homework on change done....
I have spent the week trying to figure out how I have changed in the past four and a half years. I find it very hard to come to any conclusions about it.
Yes, I can now see that a lot of the beliefs I have are not based in fact. I can say, for example, that the things he said are not true because he is a criminal. He was not someone to be trusted. The things he said he said to make me feel guilty. To justify to himself what he did. That he is warped. He was so wrong. He wanted to hurt me. He enjoyed it. And, by putting the blame on me, by calling me dirty and disgusting, and telling me I liked it, it took all the blame off of him, where it belonged.
But for me to really believe all of that? That is the hardest thing. I do have my moments when I can believe it, and I know it to be true. But those moments seem to be few and fleeting.
It is so hard for me to see any kind of positive change in myself. Maybe if I could step back from myself, it would make it easier. If I could be impartial.
But I can see the negative ways I've changed.
I've started cutting again, after years of not cutting. The urges I started having were so overpowering, and I feel so weak for giving in. Even though I have people tell me how strong I am.
I guess one way I've changed for the positive is that now I do see myself as a survivor. Which seems like such a contradiction, because I just wrote about how weak I feel, when to be a survivor, in my mind, means you have to be strong.
Can you be strong if you don't feel it? I don't know.
But maybe I am. I've never seen myself as strong, but, here I am. I'm still here. I have survived some things, pretty traumatic things. Four and a half years ago, I don't think I could have said that.
I know that, in the past four and a half years, I've had some instances where I've spoken up, and spoken my mind. All of my life I have had a problem with that. The latest instance was the letter I wrote to Senator Gillibrand. I never would have even imagined myself doing that before I started therapy. And if I don't hear from her, that is ok. I have found that, in the right circumstance, stating that I am a survivor is very empowering.
I reach out now more than I ever did before. Although, I have to say that reaching out in regards to my cutting is very uncomfortable for me. And I think it's an important thing, and part of the reason I am here today. For so long, I did without the help of anyone else. Now I know that I can't try to cope alone. And, although my urge to isolate is so strong, I make myself reach out, whether it's through group, or the art room, or even calling you the few times I have.
I'd like to be able to say that I trust more. That I have less anxiety. Less anger. Less depression. That triggers aren't as strong and don't have such a hold on me. I know that healing is a process, and that it doesn't occur overnight. And I suppose I could count the fact that I still struggle with all of those things as failure. Maybe it just means that it's going to take me a whole lot longer than I am imagining it should.
Maybe I need to give myself a break.
Maybe it's that I'm learning how to deal with those things. I am trying. I think I've operated for so long with the coping skills I've had, or lack of coping skills, that it's going to take time for me to learn all new ways of coping.
Honestly, I don't think those things are ever going to go away. Not totally.
I feel like I will never heal from the trauma. I can talk about, and write about, the rapes, all day and all night. But they are still with me. They color every part of my world. My relationships, my emotions. They affect my sleep, my trust of others, my appetite. When I have the memories, the nightmares, when he just pops into my head, still to this day I don't handle it well. It just feels something like insanity that I can be in the middle of doing something, and just all of a sudden there he is. Something he said, something he did. And the fear from those two nights, from that second night in particular, that fear is so strong. It grips me the way it did those two nights.
Something not so positive now is this feeling detached. I feel detached from everyone. Even from my daughter, who I always felt closest to. I keep everyone at an arms length or farther away. I don't know why I am experiencing this change.
I suppose my biggest change is that I am now trying to work on healing. For years I didn't, I just buried everything.