update 30Dec20

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Happy New Year!


I saw Angela, I am not sure how I feel about how it went.

I came out of there thinking that I did not talk about what I wanted.

But maybe I talked about what I needed to talk about.

We did the EMDR.  I can’t trust anyone.  She said think about the teacher.

I told her that the teacher was, well, it was just to illustrate that there was no one.

All the folks in the church/school, in the neighborhood, in the family.

Mrs. H, Norve, Chuck, J’s dad, Granny and her husband, the crazy man.

She said to think of all of those people.

I did.


I’m on these nerve-pain killers and antiviral and advil for the shingles.

Lots of pain, deep pain, she says that the gabepentin works for anxiety.

We talked about anxiety and I don’t have it, not like Mom, just depression.

So I was going through the list of scumballs that hurt me and did not protect me,

And I briefly transported myself back to many of the incidents.

I told her about Chuck being suck a creep, he would put a coin in his pocket and have me fish it out.  He would watch us in the bathroom.  He did something to me in the basement — repressing that.

So many jerks.

We had talked about Christmas and the day after, how my little sister and her husband and girls and my little brother came Christmas Day.


She asked, the good brother?  I said, “My gay brother.”  She said, he can be gay and good.  I said,  “well, I don’t know about, good.”  I explained how he gave me whiplash, and how he knows how to push everyone’s buttons and she asked,  he was trained by whom?   I looked at her, and she asked, this is the one that you tortured with “Nobody loves you.”   Yep we were rotten to him.  I said, he IS a good person.  He gave me a cleaver for Christmas.  A big, expensive thing, looks like it belongs in Queen Elizabeth’s kitchen.  I told him I can cut off my husband’s junk with it if he ever cheats on me, that is if I ever get a husband.  We laughed.  I suppose you can call Mark, my good brother.


Coming away from the session, I am afraid that she doesn’t like me for what I did, how we treated my brother when he was 2 — I say we, because I think my brothers and sister were also involved, but I don’t remember for sure.  I remember telling him that nobody loved him and they just pretend to love him, until he would cry.  And then say, we’re just kidding, everyone loves you.  Why would I do that to my little brother.  It was emotional abuse.   I was almost 7 years older than he was.  I think, how can I blame my brothers who were 5.5 years and 4 years older than me for what they did, when I shouldn’t have done that to my little brother.  Can I blame the bad behavior on my impossible situation and lack of supervision.  Once I saw the girl next door, out the window, slip on the ice and fall down the steps and I laughed and my mom was there, and she told me (this was in the old house, so I was ten or under), she told me that she could have really been hurt, and I wouldn’t like it if someone laughed at me.  I have always remembered that, and I don’t like slap stick comedy — most comedy — any comedy where people are hurt or look hurt.  If my mom was around more, that wouldn’t have gone on with my little brother, because she would have explained to me why that isn’t a good thing to do.  But Mom was working, she had to work, and that is what it is.  We were latch-key kids.  Little to no supervision most of the time, and we did stupid things.

I don’t think Angela doesn’t like me for this, it is just my unique way of torturing myself, preparing myself for the shoe that will fall on me and crush me.   It is not the same as the sexual abuse either.  My brothers physically hurt me.  They said things to me that made me feel stupid, unwanted, unloved, the worst of the lot of them.  They cut me to the core and changed who I am and what I did with my life.  I hate them.  Sometimes.


I did that to my brother a few times, and it stopped before we moved.  We fought growing up.  I bloodied his nose in the couch once, he gave me whiplash pulling my head into the woodwork.  But the emotional abuse of making him cry and then making it better again, that stopped before we moved.  So I was 10.  My brothers continued with me, until I was able to stop it at 13ish.  My oldest brother was moved out and had his own place before it stopped.  It wasn’t the same.  Not really.  And she isn’t saying that it was.


Ah well.  Another day, another year.  She asked me if I do New Year’s resolutions.  No.  She asked me if I had any plans.  No.  She asked about my house, yeah, I want to work on that. 


I got Columbo, the day before yesterday.  He’s awesome.  I got him in with Bear, had to separate Tinny.  I am thinking about putting him with Kaiah and then Bear and Tinny back together.  That would probably be best. 


Join the Conversation


  1. jcastle38 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I hope that you are able to build enough trust in Angela that you are eventually able to talk about everything you need to get off your chest. Talking is very helpful. I hope your pain goes away. I am so sorry for every traumatic event that has happened to you. You are on the right path to healing, and it seems like you are making good progress. I am very proud of you! It gets better.
    Sending you lots of love.


  2. laurenp34 Volunteer

    Hey! I’m so glad that it sounds like you had a good Christmas. I really liked what you said about not talking about what you wanted to, but maybe what you needed to talk about. It sounds like you’re making good progress and you should be proud of yourself. I hope you are able to forgive your childhood self, because it seems like your brother has forgiven you. I also love your dog names 🙂

  3. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Sue,
    I hope your shingles is getting better; I’ve heard about how painful it can be. Given what you’ve been through, it makes sense that it’s difficult for you to trust people.
    As for how you treated your brother, I believe that since this may have been normal in your household, you imitated the behavior of the people around you (maybe your siblings). We tend to imitate the people around us when we’re young. It can be hard to look back and realize that our behavior was hurtful. The good thing is that you’re recognizing what happened and working to change it. You’re growing, and that’s what matters. I don’t think Angela is judging you, and you’re right – it’s completely different from what happened to you.
    Thank you for sharing this update with us. I’m glad you have Columbo now, and I hope you’re having a wonderful new year!

  4. semperfi Volunteer

    I would say to you, you’ve taken a big step in coming to peace with your life by talking to people, even finding out that other people share similar feelings. It is one thing to excuse an action by providing a “title” to something like, “I was just a kid” or “I was just following orders” but now you’ve realized that, in a sense, you did similarly, what was done to you without thinking anything about it. Unfortunately, we all have “learned traits” and we don’t any know better. It’s like when, as a child or adult, you see others doing something day in and day out, we learn that this must be natural or OK, right? So we continue on as if all is good. Until we, in our mind, find that what we did was wrong and because of our guilt feelings, we wear it written on our sleeve.
    I don’t believe that Angela is judging you but more to help you find what is troubling you and how to comfortably accept it and grow better.
    I know this isn’t easy. No matter how horrific a memory, try to remember that what happened then was real. As I write this, this is real, I am no longer there. I am here in this moment. I don’t have to carry the burden and sadness, I cant change the past but I can change my future.

  5. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there,

    I want to start by saying thank you for coming to the site and updating us. I really liked what you said about not getting to talk about what you wanted to talk about, but maybe it was what you needed. I think therapy and sessions with counselors have the ability to help us out of what we or comfortable and what we want, and really lead us down the path of what we need. You took a really positive perspective on your session, and that positivity is great! I hope you can look back at what happened with your youngest brother and forgive yourself. When you’re a young child, it can be hard to understand how your actions hurt others. You are remorseful now for it, and that shows your growth as a person. Stay strong. We are here for you.


  6. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    I’m sure that others on here have already said this – but I don’t think you should be beating yourself up now for what you said to your brother when you were also a child. It’s not an uncommon thing for older siblings to say things that rattle the chain of the younger ones, so I would not worry about you having any long lasting impact on him because of that. The situation between you and your other brothers and taunting your younger brother are completely different. It sounds like you had another good session with Angela and that you talked through a lot, even if it wasn’t what you were planning on. I’m sure the direction of the session can change quickly depending on what is being discussed. I hope your shingles are cleaning up by now – they are so miserable! That’s fun that you have Columbo now and I hope he’s getting along with all the others by now. I’m sure it takes some work though. Take care and have a wonderful week.

  7. jao1820 Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,

    Thank you for keeping us updating, I really enjoy reading your posts and seeing your journey. It seems like you had a very productive session with Angela, although you said you didn’t get to talk about the things you wanted to discuss. I’m sorry your mother wasnt around that much when you were growing up, but I hope you forgive yourself for how you interacted with your younger brother, and I’m sure he has forgiven you. Sibling teasing is normal when you’re younger, but as others have said there is a barrier between teasing and going overboard. But you shouldn’t blame yourself for this because you were young. I hope you continue to move forward and work through your past traumas!

    I’m glad to hear you had a great Christmas and that Columbo has arrived!

    – J.A.O.

  8. t3nnis_player18 Volunteer

    Hi solongago,
    Thank you for keeping us informed on your life and how you are doing. I think it is great you sought out help and are working through it as best you can. Angela does not think you are a bad person for what you did to your brother when you were younger. You were kids and it sounds like emotional abuse was the only emotions you were exposed to. I am sure your brother forgives you. I have a sibling and I have said many nasty and abusive things in my life, but at the end of the day were still siblings and she forgave me for all of them. I hope you continue to seek help and make steps in your healing journey, I am very proud of you. Congratulations on getting Columbo and I hope you have a great start to this new year.

  9. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Sue,
    It sounds like you talked a lot in this session which is good. I know I always say that Angela isn’t going to drop you like Karen did and I mean it. I this is just something that you need reassurance on and that’s okay. Everyone needs to be reassured about different things. What you did to your brother as a child is okay. I’m sure he forgives you. Siblings sometimes say mean things to each other especially at a young age because they don’t know any better. Like my sister, when I was born she didn’t like having me around (she is a few years older) so she would tell my mom to send me back to the hospital. Now we laugh about it because we are closer, but my point is your brother doesn’t hate you for what you did and you don’t need to be so hard on yourself for a mistake you made as a child, who didn’t know any better.
    Congrats on getting Columbo and happy new year! Thank you for updating us. It’s good to hear from you.

  10. brookeallnutt Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for for sharing another update with us, and I appreciate how open you are in this. I’m also glad that you were able to be open with Angela about some of your past memories. I hope you are able to feel supported through this all. As you know, we are always here to provide any support we can! Also I hope you recover from the shingles and feel better soon. I’m so happy to hear that you got Columbo, and hopefully he gets along with the others. Have a great new year!

  11. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello Sue,

    Happy to hear Columbo has finally arrived. That sounds like a great addition to the house.

    It sounds like you did have a productive session this week. I agree with the others, normal sibling teasing is normal and I hope you don’t beat yourself up over that. It sounds like you are a caring person who doesn’t want to hurt others or inflict pain of any kind into someone else’s life. This is a great quality to have and the world needs more people who care about others like this.

    I am glad to hear that you were able to see family for Christmas day, no matter how stressful family can sometimes be. You are making great progress on your healing journey and I hope that you have a great upcoming session.

  12. DY17654 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I appreciate you opening up about your life and giving us a very detailed analysis of your thoughts. It sounds like you had a very productive session and got a lot of emotional thoughts and feelings of your past out in the open. Allowing yourself to feel and get out what you have been through is great in identifying why you feel a certain way and understanding what happened the best you can. I wish your mom was around more often and that maybe she paid a bit more attention to you guys. You were very young and what happened with you and your brother is not your fault, or makes you a bad person. I hope you continue to try and understand past traumas in your life and move forward the best you can. It is nice to hear that you got Columbo, and housework is always a self-rewarding endeavor that is needed. I wish you all the best in the New Year and look forward to hearing from you again.


  13. musicislove

    Hi Sue,

    I agree with the others below, you shouldn’t be hard on yourself for how you treated your little brother, siblings tease each other and Angela knows that. It sounds like a lot of stuff came up in your session this week, I hope that you have been able to take some time for yourself to relax and process how you were feeling afterwards. I’m so glad Columbo came! That’s a great new adition I’m sure. Thank you for sharing an update and I look forward to more.


  14. AlisonDKaufman

    Hello solongago;

    I am so happy Columbo has arrived, I am sure he is absolutely adorable, great way to kick of the new year for sure.

    I truly don’t believe you should beat yourself up for teasing your little brother when you all were young, siblings tease one another right or wrong.

    It does sound like you may have covered a lot of information with Angela and through EDMR the information shared tends to be what your mind needs to ‘get out’. What you share may not be what you went into the session thinking you’d talk about but perhaps what is needed.

    Planning to do home improvements is a wonderful idea – nothing like putting effort into something and enjoying the outcomes.
    I look forward to hearing more about Columbo and the home improvements!

  15. ajklessig Volunteer

    Hi solongago,

    It sounds like it was definitely a mixed session with Angela this week, but that is okay! You had a lot of thoughts and memories to work through during the session.
    I don’t think you should beat yourself up about your brother when you were younger. Siblings mess with each other all the time. I don’t think Angela judges you for it either.
    Housework can be really therapeutic! I am also glad that you got Columbo and hopefully he brings you lots of peace and joy!

  16. chompyapple1 Volunteer

    Happy new year! I’m glad to hear about Columbo in your life and you’re doing great in your sessions. Be proud of your effort and keep it up!

  17. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Happy new year! I am happy to see that you have Columbo to join you for 2021 and some home projects to work toward.


  18. colton95 Volunteer

    I hope that your new year is going well so far and that your relationship with Angela will continue to be healthy and trustworthy!

  19. alexiswilliams


    I’m sure it can be hard to trust people, but try and have faith that Angela has your best interest in mind. It’s great that the strategies that your practicing in therapy seem to be working. You should be proud of yourself for making an effort and being present.

    Sending hope,

  20. Neesha Volunteer

    I can understand how hard it is to reconcile being angry at others for how they hurt you even though you hurt other people. I try to remember I can control the actions I take and when I look back and regret them, I can make amends or become a version of myself that wouldn’t do that again. It doesn’t change the past and it is so so hard to hold ourselves accountable. And while we are responsible for other people’s action, we can’t control what others do to us, but we can be honest about the effect it had on us and that might mean being angry.

    You’re doing the work to get in touch and move through your feelings. Keep it up.

  21. rachelb098 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    I’m glad to hear about Columbo, he sounds great! It sounds like you’ve covered a lot in your session and have been doing alot of thinking; that’s a sign of growth and you should be proud of yourself. That said, it seems like you’ve had some difficult memories. I hope you’re not being too hard on yourself; the fact that you’ve been feeling badly about your younger brothers shows what a big heart you have, and how compassionate you are. Hope you have a great new year!

    All the best,

  22. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks for coming back with an update. Happy new year to you! Glad you got to see Angela recently. It sounds like you’re lucky to have a brother like Mark! All siblings fight but it sounds like you’re both in a better place now and can be supportive of each other. It’s so hard when siblings cut each other down and it’s normal to hate someone for doing that even if they are family. Allowing yourself to feel those emotions is important. Exciting to hear about Columbo!

    Stay strong,


  23. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Sue,
    Yay for getting Columbo!! I am sure that you will enjoy having him.
    It sounds like this session was productive. You have some deep thoughts about things that came up. The lives of those who have suffered from trauma are kind of like big knots and the more you unravel, the more you are able to see the loops and twists that created the knot. Your thoughts about how you treated your younger brother vs how your older brothers treated you show that you did what you knew until you learned to do things differently. That is the piece. Learning to do it differently instead of what was done to us.
    Sending you love and strength,

  24. ryannlashea Day Captain

    Hi, thank you so much for continuing to share your story with us. I don’t think Angela see’s you any differently because of your past. Be gentle with yourself, you were young and didn’t know any better. I also agree with some others who have commented, that while it may not be nice, it is common for siblings to behave that way. Congrats on getting Columbo!

  25. Starling Volunteer

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. It sounds like your session with Angela was really productive. Like you said, it may not have been what you wanted to talk about, but it may have been what you needed to talk about. As for how you treated your brother, I doubt Angela sees you negatively for that. Describing it sounds really harsh, but I feel like it’s not uncommon for siblings to do stuff like that to each other. I know my older brother used to do the same thing to me. Either way, Angela is there to be a judgement-free person to express anything to. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  26. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi Sue!
    I’m so glad that Columbo is finally with you! I think sometimes when we go through things in life as you have, we tend to pick on the younger, weaker people. Sometimes doing so is intentional or subconsciously, but either way I don’t think that makes you a bad person. You made some bad choices. I’m guessing the things you mentioned that you done were done in response to your own abuse. I also think any abuse no matter what is hard to handle, & has long lasting effects. I believe scars from emotional, or physical abuse have just as strong of an impact as sexual abuse. Everyone processes things differently & in their own way & time. I’m glad that you have the courage to return each week to share. Yes, it takes courage.
    ; courage to work through difficult, painful issues, & to continue sharing openly with Angela. Yes, I’m sure there are many times where you would just like to call it quits. Maybe subconsciously, you feel as you do to prepare yourself for the negative or hurt. (kind of like a protection tool) It’s is understandable to feel as you do! You have been with Angela thus far, I think you passed the true test both from her but more so from yourself! You have stuck with her even though at times, it’s been difficult. Good times & bad times in therapy are certain to happen, & as you gain more insight, & recover/heal, the self doubt seems higher. No matter what Sue, you can do this! I’m so honored that you allow us (me) to be a part of your journey to wholeness! Keep on keeping on!

  27. meg Volunteer

    Hi Sue!

    Happy New Year. I am so glad you got Columbo! It seems like your session with Angela was intense and beneficial. I think that you going through the session in this post and how you’re working out what you think she thinks, is a really great sign of your growth. Try to remind yourself that we never really know what someone else thinks of us.. Angela seems to be fairly straightforward about her feelings with you. Try to trust her as much as you can. Be gentle with yourself.

  28. zelda Volunteer

    Hey, Sue, we appreciate your post. Happy New Year! What house projects are you looking to get done? I have a lot on my list. Not anything to do with renovations, just deep cleaning and organization. Congrats on getting Columbo! I like that name; it’s different.

    It seems like you had a pretty good session with Angela. When I was in therapy, I would feel like that too, sometimes. But maybe you were supposed to talk about those people, and maybe you were supposed to reflect back on those memories. As long as you walked away feeling better, then it’s worth it.

    It sounds like Christmas was better than what you might have expected. Your brother gifting you that cleaver was nice, and I’m sure seeing your nieces and sister was great.

    Hopefully, this new year brings you a lot of healing, good health, and happiness. Keep us updated.

  29. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey Sue,

    Thanks for sharing a bit more with us. To be completely honest, I think what you did to your brother is relatively normal between siblings. My sisters used to say similar things to me and I don’t hold it against them. Kids are mean! I’m sure he understands and knows you love him.

    On another note, I’m so happy for you that you got Columbo! That is so exciting. Can’t wait to hear more about him!


    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Thank you, Marissa, he’s beautiful. Long coated, and his one ear is standing most of the time, and the other is trying. He travels in the car like a champion. I consider him (to myself) as my diabetes service dog, because he is going to get my butt out there walking. I would never take him in places he is not supposed to be, because I don’t NEED a service dog. I would never want to make it harder on folks that need the dogs, and people taking dogs into places where they aren’t generally allowed under the guise of service dogs does affect those who truly need the dogs. And the needs are not all visible. Like, there are dogs that detect heart irregularities, seizures, and dangerously low blood sugar, and folks with PTSD (where the dog is trained to help get them out of the situation and ground them) — those folks have difficulty when other folks bring dogs that are untrained and not service dogs with them. But the boy will help me with my diabetes — we’ll be each other’s personal trainer.

  30. Mary Ella Volunteer

    Hi Sue!

    Thanks for this update. I can see that you’re a bit indifferent with that last session. From what I read, I can see that you did go over something very important with Angela, and it might not have been something you wanted to talk about, but it was necessary. I am glad you are powering through EMDR because I know it can bring up some really difficult times from your childhood. It can bring up so much feelings and you are so brave for going through this process! I wanted to bring up something really important which is your ability to realize when your brain is playing tricks on you. You are doing so well on grounding yourself when you start thinking that Angela doesn’t like you or doesn’t want to talk to you. You are reflecting more and realizing that your brain automatically thinks that way, then you immediately shut it down because you know it’s not true. Angela is there to help you without judgment, and I’m glad you know that. You are doing great, no matter how difficult the therapy process can be. We are very proud of you!


    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Yes, I am a bit indifferent. It was a good session. She doesn’t make me feel stupid for being how I am, for struggling with something that I can explain to others, can explain to myself, but can’t seem to get past. It is hard to both accept that Angela is there to help without judgement, and to be bent on her validation/approval. I am demanding the impossible. I know it, she knows it, and she isn’t chucking me, yet. I can hang on to simple statements like, “I am not and have not ever been upset with you.” or “you are as safe as you can be.” I know I have to make my own statements and hang on them instead of someone else’s, but I am just not there yet.

  31. Breanna Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thanks for coming back with another update. I’m sorry that you’re not feeling satisfied with the session you had with Angela. Therapy can be difficult when the therapist and the client aren’t really on the same page on what to work on. There are times when the therapist may have their own plans ahead of time for what to address, and that can really affect what you want to work on. Ultimately, communication is key here, even when it’s hard. I don’t think Angela doesn’t like you based off of what you did in your past. Her job is to help you grow from those negative experiences – all of them. And you’ve been working with Angela for a while now and I think she can see that you’re a good person and isn’t judging you for your past. Keep your chin up.

    Sending love and support,

  32. lizzi

    Hi Sue,
    That sounds like a tough session you had with Angela. I find therapy to be an interesting thing, where we think we know what we need to talk about to make progress but when we end up talking about something different, that’s when progress actually happens. We don’t always know what we need to talk about to find healing, and sometimes the counselor taking it in a different direction can be helpful. However, if there’s things you wanted to talk about that you didn’t get to, there’s always future sessions to go back and bring those things up. I doubt Angela dislikes you for what you did to your brother growing up. At that age, we don’t always know right from wrong and especially being in a difficult family, right from wrong can be very skewed. You’ve grown up and I don’t think you would do those things to someone now, and that’s what matters. As long as we learn from our mistakes and grow, I believe that gives us the right to be forgiven. Angela also isn’t there to judge you regardless, as she is there to help. Even if you were treating someone badly now, it’s not her place to judge, but instead to help guide you towards being a better person.

  33. pinksky92 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Sounds like it was a more challenging week. I definitely relate to you. Sometimes the session doesn’t go exactly as planned and that is okay. It can feel a little unsatisfying, especially if you have other things on your mind. But, in time, all of those others memories will come out. Sometimes siblings can damage us in ways that really make us upset and challenge our self-notion. Who would I be if this wasn’t the environment I was in? It’s important that you are surfacing these memories because it will make it easier to get to the bottom of your trauma. I know it’s painful to have those memories surfaced, but hopefully you can work through them in therapy.

    Hope you had a great Christmas and a happy new year!

    Take care for now.

  34. haesol Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m sorry the session with Angela wasn’t as good as the last ones. Sounds like you thought a lot about how things went with your brother in the past, but it’s true, what you did is in no ways comparable to what your other brothers did to you. You have every right to feel whatever emotions you feel towards them, whether they’re good or bad.

    I’m glad you got Columbo! you’ve hinted at getting him for a while now so it’s good to hear he’s finally with you.

    I hope this new year brings great things for you, I truly wish you the best.

    Stay safe!

  35. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thanks for coming back to share. I’m sorry it was a little bit of a rough session with Angela this week. I hope you were able to take some time to rest and find peace, even if this year and week were tough.


  36. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi solongago,

    Happy New Year! I remember going through that phase of my therapy with my own therapist. It is difficult to look back and see how we treated our siblings sometimes, especially after we come to terms with our own abuse and victimization. It’s a wonderful thing that you are able to recognize how poorly you treated your brother. Be kind to yourself as you navigate these new memories. You were a child yourself, and learning the ropes without a good mentor available. Everyone makes mistakes, and it doesn’t make you a bad person. Another difference between you and your older brothers: you are strong enough to admit that you treated your younger brother poorly. That speaks more about your character than an incident in your youth. I’m so glad to hear that you were finally able to get Columbo! What a wonderful way to start the new year with a new pup. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon.

    All the best,