It was so long ago, episode 39.

It was so long ago, episode 39.

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Well, I did not see Karen today.  Holiday weekend and all.  I was in group on Tuesday.  I was pretty weirded out about Thankgiving as I know my brother would be there, and that would be the first time I would see him since my birthday and our discussion.  I wasn’t sure what would happen or what I wanted to happen now that he had time to think about it, and I had time to process his response.  But it was a non-issue.  It was like nothing happened at all.  I suppose that is what I expected, really.  Twice before anyone came, my mom and dad said something to the effect that everyone gets along or something.  Can’t remember now.  Not sure if they have talked to Brian or Lisa.  But then, we never talk directly about anything.   

I can’t really blame my folks.  They began being two victims who did not have access to anything in the way of healing from their experience.  They tried and succeeded in making our experience better than theirs was.  Or Mom’s at least.  I don’t know much about Dad’s life.  He doesn’t talk much about anything.  So if they set up an atmosphere where the same things happened, well.  I understand it. 

I understand that as a victim, we walk around the word both thinking we have a giant I on the back of our back and everyone knows we are different, we are gross, we are bad, and thinking if anyone ever finds out than our lives will be over it will be awful.  We walk around like impostors, thinking if anyone knew the truth about us we will be shunned and despised.  It is so bad that when there is a conversation or article or news story or anything that contains these elements, we quickly turn away in case anyone adds two an two when they see us looking at it.  A week ago, I was in Half-Priced Books, and looking at the books about this, and someone came down the aisle and I rushed away.  I am sure that my folks’ had less opportunity than I do to work on, learn about this stuff.  And it isn’t just natural.  When we are attacked as children, there is stuff we learn and don’t learn that we have no idea is wrong or right or normal or abnormal.  

Which comes down to today.   I blamed myself all my life for the crap that happened to me, but I also did not think it was my fault.  I blame my brothers for everything, EVERYTHING wrong in in my life.  Oh, I can connect the dots on everything:

My lack of success in my career — I have chosen jobs to interview for that were below my skill set, because I have very low confidence, stemming from low self-worth, not low intelligence.  I do not stick up for myself ever.  I take the blame for things that are not my responsibility, and I do not press for promotions or for raises.  

Money problems — I have always made less money than I am worth because I feel worthless.  I go for jobs I think I can get because they pay low wages.  Now I think I don’t want the added stress because I am going through too much.  That, and paying out of pocket for therapy.  I work a ton, have my own business, which doesn’t meet the expenditures each year but serves a purpose.  Many purposes.  

Sexual/Intimate relationships — that is a no-brainer really.  I am curious about sex.  I have desire, sure, but it is immediately swamped with shame and fear.  And, I am so behind, I haven’t the first idea how to get to first base with a guy.  

Social Issues — yeah, when you walk around with an I on your back, scared that anyone might find out, you tend to not get close to folks, for fear of their response.  

Health/weight issues — my oldest brother can’t stand fat people.  He thinks they are lazy and stupid.  I wonder why I am fat.  I use my weight to protect myself from sex.  It’s stupid, I know, and now it has a life of its own, but between that, and not caring about myself, my health, well I have a problem there.  

Depression/Anxiety/Isolation — yep all symptoms of sexual abuse, unresolved anger, shame, and the whole nine yards. 

My filthy house — yeah, somewhere somehow someone has to have blamed that on unresolved childhood abuse, why not me?  But really, I am tired and working full time, and running a business, and single and going through so much therapy that all I want to do when I get home is collapse.  One could make the case…  

At the end of the day, all this crap CAN be connected to what happened so long ago, but the victim (me) will blame herself for what wasn’t my fault (the abuse) and fail to take responsibility for the stuff I own.  Maybe this has origins in the abuse, but nothing related to the abuse is going to solve any of it.  And as long as I continue to play the victim, none of it improves.  It is only in taking responsibility for my own life, that I can thumb my nose at my brothers and make things better for me.  

But it is so overwhelming, everything is so steeped in the abuse.  I chose my career because I am afraid of people and don’t want to deal with people.  So from the beginning, I picked a field where I would have to work primarily with men, but wouldn’t have to deal with people for the most part.  Now I have to live with that career or start something else.   I have absolutely no idea how to begin with looking for a guy who might be marriageable.  And I know that I will have to work hard to get over the phobias related to sex and intimacy/trust.  I can clean my house if I can find the time.  I had a four day weekend this week and did nothing.  Ok, Thanksgiving was out, I did a lot here at Mom’s, but I did nothing but sleep yesterday and today, and tomorrow, I will be getting back into the work week.  I am trying to pay attention to my health and weight.  But it is slow, slow going.  Everything.  

I feel a lot of despair right now.  

I don’t want to leave the group.  I think I have made good progress and my only hope is to work with Cathy, to work in the group.  I like Karen, and I have been able to work with her some, but 1-2 weeks between a 1-hour session is simply not enough.  The only reason I want to give up on the group is the bill, which my insurance company won’t touch.  I made my deductible in half a year, but I won’t make my max-out-of pocket because they just refused to cover any more sessions of the IOP.  So they do not apply that to max out of pocket.  It is like, it doesn’t count, at all.  Done.  We don’t want to pay for that.  Done.  They are paying for the cardiologist and the colonoscopy, but what is affecting my health more than colon polyps and high blood pressure they won’t touch at all.  So I am still paying out of pocket for my maintenance drugs too.  

Ok, so I am being really whiny today.  I’m a survivor, but a survivor doesn’t wait around for a good fairy Godmother to come and change all the crappy parts of her life into something wonderful, for Prince Charming to arrive on his white charger, and take her off to the palace.  There is a stupid part of me that wants for my brothers to wake up and come to me and offer me financial support to get my life back on track.  The sooner I decide to radically accept that that will NEVER happen, the quicker I can start taking responsibility for my health, my finances, my career, my relationships, and be a true survivor with the strength and bravery that people tell me I have.  It’s over-whelming.  


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9 comments

  1. Solongago

    Thank you all. I want to say I am feeling a little better . I’m not. Not yet. I know this won’t last forever, but it feels like it from where I am. A few weeks ago Cathy told me I was loveable. I said, “I want to believe that so badly.” She said she knows I do. But I can’t. I’m too broken. This is part of the despair. I am so frightened to believe that, but I want to, but I know it makes me vulnerable, but I know that without risking pain down the line, we miss out on everything. Like with my dogs. They are going to die, but it is still better to have them while they are living, and to accept their death at the end of the journey. If you look at the whole, it is a whole lot better than never having them.

    Between the stuff with brian,
    And my young bitch slowly dying,
    And this loveable wanting,
    And the IOP having to come to an end (I nearly slipped and said, I could teach the stuff about wise mind, rational mind, emotional mind. I have been in there too long. But Cathy said she isn’t pressing the issue because of all that went on with my birthday and stuff. But that will be a month ago in a couple of days. She probably should give me the boot, but I don’t think she will. She will try to soften it somehow. Karen said she knew I would have trouble letting it go. I don’t think either of them thought it would be like this though)
    Well, between it all, I am overwhelmed and grieving and frightened and trying to stay afloat in an whirlpool.

    1. Jess Volunteer

      It is completely valid that you’re not feeling better. Don’t feel like you have to force yourself into feeling better. It takes time. I know it’s hard to believe it, but you are loveable. You deserve to love and be loved. It’s amazing that you recognize some of the reasons why you have such a hard time believing that, and maybe someday soon, you’ll truly be able to believe it.

      It’s hard to let go. You’re not alone in feeling that. It’s normal that you feel overwhelmed and frightened at the idea of letting go of that support. I hope that your whirlpool slows down sometime soon and lets you simply float. Keep fighting and stay strong, Solongago. Sending healing thoughts your way.
      -Jess

  2. blashea

    Hi, I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. Your feelings are valid. It is understandable to feel overwhelmed, especially this time of year. I want you to know that, I am so proud of you and though it may be easy to forget at times, you have made a lot of progress and you should be proud of yourself. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. I believe in you and know that you can accomplish everything that you want to. You’ve done nothing wrong. Just keep doing the best that you can! I hope things improve for you. Thank you for continuing to trust us with your story. We are all here for you.

  3. MH Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,
    All of your feelings are completely valid. I am sorry that you are having a hard week.
    The road to healing may seem extremely slow- but it will get better, trust me. You’ve come such a long way!
    We are here for you and always ready to listen.

    MH

  4. Jess Volunteer

    Solongago,

    I’m sorry that it’s been a hard week for you. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. You are trying to heal and you are processing a LOT of information, along with working and being on your own. It is completely normal that you feel like there is too much to do and too little time. Make sure you’re making some time for yourself to process and not feel guilty about doing so. It seems like you made the time for yourself this weekend, but you’re making yourself feel guilty for it. You need that recuperation time, don’t let yourself feel super guilty about it. You are a survivor, and sometimes, survivors need a break.

    You said it yourself – you are not to blame for what happened to you. All you can do is live the best life you can. You seem to be steadily working towards that every day. Sometimes, progress feels ridiculously slow, and that’s okay. Just keep working the best you can. If there’s anything else we can do, please let us know. We love hearing from you. The progress you’ve made is astounding. Don’t let yourself forget that. <3
    -Jess

  5. music2799 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    What happened is not your fault and it never will be your fault, and you did nothing to deserve this. You’re a true survivor. You’re reflecting on how this has impacted your life and working towards changing these things, and that is inspiring. I’m proud of you, and you are strong.
    You stated that this is slow, slow going. On some days, healing can feel that way. Your feelings are understandable, and you’re working through a lot. Even so, you’re making progress, and that’s the positive thing to take away from this. When we’re doing the healing, each step can sometimes feel very small. However, when we look back to where we were a few weeks, months, or years ago, we notice how much progress we’ve made. I remember one of your replies to us in which you talked about the progress you’ve made over the last 8 months. You’re doing amazing.
    Thank you for updating us. I hope that sharing here is helping you process how you’re feeling. We’re here to support you if you need anything, and continue to stay strong.

  6. Deanna Volunteer

    Solongago,

    I look forward to seeing your posts every week, I like to know how you’re doing. I know what it’s like to feel worthless too even when the whole world is telling me otherswise because you have so much worth.

    I don’t know how you are with caring around a journal or note pad, but in therapy I’ve been working on thoughts like these. Maybe I can offer something new: write down (or even just stop and think) about thoughts that might be less than rational or realistic. Like your mind telling you that you’re worthless, totally not true. If you start catching yourself thinking this way and address it then maybe eventually you won’t have those thoughts at all. Regardless you’re not worthless. It really sucks that they’ll likely never help financially or in any way for the havoc they’ve caused.

    I tried that approach once. It netted me a call from the sheriff because my brother called them saying I was harassing him, even though I was just trying to put him on notice. It was in that moment that I realized that he is a complete waste of life and I should never expect anything human from him. Your family may be better, I hope they are.

    Hang in there. We are all rooting for you.

    —Deanna

  7. sfmbelle413

    Hey there Solongago,

    It seems like you’ve had a lot of reflection over the past few days – that says a lot about your character and is inspiring. You mentioned it in your post and I just want to highlight it again – the abuse was not your fault. You did not deserve any of this. I know it can be hard to not let what happened affect you now but I can tell that you’re trying so very hard, which is amazing. I sense that this reflection can help further you in the goals you hope to achieve.

    I hear that you’re feeling despaired and overwhelmed right now. I hope that reaching out here was a way to help release some of those emotions. We’re always here for you.

    Keep on fighting,
    SFM

  8. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Dealing with all of this is really overwhelming-it’s okay to feel that way. I don’t think you give yourself enough credit. You are doing everything you can to take control of your life. That’s really difficult when control has historically been something that’s been taken away from you. Let us know what else we can do-we are here for you.

    Erin