Wednesday update 14Oct20

188 27

Hi everyone.  Wednesday has come and gone.  I did see Angela.  We didn’t do EMDR.  I think I got suckered a little — well, she kind of got the better of me.  For some reason we talked too much in the preliminary.  I kind of knew what I did and what I didn’t want to talk about.  She was asking questions.  She asked me what my biggest problem was right now.  I said masks.  She seemed to discount it, so I said, I have spent a lifetime avoiding people’s eyeballs.  She laughed.  I said something like isn’t funny, but she thought the use of the word eyeballs was.  But she  said that the masks are going to be here for a long time.  I disagreed with her, and she said she hopes I am right.  

And then she asked whether there were other problems.  I paused, and then I said, “yeah-no.”  I told her that yes there were, but no I don’t want to talk about them.  Pregnant pause.  I continued that I am feeling isolated and lonely.  Then I said I wanted to talk about what we were talking about last week.  Ok, what was that?  I told her that I told her that I remarked that I was so compliant, and we got into a big discussion about being complicit.  But I was noting what was, how I was, I was compliant and that made it all the worse for my brothers to take advantage of me like that.  It was more of an observation how I was vulnerable, but also compliant.  

We talked about that for a few minutes, and somehow she wound it around to my sisters, and whether they feel any outrage at what happened to me, how it is understandable that I feel very alone when they aren’t very supportive.  I told her my sister was my rock, my older sister really is a wonderful person.  The thing about incest, one of the things that makes it so awful is that it breaks families up.  My sisters have to make a choice really, supporting me somehow makes them at odds with them and including them kind of makes it hard on me.  Angela thinks it is pretty easy to dump child-molesting brothers, and when you put it that way…  

The thing is that it is true, we have an elephant in the living room.  I am the one that would be creating all the problems if I want people to be sensitive to my not wanting to be around them.  It sucks.  If I bring it up, then why am I not over with it, it happened so long ago.  Angela says it doesn’t seem like so long ago when I am dealing with it now.  She’s right, I am re-experiencing it pretty much weekly in the EMDR.   But I also re-experience it, or at least the memories come up all the time.  Can’t go to the bathroom without remembering.  Can’t be alone with a guy.  Can’t sit on a bench quietly for a few moments without thoughts and memories showing up.  I have two choices: stay completely busy/occupied, or think about the abuse.  It doesn’t seem so long ago.  

She spent way too long (I think) beating up my sisters because they have not expressed outrage for me, and acted for me when it comes to relationship with my brothers.  I personally cannot let myself want or expect any kind of behavior on their part or I have even fewer people in my inner circle if they disappoint me.  It made me feel worse  to question my sisters, even within my own brain.  

My phone started ringing and my hour was up anyway, so we left.  

Coming away this week, I don’t know if I am feeling better or worse.  I’ve gone through many moments in the past couple of days where I absolutely hate my brothers.  Both of them.  Both for what they did then, and how they dismiss or deny it today.  I don’t know what the use is to let myself feel this way.  Whether it is better in the long run to allow the feelings of anger and even hatred, or to continue to dismiss and deny myself, just like my brothers, and the rest of the family dismisses and denies me or everything that has made me, me.  

It is infuriating to be dismissed or denied.  

There are moments when I want to spout like a tea kettle about what happened to me.  I want to tell people at work, at church, on websites.  I am looking for that sense of outrage.  But the people that mean most to me, are blocked from what it causing me the most distress.   So yeah, Angela addressed the loneliness and isolation even though I didn’t want to talk about it.  Covid couldn’t have happened at a worse time for me.  


Join the Conversation

27 comments

  1. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hey again Solongago,

    I think that the isolation of covid is really hitting folks with trauma the hardest. Being alone with your thoughts can sometimes be a debilitating thing, and I sympathize with you on that. I’ve been seeing in your posts that it definitely is hitting you hard, and that’s incredibly valid. Loneliness can bring up so many other feelings–anger, guilt, disappointment, etc. I think that you’re dealing with it the best that you can. Some days, the best we can do is just get out of bed. That’s okay! It doesn’t mean that you’re wasting your time working on healing, even if it feels like it.

    I saw that you posted another update regarding visiting your sister, so I’ll check that out as soon as I can. Have you thought about reconnecting with anyone else in your family? I can see how that would be difficult, considering that they’re dismissive of your experiences. I guess a better question would be do you want to reconnect with them? Cutting them off might be a healthier and safer option, even if it means experiencing more loneliness. It’s definitely hard to think about that when they’re people you’ve spent your whole life with, but nonetheless, it might be something to consider.

    Sending you lots of warmth and positivity. Always come back when you feel alone. We’re here for you.

  2. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Sue,
    I can understand how masks make it more difficult to communicate with others, and I wish Angela acknowledged how you were feeling in that moment. It can be so difficult when our own family dismisses what happened to us and expects us to carry on like nothing happened. I understand how infuriating it is to be dismissed. As for your sisters, you can decide whether or not you want to share your feelings.
    Even though it can be difficult to sit with the feelings, I encourage you to do so. I wouldn’t want you to dismiss yourself after all that you have been through. There’s nothing wrong with you for feeling angry about what they did. I second Roxie’s comment – you deserve to heal and listen to yourself.
    Thank you for updating us. You can take as much time as you need to process what happened. We’re here to support you along the way. Please write back if you need anything.

  3. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Sue,
    Do you remember the book I told you about, Managing Emotional Mayem? That book is all about feelings and towards the end of it, it talks about the fact that feelings are going to happen because they are necessary because they let us know what we need to do in our lives. They are our guidance system. However, we were taught from a very young age to diregard them and to listen to what audults told us we should be feeling. We learned not to trust ourselves and to listen to the voices of others. When we disregard our feelings or push them aside, we never resolve the issue. We find ways to numb or “manage” but it takes a toll on our body, our reltionships, on our life in general. In order to fully heal, you are going to have to feel and listen to your emotions. You aren’t doing to get something from anyone else, you are doing it to listen to you, to find out what you need, and to heal. This isn’t easy and it may cause some people to step back but it also lifts a huge wieght. You deserve to heal and to not be dismissed or denied.
    Of course, those are just my thoughts and experiences; you have to do what is best for you.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Yeah, thanks, I got that book. I was going to pass it on to my sister, but I didn’t. I read it quite a while ago. I can look at it again.

  4. yailinrenteria Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,
    I am sorry your sessions with Angela didn’t go as planned. You are entitled to feel the way you feel. Regardless if it is happy, sad, mad frustrated, or disappointed, you are allowed to feel the way that you do. I always find it helpful to release those feelings in a healthy way because keeping emotions bottled up will consume you in the long run. It is also okay to not know how your feeling. You have been through a lot and it is okay to have mixed emotions. Do not feel obligated to tell anyone what happened to you, it should be on your own terms and to people whom you trust and feel comfortable with. I am hopeful that your next session will be a better one for you and that covid will soon be a thing of the past.
    Stay positive and strong,
    -Yailin

  5. almax Volunteer

    Hi Sue,
    I’m sorry this weeks therapy did not go the way you would have liked it to. I understand how the whole mask and covid situation can be frustrating and causes a strain in the way you communicate with others. I hope it is over soon too and if not I hope you and your therapist find a solution for at least the two of you. Sometimes therapists will push you towards what you don’t wanna talk about because they are sometimes the things we need to talk about the most. I’m sorry she did that with you but I really hope it helped you to talk about your loneliness and isolation, even just a little.

  6. cindy024 Volunteer

    Hi, Solongago,
    First of all thanks for sharing your story! takes a lot of courage and bravery to do that! you are a strong individual! Also, expressing your feelings and emotions helps. This whole mask thing from COVID – 19 is not good and it’s uncomfortable to breathe, but we are living during this pandemic. I know that this is very difficult and challenging for you, but as always we are always here to help and support you in whatever it may be! Thank you! stay strong and feel free to give us another update!

  7. Rustin Day Captain

    Hi Sue,

    It sounds like, even though it may not have gone the way that you wanted it to go the session made you think about things in a different light. I’m very much an advocate for telling people that it is okay to “feel how they feel.” There is something going on within you that is making you feel a certain way and it is not bad or wrong to allow yourself to feel that. Feel it, let it out (in a healthy way), and at least in my head that makes it easier to look at the options in a more clear light to help with the situation at hand. I think it’s great that you continue to follow through with your therapy. Keep it up and remember how far you’ve come since starting. I know it can be difficult to see at times, but if you need a reminder, just ask Angela. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind looking back at when you first started and addressing the changes that have taken place since then.

    -Rustin

  8. Elvia29 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    I know the whole mask is uncomfortable and I hope you guys find a way around the whole mask thing. I’m sorry therapy didn’t go as well like you thought it would go. Therapy has those types of days. I know because I use to go to therapy too. I hope your next session goes better. This COVID did come at the worst time. Thank you for the update and be free to come back.
    Best of luck,
    Elvia

  9. larakopp Volunteer

    Solongago, I’m sorry that you felt that Angela discounted you and your feelings. Having someone laugh as you’re being honest and vulnerable is frustrating, and I can see why that bothered you.
    I can definitely see how Covid has made things even more isolating for you, and I think you’re brave to go see Angela knowing how hard it is for you to be around masks.
    You’re doing such a great job navigating through all of this and working towards healing! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and feelings with us every week or so, and I hope you know that we’re here supporting you.
    I hope you have a better week this week!
    Take care,
    Lara

  10. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I totally understand feeling like COVID came at a terrible time-I feel that, too. Thank you for coming back to share, and I’m sorry this is still so difficult. Come back whenever you need!

    Erin

  11. e.almaguer Volunteer

    Hello, Yeah I agree Covid couldn’t have happened at a worse time! It has really affected everyone, I cannot imagine what you are going through. I know how uncomfortable and difficult these situations are for you. Just the fact that you keep going even though your therapist seems to have a complete different opinion. It shows a very brave character of your part, don’t give up! This week will be a better week.
    Thank you for the update and keep us posted remember we love hearing from you.

  12. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi Sue!
    So nice to hear from you & receive updates! I think it would be ok if you took small breaks from time to time from EMDR. Taking a break doesn’t mean you’re weak, it just shows that you are strong enough to recognize when you need a break. To me, that demonstrates how far you really have come. You are worth your feelings & all the time you need to heal. It’s your journey! I get that it may seem like you’re denied or dismissed, but believe me your not! You matter & are worth every minute. The feelings you are experiencing is a normal part of healing. I know it seems like at times you want to explode, while other times, you remain quite. Holding these feelings inside will only cause more harm in other ways to you. Maybe when your over come by memories, you could try to draw what you feel, or write about it. Here’s another suggestion; if your outside, & are hit with a memory, pick up a pebble or small stone; hold it for a moment, then put a name to it & throw it as far as you can. If you’re near water, throw it into the water. Other objects work just as well. Remember, healing is a personal journey & you are indeed worth it! Take your time & give yourself credit. Be kind & patient with yourself. You can get through this! I believe in you.
    Dawn

  13. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Sue,
    I’m sorry that this week was hard in terms of what you talked about and how Angela reacts. It’s good though that you didn’t do EMDR since you don’t like it. With corona and masks I would try to take this as a learning experience since you are used to not looking in peoples eyes. You can practice at therapy and maybe that will help with the mask problem.
    I have a sister too and I know sometimes we get mad or have different feelings towards different things, just like you and your sisters. Angela can’t tell them or have you tell them they need to be just as mad at your brothers because you are and for her to bring that up can put you in a hard place too.
    Sometimes when weeks are hard like this it doesn’t fully matter if they were bad or good. It matters that you survived it and can move on. You can go into next week with a positive attitude. Thank you for the update.
    -Alyssa

  14. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    I’m sorry that this past week was frustrating, and even without the EMDR. I don’t have the training that Angela does, so I like to give her the benefit of the doubt that she is doing her best to help you through everything. But I understand how hard it must be for you to be able to move on when your brothers have not wanted to apologize or acknowledge their actions in the past. By doing this, you have so much work to do to be able to process and understand the past. It is not right or fair that they have put you in this place and that you have had to work through everything solely on your own. I’m not saying that if they would have admitted to what they did or apologized it would solve everything and make you feel better instantly, but anytime someone has done something to wrong us, having that apology or ability to express regret is something we really need to hear and you have been robbed of that on top of everything else. You are doing the best that you can for yourself now by sticking through the EMDR and seeing Angela. I know that Covid has caused even more problems for you and that masks are extremely upsetting, but you are still hanging in there and putting in the work so don’t beat yourself and be proud of what you have accomplished. You may never get the acknowledgement you want from your brothers, but you are still living your current life and you share with us moments of joy when you have them. Your brothers have no power over you now. Keep on riding your bike and hanging out with your cute nieces and remember that you are strong and only have to take it one day at a time!

  15. Mary Ella Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thanks for sharing with us again this week! I know that therapy can be really rough, especially with EMDR, so I am so proud of you for still trying. It sucks that Angela laughed at something you feel strongly about – that’s not a very good thing to do as a therapist because they are supposed to validate your very much justified feelings. As for your sisters, you do not have to feel a certain way. If you’re angry at them, let yourself be angry, and if not, that’s also okay. At the end of the day, your focus should always be on taking care of yourself! I am so proud of you and your resiliency because it reflects on this website every time you post an update. You have gone through so much yet you are here taking the steps to take care of yourself. I’m sorry you had a rough week, but I hope it gets better. We are always here for you!

  16. ajklessig Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    I am sorry you had a somewhat rough week. However, I want to commend you for sticking with your therapy. I know that you are not a fan of EDMR and that you sometimes don’t agree with your therapist, but you have stuck with it this far. That in itself is an accomplishment you should be proud of. I am disappointed to hear that she kinda blew off the whole mask thing. I know last week a lot of us offered advice about asking her to take off the mask, so it is unfortunate that she laughed and discounted it.
    It is okay to not know how you are feeling at the end of the week. It sounds like you had a lot of different things to process, which can make your emotions really complex. Remember that you also don’t necessarily have to feel better or worse in a given week. Sometimes it is an accomplishment just to feel the same. I hope that you have some self-care planned this week and that next week is better!

  17. Ruby98 Volunteer

    Hey Sue,
    Thanks for coming back again and sharing this update with us. It’s disheartening when people laugh in the most inappropriate times. That makes your session feel even more unpleasant rather than it going in a positive direction. I believe that it’s okay and valid for you to be questioning your sisters, at the end of the day that is for you to decide. I hope EMDR or any other outlet of help that you choose to participate in helps you find peace and tranquility on days where you are not busy or occupied. Hopefully, your next session with Angela goes better. I know you must feel like you are going to explode in rage and sometimes it’s beyond our control to hide what we are feeling. We can’t blame ourselves or feel selfish for reacting the way we do sometimes it’s without a thought and those around you should be understanding and supportive not doubtful. I hope days get better for you Sue. Stay safe, and take care.

  18. jlanderos16 Volunteer

    Hey Sue,
    Thank you for coming back and giving us an update with Angela and overall on how you’re feeling. First off, I’m sorry you weren’t having a good day when going to your session and Angela laughing when you told her “eyeballs”, when that wasn’t a joke. Therefore, it’s okay to be angry at your sister, that’s how you feel and you should always express your feelings and not keeping it to yourself! But I hope EMDR starts serving as a healthy outlet for you to process that trauma very soon, but I’m glad that you’re still giving therapy a good go and not giving up. I look forward to reading your next update. Please be safe and take care!

  19. lizzi

    Hey Sue,
    I’m sorry that you left your session not feeling super great about things. It’s okay to be angry at your sisters or not, that’s up to you. You can’t make other people feel a certain way about something that happened, you can only control how you feel. If they aren’t upset, or they think it’s been too long, then maybe they just aren’t the right people to support you through your healing. And if you aren’t upset with your sisters, that’s perfectly alright too. You get to decide who you are upset with or not. Yes, it was a long time ago. But Angela is right that if you are dealing with it right now, it’s happening right now. It’s not in the past. You have to consistently struggle with the pain caused by others, and you deserve support while you are working so hard to overcome these challenges. I hope that your next session leaves you feeling a bit better than this one did. I look forward to reading your next update.

  20. rohina_kumar Volunteer

    HI Sue,

    Thank you so much for coming back on here with another update. We love hearing from you. I’m so sorry that your days aren’t going as great as they should be. I’m sorry your therapy session with Angela left you in a conflicted, distressed state of mind about sensitive aspects of your life – especially about your brothers. I’m also sorry that your mask issue hasn’t been sorted yet. You’re entitled to your feelings and they are valid. Some days are harder than others. More importantly, people process trauma in different ways. I hope EMDR starts serving as a healthy outlet for you to process that trauma very soon. However, I’m glad that you’re still giving therapy a good go and not giving up. You’re so resilient and you should be so proud of how far you’ve come. We’re here to support you through your healing journey and we’d love to hear another update from you very soon, as usual. Thank you so much for filling us in. All the love and be kind to yourself.

    – Rohina

  21. pinksky92 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks for the update. I’m really sorry that EMDR isn’t working for you. I am not sure if you would consider trying a different type of therapy? There may be better methods to help treat your past traumas. It seems like it is perhaps time to try something new, but, of course that is entirely up to you.

    I think victims have this mentality that they are somehow responsible for what happened to them. I want to say that it is not you, you are definitely not creating problems. What you experienced was so difficult. It is especially difficult when your family is being dismissive or out right denying you. That probably makes the healing process all the more difficult because you are trying to come to grips with what happened to you, but there are these negative forces in your life that are actually hindering your ability to heal and feel validated as a victim and survivor.

    I just want you to know that your feelings are valid and that you have every right to feel upset with what happened to you. I am so glad that we could be there for you to spout like a tea kettle. Thank you for being brave enough to share and for continuing to share.

    Take care, Sue.

  22. haesol Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for updating us. I’m sorry that you haven’t been feeling good lately, and that the EMDR is bringing back bad memories.

    You mentioned the compliance thing, and I think the reason Angela wanted to delve into that more was to make sure you weren’t blaming yourself. You were so young, it was only natural to be vulnerable and by extent compliant–it doesn’t mean that you gave consent, it doesn’t make anything about the situation less wrong, but it does mean it was not your fault at all.

    It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened, your feelings about the situation aren’t any less valid wheter it happened a year or forty years ago. If you still feel very strongly about the situation and still remember it vividly then it is fine–it is your experience and your story, no one can invalidate how you have been coping.

    How you choose to feel about your brothers is your choice alone. It’s okay if you feel hatred, if you feel anger, or if you feel nothing at all. Let yourself feel and process it, healing comes in waves and it has no end, so you will keep healing with time as you keep making progress.

    We’re here for you and I sincerely wish you the best.

    sol.

  23. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey Sue

    Thank you for updating us and I am sorry your therapy was tough this week. We are a safe space so please continue to use as when you need a place to express yourself. We are here for you and we support you!

  24. brookeallnutt Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for updating us on how you’re doing. I’m sorry to hear that your therapy session was tough this past week. You definitely deserve to be angry at what happened to you. From an outside perspective, it does seem like your sisters could have been more supportive of you, but only you get to make the decisions on how you should feel. I hope you can find more spaces where you are able to share your feelings and be validated. We are definitely one of those spaces, so please continue to share how you’re doing with us whenever you feel like it. As always, we are here for you, and we support you!

  25. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I’m sorry that you are struggling right now. I agree the isolation created by covid has been difficult especially for survivors attempting to tackle trauma. I know exactly what you mean when you say that the only way to avoid memories is to stay busy. Sometimes, especially as survivors continue to work through what happened to them, it does feel like the experience is exceptionally close to us. That is entirely normal. It is one of the hallmarks of trauma related disorders such as PTSD and the like. It does seem unfair when survivors are left with the lingering memories so close to the surface and others involved and close to them (such as your sisters in your particular case) have been able to dismiss or repress them. I also think it’s entirely normal for you to be feeling outrage about what happened to you. That is a great indicator that you are healing and beginning to move beyond the worst of it. Remember, healing is not linear and has no time limit. You are healing at exactly the ideal pace for you to be successful. Even when it’s frustrating, you are doing the best you can. We’re here for you! I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

    All the best,
    Becca

  26. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,

    It’s great to have you back for another update. I’m sorry to hear that therapy didn’t go as well as expected this week. Therapy is a difficult process and I guess some days just aren’t the best, but then again is every day at work perfect? Or every day at school? I certainly wish every therapy visit was great but I guess some are just normal days and some days aren’t great. I hope your next visit is better!

    I like what you said about reexperiencing things in therapy each week. This reminds me of the book ‘The Body Keeps The Score’ which you mentioned a while back. Trauma isn’t a memory, it’s an actual physical representation in the body/mind that we still carry with us. I know you have been doing EMDR occasionally and I hope that starts releasing some of the pain. You have been through a lot but I know you will make it through!

    I hope you have a great and safe upcoming week!