Main » April 2006
April 29, 2006
knowing but not doing....
donna wrote an email to me this morning and in response to what i wrote in my last entry here last night, one thing she said was:
"Knowing that you feel overwhelmed and anticipate immobilization offers possibilities of making different decisions."
i know this now. i do. there was a time awhile ago that i didn't know this, but now, i know this is the answer of how i have to make changes in my life. and even though the fear is still there, i have to find a way to make a different decision despite the fear. i could give into the fear and have it immobilize me or i could choose to do something different. i've been saying to myself all morning that i need to make a different decision and follow through on it. i've been SAYING this, but not DOING it! i have to make a committment to myself today that i will make different decisions and follow through on them despite the fear. this is so much easier said than done. i feel the fear surrounding me, as if it was the enemy, waiting to attack and immobilize me.
April 28, 2006
starting to unravel...
i feel scared. it's the kind of fear that comes when i start to get overwhlemed or uncomfortable. i feel very pressured and i'm not sure why. i do have a lot to do but it's not really that bad. i have to do progress reports for my students this weekend. it's tedious work, but manageable. and i have some other school stuff - my plan book, grading papers, and writing up a report for an annual review meeting for one of my kids in resource room. and then there's the application for fordham. i had wanted to get a rough draft done. i'm also meeting with my brother in law on sunday because he's going to help me with financial aid stuff. and i'm sooooo exhausted. and my head hurts so much.
i feel this need to do everything right; perfect. and not even DO everything perfectly, but to BE perfect. i've really been doing better with leaving those thoughts behind but at the moment, i feel them coming back. at least i think it's that. i'm not even sure. i just feel afraid and it's connected to this sense of feeling overwhelmed because i feel like no matter what i do or how i do it, it just won't be enough because i'm not enough. and when i start feeling like this, it usually just intensifies and spins out of control and i end up paralyzed by the fear and it stops me from getting ANYTHING done. i feel it starting and i'm so afraid i won't be able to get a handle on it and before i know it, it will be sunday night and i will be in a total panic and not have anything done. how am i ever going to go back to graduate school when i still have moments like this? this issue of panic and paralysis when i get overwhelmed had gotten so much better this year so why am i feeling like this now? and how do i get myself out of it?
i need help. i feel so afraid.
Posted by Butterflyteam at 6:33 PM
April 27, 2006
even though i'm exhausted beyond words, i had a good session with donna tonight. we talked about my essay for my application to fordham. donna helped me a little because i'm really struggling with writing an essay full of things that are supposed to make me sound good. i'm just not comfotable writing about myself in a such a "bragging" way. donna helped by giving me some suggestions so now i have to attempt to write some sort of rough draft this weekend. i am NOT looking forward to it.
we also talked a lot about my family, my parents in particular. this is usually a subject i like to avoid but i did ok with it tonight. besides the exhaustion, i had some relief from the fear and anxiety i've been feeling lately and i felt pretty grounded and present for the whole 2 hours that i was with donna.
however afterwards, when i stepped outside, i felt like i was suddenly hit with a huge, overwhelming sense of loneliness. i know it's hard for all of us to leave donna's for several reasons. we feel safe there. whenever we leave, i think it resembles those times in my childhood when i was sent off to be with those who abused me. i know that i'm not being sent out into anything harmful now, but it's that strong connection to the feelings of being safe at one moment and then it being gone. i also know the feeling of connection to donna is very important so when i was suddenly by myself when i left her office, i felt so lonely and vulnerable. it was a beautiful, warm night; still plenty of light at 7:30pm. i walked the 30 minutes back to the train station. it was really nice, but i felt so alone.
i really long for the day when i can carry those feelings safety with me. i also long for the day when i am okay with being by myself because i feel like i am enough. that all i need comes from within me, not from external people, places and things. will that day ever come???
Posted by Butterflyteam at 6:47 PM
sleeping or should i say lack of sleeping just sucked tonight!!! i don't know WHAT is going on! i had terrible anxiety all evening and couldn't settle down enough to fall asleep. somewhere around 1:00 i started to fall asleep but could not stay asleep for longer than 10 or 15 minutes. i know i woke up suddenly a few times feeling so startled and afraid. i remember turning the tv back on around 2:00. a little while after that i must have fallen asleep again only to keep waking up every few minutes. when i woke up at 4:00, i couldn't fall back asleep so i've been up since then. it's now a little after 5:00. so i'm not sure i managed to get more than an hour's worth of sleep all together. i am exhausted and still very anxious. my stomach hurts too. i have a very long day ahead of me. i have to give a state science test. it's the performance part where the kids go to different stations and work on different hands on activities. we set up all the activities in the gym and i'm just constantly on the move all day walking around to each station answering questions and explaining what to do. there is no possible time to take a break.
i wish so much that i could swallow a pill that would just knock me out completely for a day or two and i could just escape!
April 26, 2006
still anxious this evening.....
the anxiety i woke up with this morning stayed with me on my way to school and throughout most of the morning. i think the intensity lessened at points during the day simply because i was very busy and distracted, however there was this uneasy, nagging feeling with me all day. now, this evening, the anxiety is getting stronger again. i'm not really sure what's going on. i'm just really scared right now, my hands are shaking, my stomach is queasy, and my heart is racing. i feel a strong urgency to do something to not feel - some unhealthy behavior like cutting or binging and purging. i feel like i need an escape - i need to get out of my body so i won't feel this intense anxiety. how do i stop myself from giving into one of these behaviors? i already went to an AA meeting and spoke to some people. the anxiety intensified once i was home and by myself. i can't sit still and i need to do something and the something i want to do involves some sort of self harm.
i wonder if this is sam. i remember feelings similar to this about a week or two ago when i was with donna. i remember not being able to sit still. i think donna said sam ended up pulling out some of my hair until she told him he couldn't do that. i don't really know how to relate to sam. i don't know much about him and don't know how to stop him once he's here and wants to hurt the body. i'm not even positive that it's him. but if it is, i don't know what to do.
waking up this morning....
i woke up so anxious this morning. just like how it used to be several years ago. waking up with constant anxiety and fear for what seemed like no reason. i would have panic attacks every morning. that's kind of how i woke up this morning and how i'm still feeling right now. it seems like there's no reason for it but now that i think about it, i think i had some bad dreams last night. i can't quite remember what they were about but i remember i was little in them. i wonder if it was me dreaming or maybe abby, tara, or samantha or one of the other little ones. hmmm....i'm not sure if an alter has had a dream before and if they did that i would know it was them and not me. can alters dream????? i'm not sure.
there was also this thing with my hand. monday when i was with donna i started to have a memory and then a body memory of my arm and hand. it was weird. this mornign i woke up with something going on with that hand again. i don't know if it was in my dream or not. i'm not sure what's going on. i'm confused by a lot.
the last few days have brought up so much. i have been in a very young place so although i've been feeling a lot, i can't seem to verbalize it. i have to leave for school now and i'm just feeling so anxious and little. my hands are shaking as i type. i guess i should be grateful that i don't wake up like this every morning like i used to but it's very unsettling for it to be like this now. i guess when you're used to it happening everyday it almost seems easier to handle than when it goes away and then suddenly shows up and catches you off guard and you can feel the contrast of how different it is to the times you don't feel like this.
Posted by Butterflyteam at 4:01 AM
April 21, 2006
It's 6:00am. I've been awake for awhile. I was only able to sleep for 2 or 3 hours when I awoke with the most severe headache! I had severe headaches 2 or 3 years ago and it was horrible. They lasted for a few months and it was so unbearable. I went for every test by every doctor and they couldn't figure out what was causing them. They eventually went away.
Last Monday, I had a very bad headache. It was one similar to the intensity of those old headaches a few years ago. Now, another one. I hope this isn't the start of something all over again. One connection I've noticed however is the last headache was Monday when I was with Donna and now I have another one and I will be seeing Donna in a few hours. Hmmmm....Could someone inside be trying to say something or is it body memories or......i don't know.
My head just REALLY hurts :-(
April 20, 2006
some inspiring words...
I watched Oprah today which was about the horrendous rape epidemic in South Africa. It was very difficult to watch yet also empowering because of some of the work being done there to help these young girls. I found the words she chose to speak to these young victims so inspiring. The following statements really resonated with me.
You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to do with what has happened to you.
What has happened to you does not define your life.
What happened to you in your past does not make your future. You can take that pain and turn it into power.
I find her words very powerful because of her own history. She certainly has turned her struggle and pain into power. It has been a VERY long, slow journey for me, but I am starting to be in a place where I can at least entertain these thoughts in my head as possibilities for myself.
Posted by Butterflyteam at 8:27 PM
April 18, 2006
it's that basic fear...
i had to get up out of bed to come write this down before i let it slip away. i was writing before about being scared that i wouldn't be able to handle all of the work but that's not the real fear that would hold me back. at least i don't think it is. as all these thoughts kept rolling around in my head, i remembered something i just read in rhonda britten's book - that we often say we're afraid of all these other things happening when it really all comes back to this most basic fear of not being good enough. and that's exactly it!!! i am scared that i will not be good enough as a therapist. and i believe that i will not be good enough as a therapist because i do not believe i am good enough. period. the end. i hold onto a belief that is so deep inside the core of my being that, no matter what, who i am is not enough, let alone, good enough.
Posted by Butterflyteam at 11:09 PM
how do i know?
i think i've gotten myself so worked up over this that i've caused a panic attack. i'm freaking out right now. i feel overwhelmed. i can't breathe. i've been laying in bed trying to fall asleep but i can't. i want to call and cancel the meeting i have at stonybrook tomorrow. i don't want to go through with graduate school. i'm too scared. i'm scared i'll start this and not be able to handle it. i'm scared that i'll get too overwhelmed and i'll just fall apart. how do i know if i'll be ready in september to start this and follow through with it? how do i know that once i start it, i'll be able to handle it? i have too much self doubt. i would be fine with everything if i was just going to graduate school full time. actually, i would LOVE that. i've always liked school and to go back and dive into social work, it would be so great. but i need to work at the same time. i have to be realistic. so it's the working full time and doing graduate school and keeping up with my own healing all at the same time that's freaking me out. graduate school wouldn't be just one class a semester. it's much more than that. it's going to take up a LOT of time. what if i can't handle it all? how do i know if i'm ready for this? in some ways, i think it might be better if i waited just a bit longer so i can get a little more healing under my belt. but then i wonder if that's just an excuse i'm telling myself because i'm too afraid to go through with this. i said this same thing two years ago. will i still be saying it two years from now? 5 years from now? ten years from now? another part of me thinks doing this will shift me into even greater healing. but i'm not positive. HOW DO I KNOW WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO?
i'm also freaking out about what program to do. i really like the fordam-molloy one. and that one seems like it would be a little less stressful, at least in the beginning. but the stonybrook one would be like a third of the cost. do i go into a LOT more debt simply to be a little less stressed for a year or two?
by the way i'm freaking out right now you would think i've already sent in applications and are very close to starting. but i haven't done any of that. i've just started THINKING about it. i would have to move rather quickly on the whole thing to start in the fall semester but there's still a little time. if simply thinking about this is causing this much anxiety, what is going through with it going to cause? i don't know if i'm ready for this. i felt so much stronger and positive this afternoon when thinking about it. now that i've taken a tiny step towards making it happen, i'm falling apart. this is what being committed to myself looks like for me. i start it - get terrified - and stop. how do i stop this cycle?
Posted by Butterflyteam at 9:57 PM
committed to myself 100% ???
today has been a weird day. it didn't start off well at all - a continuation from last night. i was not feeling "right" during my session with donna yesterday and then in the group afterwards. i'm not sure i can describe what not feeling "right" even means. i think sam was close by during my session. i couldn't sit still and i felt an urgency to just rip myself apart. i think sam even pulled some of my hair out. i'm not sure. i just wasn't very present, felt very unsettled, felt suicidal, and couldn't get focused or grounded. the group was difficult because i had a severe headache and felt terrified. i remember most of the group even though i was very dissociated through most of it but i don't remember leaving the group. i always walk out with donna afterwards and we walk up to the corner together but i can't remember doing that at all. and then the next thing i remember is getting home but it was much later than i usually get home so i don't know where i was or what i was doing for quite some time last night. that scares me.
when i woke up this morning, i was not doing well at all. i felt very suicidal. it's been very unsettling having chloe, cloud girl, and possibly rachel and stephanie so close by lately. they make functioning very difficult. i was so distraught this morning when they were close by. but things started to shift as the day went on. i watched starting over and found myself relating a lot to jodi. iyanla has been working with her on committing to herself. i found myself reflecting on how committed i was to myself. i'm very good with my commitments to others and my job and my responsibilities but when it comes to myself there seems to be lots of inconsistency. it's very similar to jodi and it's been enlightening to watch her journey. I've done some thinking about the commitment i have to myself. i've noticed that when there is something i want to do for myself or it's something to do with self-care or to move my life forward, i don't always follow through with the commitment. but there have been times recently that i'm getting better with that. the training and running of the marathon was something i committed to for myself and followed through on. that has been a huge step for me. my healing is something i am staying committed to, although there are many times i want to give up, i don't. i guess the other things i've noticed are the things that will really move me forward in my life, the BIGGER committments so to speak, that i have yet to fully commit myself to 100%. see, that's the thing. it's the 100% thing. like jodi, i do some things some of the time but not always. that's what has to change. the self-care stuff has to be 100% - food, exercise, no self-harm. actually, i'm not even sure there should be categories. it should just be - i am committed to MYSELF 100% of the time no matter what it is.
i took a step this morning and made an appointment for tomorrow at stonybrook university to speak with someone about their graduate program in social work. i've been feeling such a strong pull lately to get started with that. i've been talking about it for so long now. i found some paper work from my application to fordam the last time i felt this urge and i couldn't believe it was from 2004. i can't believe two years have gone by since i was seriously looking into it. i think i was just starting the application process and then the first memories of the ritual abuse started and i didn't go any further with it. i'm certain that was a wise decision, i just can't believe it's been almost two years already.
i am quite aware of the fear that this is bringing up. why does committing to myself bring up feelings of terror? ugh!!! i have a lot of anxiety about just meeting this woman tomorrow which makes no sense at all. it's just a meeting to get information about the program - it's not like i'm applying or even starting tomorrow! why am i so scared? how do i stay committed to myself when the feeling of terror gets so strong and makes me want to run the other way?
April 16, 2006
This Is Cloud Girl...
I am here now. It hurts inside. I don't want to be near anyone who is inside including Jen. I want to be by myself on a cloud. I don't want to be in the world among the living anymore. It will be so much better by myself on a cloud. I want to feel peaceful on a cloud. I need to think about how I can get on a cloud away from the world where there is no pain. I need to escape to my cloud now.
Posted by Butterflyteam at 6:35 PM
not willing to compromise myself.....
i feel like i'm on overload. there are a TON of feelings and issues surfacing inside of me. it's so much that i just don't know what to focus on first. they all seem equally important and demanding. it makes me want to run in the opposite direction away from it all because i don't see how i can possibly sort it all out and work on it. that's what i feel like doing but not necessarily what i'm going to do. i guess i just need to keep reminding myself that it's ok to just be and that everything that is supposed to happen will happen at its own pace. if i just let it be, then maybe whatever is the most pressing issue will surface more strongly and it will be clearer to me as to what i need to focus on at the moment.
friday was a very difficult day. suicidal alters were present all day and are still lingering close by. samanatha struggled with memories and feelings that i still don't have a strong connection to. it's interesting to see the contrast now between feeling these things myself and having the alter still hold the feelings. i didn't think i would ever say such a thing, but it almost seems easier to feel the feelings myself after experiencing the memory myself. when the alter still holds onto the memory and feelings and i am disconnected from it, i feel like i'm still on the outside and that i don't have as much control over helping myself. it reminds me of something rhonda britten said at the workshop the other night about responsibility and choice. that i am an adult now and although it is important for me to heal these old wounds, anything i am doing to myself now is my choice. nobody has control over me anymore and i need to take responsibilty for taking care of myself. it is all my choice about how i will treat myself and how i will let others treat me. when i experience the memory and feel the feelings as my own, i have a choice and control over how i will take care of myself as i go through it and heal it. when the alters still carry it, i don't feel like i have as much control. yes, i have a choice on how i can treat them and help them, but it is limited in many ways. it makes me want to experience all of the memories and feel all of the feelings. i can't believe i have reached a point where i am saying this, but i have. i want to be me and i want to accept myself as i am and i want to love myself.
there have been some major issues with my family this past week. it came down to me standing up for myself. i chose to not be part of something and, in a way, go against everything my family values as important - which would be appearances; putting on the happy face and pretending everything is great when it really isn't. well, i wasn't willing to compromise myself and give into what they were doing. it wasn't easy. i got the backlash from them because i wasn't playing by their rules. even though i was doing what i believed was right, i had a ton of self doubt. when you're being told by basically everyone that you're the one that is wrong and "what is wrong with you?" , it's hard not to second guess yourself. after speaking to a few healthy people yesterday, i felt better about my decision. although, it's still been hard because i feel very alone. it goes back to those old feelings of it somehow being easier to stay in the old, harmful place place simply because it is familiar rather than take that risk and go into the unfamiliar terrritory. again it reminds me of something else rhonda said at the workshop. i had asked her what do you do when the old, negative feelings come back after doing something good for yourself? how do you stick with the doing good for yourself? she said to ask yourself what risk are you taking? she said remind yourself that the old feelings are there because you took a risk and healthy risks are necessary to grow and change and once you do it enough, it won't feel as risky and the old feelings won't surface as much.
so......i took a risk and wouldn't give into my family's usual unhelathy ways of being. i would not compromise myself for the sake of making them happy and making it appear to the outside world that we were a perfect, happy family. i put myself first. and it is scary and lonely right now but i suppose if i do it enough, it won't feel as scary and lonely all the time.
today is easter. not such a great day for me. i feel samatha struggling inside. i feel the suicidal alters close by as well. i feel very alone. no one is around today who i can go to for support because they are busy with their holiday so i'm feeling quite alone. i guess i'll just take it minute by minute.
April 11, 2006
feelings and rhonda britten....
There are so many contrasting feelings inside of me right now. It was a hard weekend - feeling so many feelings. Feeling real and having the feelings be mine and so raw is new and challenging. Yesterday was hard with Donna. Well, not hard - I was just feeling so much. I know Cloud Girl and Chloe and maybe even Stephanie are very close. I went to bed last night feeling very suicidal. I am not looking forward to the end of this week. Thursday is a full moon and Friday is Good Friday and then Easter. I just wish it would be over with already. I am glad that I just have to get through tomorrow at school and then I will be off Thursday, Friday and then all next week. I desperately need some down time.
Tonight I went to the workshop with Rhonda Britten from Starting Over. She is such an amazing person. I can relate to her so much. I know I don't know her personally but I truly believe that she is real because of her own journey. She comes from a background where she struggled a great deal and needed to find her own healing path and now wants to help others. I know that feeling. I know if I ever find a way through my own healing journey that I want to help others who are in a similar situation. I feel it's what I'm meant to do. Anyway, it was just such an amazing night. She signed my book and I even had a personal conversation with her. She recently ran her first marathon and I shared with her my experience and how I related to what she wrote about it being a methaphor for her healing. And she helped me with some questions I had about how much I struggled afterwards - about how fear shows up the strongest when we take the risk. The whole workshop was really helpful. She spoke a lot about body image because that's what her new book is about. I have her book on fearless living that I can't wait to start because I know that it is fear behind everything that holds me back from really letting go and living. She was so inspirational and motivational and enlightening. She gave us some exercises we can do to help us with some body image stuff and she just had some great insight on things that I think can really help me. I'm so glad I went to see her. She told me that she's planning on running the New York City marathon this November. It would be cool if I got in again and ran into her there again. I still can't believe I had a whole personal conversation with Rhonda! Now I can't wait to watch my Starting Over episodes from this week. I think it might feel a little different now that I've met her and actually talked with her!
So..... I feel saying that I'm having contrasting feelings right now is a huge understatement. One part of me feels very inspired and hopeful from the workshop tonight and then there is another part(s) of me that are so hopeless that there are even suicidal feelings. Only in my head would these totally contrasting feelings exist!! I just don't get it!!
April 8, 2006
remember and reclaim - #2
Thursday's session was three and a half hours. We went through the memory in D's house, in the middle of the night. I remembered. I felt the feelings. I spoke the words that he said to me that have been haunting me for a few weeks now (it was incredibly hard to say it out loud). I reclaimed this part of me that was lost in this traumatic experience. The after effects have been difficult. Somehow I got through the day in school yesterday. Today, I went to my trauma support group but had a very difficult time. I could feel all the things inside me that I wanted to share but they all got stuck inside my throat. That same feeling I get at times when I want so desperately to speak but no matter what I do, I can't get the words out. I felt very scared in the group - nothing to do with the group, just fear from old stuff. I think it had to do with "telling". I had this feeling that I was not allowed to "tell" anything today. I was "bad" on Thursday for telling what happened to me and now something (or someone) inside was making sure it didn't happen again.
I AM NOT ALLOWED TO TELL.
I am feeling horrible now because i feel like I missed an opportunity to talk about some feelings and reach out and get support. But I don't know what to do when I get this feeling inside and no matter what I try to do, I can't make myself speak. I couldn't even open my mouth and say what I am writing here - that I want to talk but I feel I can't because of this "not allowed to tell" thing. I couldn't get ANY words out.
I hate this. I feel so alone.
April 3, 2006
it's ok to just...be...
it's ok to just be. i have been repeating that to myself since leaving donna's tonight. it was an interesting session and group tonight. just low key, yet, sort of intense at the same time. i'm used to absolutely needing to figure everything out and i usually can't stand when things are left up in the air and not resolved and i don't have all the answers. well, tonight, i was kind of ok with leaving everything just as it was and by all means there were many things left without answers. i was just sitting there entertaining the thought of how much less stressful it would be if i could just accept things where they were and just be. i just loved the idea. but then i got a little nervous and scared. donna thought it might be connected to a new memory. i started feeling so scared that if i just let things be - then what if something came up later on and i wasn't able to handle it and i missed the opportunity to sort it all out while i was with donna? i was losing my feelings of wanting to just be. so my "take home" of how i would take care of myself for the rest of the night was to keep repeating to myself that it is ok to just be. if i stop saying it, i lose the feeling and start to think that i need it all sorted it out. so... it's ok to just be.
yesterday was my birthday. i survived. don't really feel like saying much more than that. holly (leader of my trauma group) called me last night to see how i was doing. i really like her. we talked for almost an hour.
i'm feeling ok for the moment. i really liked my session with donna today. i'm not even sure what we talked about but it was good. we're planning to do another long session on thursday to "remember and reclaim another dissociated traumatic experience." i like the sound of that. not the traumatic experience part but the reclaiming part. i feel a little empowered and that i get to take a piece of me back that was stolen from me.
it's ok to just be.......
Posted by Butterflyteam at 7:59 PM
April 1, 2006
i am experiencing the most intense body memories right now. i don't recall them ever being this intense before. i talked about them in my trauma recovery group today. i have done several things to try to comfort samantha, who i think is connected to them. i don't know what else to do. i'm assuming it is something related to my birthday, which is tomorrow, but i'm not positive.
i can't stand the pain anymore.