

I’m scared to move on. I’ve grown accustomed to not having hope. I’ve been used to heartache. I’ve blocked a lot of opportunities for fear of repeating past failures and trauma.

They say the truth will set you free. I say that I won’t be free until I can believe that the past lies.

Until next time ~ I am being MJ everyday.