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Day 180: To Everything Its Season (Trigger Warning)

Posted by intrepidshe , in Healing Work 08 June 2014 · 1,888 views

June 8, 2014 Intrepid Age = 109 Days:
 
When I left yesterday to visit Portland Friend (PF) I had a nagging feeling I wouldn't be able to find the words I needed. I knew I would read the letter to her, but after that I didn't think any more words would out. I was pretty scared as I drove there and thought several times to turn back. When I got to town I pulled off to a restaurant and sat for a half hour trying to make up my mind. I thought about you all here and how you would encourage me, but also tell me it was OK to do whatever felt safe. And I thought, "She's safe. She has always been safe." I texted to let her know I was in town and would be to her house soon.
 
She had a sinus infection and I felt bad about her spending time out-and-about with me. When I saw her coughing and struggling, I offered to put off the conversation. But, she was insistent about it. She said, "It's a God thing. To each its season. It is now the season for you to become complete. I have waited a long time for this and so have you."
 
Once that was settled she and I went out to an overlook to talk. She was crying before I even started reading the letter. This was a big moment that was more than two decades in the making. She has always been there for me and accepted my limitations. Now I was opening up to her completely and it was intense for both of us.
 
I experienced very little emotion reading it. There were times we both laughed. There were times she became very angry. We talked a fair bit about my step-father and how I felt spending time with him, other than the abuse. This made her very sad. She said, "You were starving. You literally starved as a child, causing you to not grow, and you starved for affection as well." I nodded. She said, "You had to do what he wanted in order to get just a little bit of attention and approval."
 
I realized as I was reading my letter one of the reasons compliments are difficult for me. He (my step-father) gave them to me to manipulate me. He would say nice things to me, call me smart, call me talented, call me pretty . . . but then he turned those things into sexual gratification for him. So, ever since then it is triggering for me when I receive a compliment. It reminds me of him using those kinds of words to make me vulnerable to him. I was so desperate for affection, for approval, for attention, and for kindness, I would let his words convince me what he wanted from me was OK, despite how sick it made me feel.
 
PF cried when I told her this. And she understood for the first time why I always react strangely to compliments. I understood for the first time why I always react strangely to compliments. And, I understood why my reaction to AF telling me my writing was beautiful was so hard for me. I felt her genuineness, her conviction. I knew she was safe and was not manipulating me. It caused me to hear her words as love, and not abuse, for the first time in my life. I was able to hear a compliment and it was disorienting.
 
Hearing about the affects of the abuse by my step-father and the neglect of my childhood made PF even more angry with my egg-donor/incubator than she was already. She liked me referring to my mom as egg-donor/incubator.
 
We talked for four hours and then went out for midnight breakfast, getting back in just before 1 am. When we got to her house she hugged me fiercely. I nearly cried. I wasn't quite ready for that with her and the emotion receded.
 
I slept for a solid nine hours and woke feeling out of sorts. I wanted to get out, get away, run back home and just do the work I needed to do. I had quite a bit I needed to get done today. But, I believed it could get done this evening. My urge to escape was more related, I think, to feeling vulnerable and needy.
 
I realized that as I knock away the shame I have carried all my life associated with needing affection, I feel more keenly that starvation for affection. It seems the shame served the function of burying this need. Shame drove me to keep my distance, which then resulted in not feeling the pain of neglect.
 
This morning I didn't know how I could bear it. I wondered this morning if the healing process was worth this suffering. I packed my things and prepared to leave. But, I thought about how this would hurt her feelings. I sat myself down and I told myself not to run away. I think Little Intrepid was in there reminding me she can stand up to just about anything. And she needs me to keep going.
 
PF and I went to a lake and talked some more. I didn't think I had anything else left to say. I felt stuck. But, she talked and asked questions. She shared some of her concerns and problems, which allowed me to return the friendship to her that she gives to me.
 
Eventually I realized I needed to talk to her about that pain episode I had in May and ask her to help me in the future. I told her my T had encouraged me to make a plan. If I find myself in a similar situation where I need healthcare urgently, I need a plan so I won't be overcome by fear (as I was last month). I made the plan and spoke to two of the people involved (the doctor and AF, but needed to talk to others).
 
The Plan:
  • Tell family I need either to be monitored or taken to the doctor. Give them instructions what to do in either case.
  • Call my doctor and ask if she can see me (if appropriate). Or, at least let her know what's happening.
  • Call AF to see if she'll come with me to the doctor should that prove necessary.
  • Call PF. PF can deal with my family so I don't have to worry about their reactions if I have a panic attack. She can also go to the doctor with me if AF isn't available.
I told PF I realized how much it would have hurt her if something bad had happened to me back in May. I said I was sorry for not thinking about how she would feel if I got very sick or worse. This made her cry.
 
I also told her about my desire to buy a gun as well as the writing I have done here. She extracted two promises from me: (1) no buying a gun while I'm in this healing process; and, (2) keep writing every day. She could tell the difference the writing is making for me. She said it's the first time she's heard me name emotions and the first outlet she's known me to have for them.
 
I also told her I need a little mothering. She said, "Of course you do! And, I'm here for you, whatever you need." I talked to her about replacing the need for mothering with shame so I wouldn't feel the pain. She understood that and said it is better to go through this pain than to keep living with that shame.
 
At that point I knew I had said what I needed to say and heard what I needed to hear. We agreed to see each other more often as I am in this grieving process. I told her I didn't think it would last much longer, maybe a few weeks. She smiled at me, knowingly. She said, "It took 47 years to get to this point, sweetie, it might take more than a few weeks to rewire your brain."
 
With that, I brought her home and we said our goodbyes. I had great weather for the whole visit, as though even mother nature was saying, "This is your season. It is time to grow."



I really loved that you were able to open yourself up and feel vulnerable. You are so very brave! You are truly blessed with wonderful support in your healing journey!
So glad you have PF and AF. Look at these amazing friendships!!! Opening up to PF the way you did is amazing intrepid. This is another one if those moments when you have every right to be proud and joyful of the courage and strength you have. :hug:

Sounds like a very powerful weekend with a very powerful friend and ally in your life. Somehow you have managed to find and keep or find and develop really healthy relationships with women who truly love you and who have the patience (?) optimism, and belief in you to let you evolve.

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intrepidshe
Jun 08 2014 09:03 PM

Nebulas and Kaylack, thank you for the support and encouragement. I can tell you I didn't feel courageous or strong. But, that's how it goes, isn't it? You do something that scares the sh** out of you, but you do it because it will be good for you, or it's the right thing.

 

I'll tell you what I am proud of.

  • I'm proud of my Pandy's friends who have been such wonderful support even through your own pain and struggles.
  • I'm proud of AF who is such a gifted healer and amazing friend.
  • I'm proud of PF who has a heart of gold the size of New York. I'm incredibly, incredibly lucky!
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intrepidshe
Jun 08 2014 09:05 PM

Sounds like a very powerful weekend with a very powerful friend and ally in your life. Somehow you have managed to find and keep or find and develop really healthy relationships with women who truly love you and who have the patience (?) optimism, and belief in you to let you evolve.

 

It's true Jiva. I don't know how this came about. After everything, I really have been lucky! Also for knowing you as well!

Hi intrepid. good news from you. yay

Crying crying crying :hug:
Ok, I can reply properly now. I can imagine your PF was honoured by this. You showed her how much you trust and love her. And wonderful friend that she is, she gave her love and acceptance freely to you. From what I read- she always has. You have another 'angel' in your life, and I am so pleased for you. You deserve such love and loyalty and nurturing and care. You always have done, and I am so happy that you recognise this too and are brave enough to ask for what you need and accept it.

What you wrote about compliments struck a chord with me. When I turned up to T last week she said: " Oh- you look pretty" (I had a dress on). I now realised she triggered me!!! Explains partly some of my struggle with her last week.......

Hang on in there with this Intrepid. It is pushing me on too. I MUST find this courage you have shown and read my poem to my T. This nurturing thing is a biggy - it's becoming more dominant in my mind.

:hug:
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intrepidshe
Jun 09 2014 12:01 AM

You can do it Mand. I'm here for you, as you have been for me. So is your DH!

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intrepidshe
Jun 09 2014 12:05 AM

Hi intrepid. good news from you. yay

 

Thanks Max!

Your season... I like that. Springtime is always the best, may it work its magic for us all :)
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intrepidshe
Jun 09 2014 12:20 AM

Your season... I like that. Springtime is always the best, may it work its magic for us all smile.png

 

Amen to that Q!

:hug:

Sending positive energy to help you make the most of this growing season.  May your efforts to develop emotionally and spiritually continue to bear fruit in abundance. :hug:

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intrepidshe
Jun 09 2014 01:28 PM

:hug:


Thanks Susanna. Hugs back to you.
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intrepidshe
Jun 09 2014 01:29 PM

Sending positive energy to help you make the most of this growing season.  May your efforts to develop emotionally and spiritually continue to bear fruit in abundance. :hug:


Allegro, I found this very uplifting! Your words are always so beautiful. Thank you!
Intrepid, So glad the meeting went amazing with your friend, what a treasure. So many of your posts I connect with, many times I can say nothing - just sit amazed that another person has felt what I feel and more shocking can write it out - your writing is a talent, a gift an art. So thankful you are willing to share so honestly. I am so with you on accepting a compliment, or positive attention never thought of it as a trigger or connected it with SA..... it is, it is.
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intrepidshe
Jun 11 2014 07:09 PM

Elaina,

 

thanks for your wonderfully kind words about my writing! hug.gif There. I am just going to accept the compliment. It feels really good to hear it and I appreciate it! Not triggered. Just happy.

About Intrepid She

This is a moderated PUBLIC blog. This blog is a therapeutic tool I am using to help me get over my fear of doctors (which is made difficult by a history of abuse by them) to learn to grieve, and ultimately to integrate my dis-integrated heart.

 

View postings specific to health care.

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The content of this blog is not appropriate for children or for anyone who might be triggered by reading about sexual abuse.

 

To the many others walking your own version of this path, I wish you well on your journey. -Intrepid

 

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