A Year In Fast Forward – Moving

I know it’s been almost a year since I’ve posted anything on my blog, and all I can say is it’s been one hellish year. Losing my dog, L.V., was like having my breath knocked out of me repeatedly. In my last blog I said of my new dog “He’ll never be L.V., but he can be Moo and that is enough.” In some ways I was right and in other ways I was sooo wrong.

Little did I know when I adopted Moo, I was getting a dog that has PTSD worse than me. Unfortunately, I didn’t really realize Moo had ISSUE
S due to the other major life change that was thrown at me at about the same time.

My parents, who I live with, decided to sell our house (the house I grow up in) and move into the condo my mother inherited for my grandparents. I had so MOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAANY problems with this; I don’t even know where to start.

First, I’d have to leave my home, the one place where I actually felt safe. The room that was like my cave, the place I vowed no one could get me out of without dynamite. When I was going through a bad time, home was the ONLY place I could be. A place I could lock myself in and be safe.

Second and maybe more importantly, I’d have to move into the condo where my grandparents, the people who abused me spent the last years of their lives. I will acknowledge that I was never abuse in the condo, so I don’t have any memories of that there, but when they moved from the house where I was abused; most of their things came with them. So even though they are both dead, going into the condo was like going into a mine-field full of triggers. At first I couldn’t even think about it. The furniture in the room that would be my “new” room was the furniture in the room where my grandfather had abused me. It had to be removed before I’d even think about going in there. This caused a huge problem because this furniture is considered a family heirloom, but no one in the family wanted/needed a full set of bedroom furniture. It is over hundred years old and all my parents’ friends who saw it were pushing me to keep it because it was such a “nice set”, better then the stuff I had. I was almost to the point where I told these ignorant, well-meaning friends that there was no way I was every going to sleep on the bedroom set I have memories of being tied to while I was raped repeatedly by my grandfather; that I’d rather sleep outside in the dirt, first! I did let something of the above slip when my mother got pushy about it, after which the furniture finally disappeared, and I haven’t heard of it since.

Third, the condo association also doesn’t allow pets, I’d just lost L.V. which almost put me in the hospital, now I was being told that I would have to give up MOO, too.  It was like my parents were trying to kill me. Fortunately, with the help of my therapist and a law called the Fair Housing Act, I was able to keep, Moo. But I’ll post more about that later.

 Fourth and I can only say this now with the hindsight of actually living there for a while; the condo association is a 55 and older community. I can live there with my parents because they are over 55 but everyone there is older than dirt. The pool closes at dark for goodness sake. Everything and everyone is asleep by 8 or 9 pm. Being that I’m a night person this is hard on me. Also living around so many old people is triggering to me because some of them look like my grandparents.  I’ll be driving and bam!, there is someone who looks just like them. Maybe it’s the hair, maybe it’s the way they walk, maybe it’s the clothes they are wearing, I can’t be sure what it is, but it is something. And there I am in flash-back, panic, hyperventilating, city; and my parent’s wonder why I don’t want to leave the condo. I don’t even want to open my blinds, but that could be because we are next to the clubhouse and the pool and all the condos sit almost on top of each other. Opening the blinds means that people can see in. I don’t like people watching me. It freaks me out.

This didn’t even take into account the actual stress that is normal when you move.

My parents moved into the condo, in June or July of last year, after visiting my sister, and her suggesting that they try it first. Needless to say they liked it and never moved back into our house.  Moo and I spent over 3 maybe 4 months in our house alone. I think that this is why his PTSD issues didn’t come up. It was just him and I and he loved me, and there was really no one else around for him to interact with and thus be scared of.

During this time I had to at least consider moving, even though it was that last thing I wanted to do. My parents were gone, the house was on the market and I was about to be homeless, if I couldn’t get my mind around living in the condo. This is when Rose took over and decided what logically “we” could and couldn’t live with. What it would take for all of me to even consider moving. She knew that “we” had to at least be a little flexible; after all “we” were living with the parents for next to nothing. She also understood why they felt like it was time to move from our big house into a condo. She understood things like money, the need to make things easier on themselves because of their age and not being about to do things that they were once able to do i.e. maintaining a big yard, cleaning a big house, keeping up with repairs, etc. She knew that emotions were all well and good but that they were going to put us in a even worse situation then moving, so she made us come up with the list of WHAT “WE” HAD TO HAVE TO MOVE – for it to go on the list all or at least the majority of me had to agree that it was a MUST HAVE.

The biggest thing, which was that only thing all of us could agree on, was: we had to keep Moo. There would be no moving without him.

Next came getting rid of ALL and I mean ALL my grandparents things. Then the whole condo had to be given what can only be called a complete makeover – new paint, new flooring, new furniture or at least our furniture, not anything belonging to the grandparents.

“We” wanted complete say on our bedroom and bathroom. The color the walls were painted, the furniture that went in there, the fixtures and other things in the bathroom. It had to be so different that – one not a trace of the way it looked when my grandparents where alive was remaining and two they would hate what “we” had done with it, because it wasn’t beige, brown or orange.

“We” now live in a room that is painted purple on 3 sides and teal on the fourth. The teal side is hand painted (my hands) to look like a rose, butterfly garden with purple, orange, lime green, yellow and pink. It’s what we wake up looking at. It’s great to open one’s eyes to that after having a flash back nightmare; it’s even calming and peaceful. It’s also a great visualization tool, putting yourself in that garden.

There were a lot of mental black and blue marks before I got to the place where we were okay with the move, but for the most part I think “we” are all there now.

More on the last year to come…

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It’s Been A While

I known it’s been a while since I posted, I don’t know what to say except that it’s been bad for me. 03476cb8 With the non stop relatives visiting (which means talking about our childhood – half of which I don’t remember, or don’t want to) plus the year anniversary of the death of my adopted grandmother, all I’ve wanted was some peace. Saying that almost got me thrown back into the crazy house. Instead of my therapist hearing the plead for help in the form of something I could do to get me through, she heard “I was tired and was suicidal”. Never once did the words I wanted to kill myself, or I was thinking of ending it come out of my mouth. But I still felt so unsafe that I ended up walking out of therapy, which was a good thing because they called the police on me. If I had stuck around I would have ended up back in the psych ward, I’m still having nightmares from the last time I was there, so it’s not something I plan on doing again EVER!

This pushed me to finally getting a new therapist, something that I have been putting off because of money issues. But I now have one that specializes in dissociative disorders. Our first session was more helpful then the last year’s worth have been. I’m sitting here now trying to fill out the paperwork she gave, and I having a hard time with it though. The general info name, b-day, etc. is easy, even the check this box if you feel this way, but then I get to the last page and it like being back at school, essay questions.

The 5 most traumatic events in my life, my strengths (thanks to Sophia) I was able to fill this one out, because I don’t feel like I have any strengths, my weakness – the page isn’t long enough.

That’s all for now. I try to write more soon. I’m off to one of what feels like a trillion doctor’s appt. I have in the next two weeks.

Old Trauma Coming To Visit

Last night, my cousin Balthazar, called to say that his family was coming to where I live and could they stay with us. Out of all my cousins, this one is the one I just can’t stand. When I was five or six, my aunt Tabitha and her family moved in with us. That meant nine people (4 adults and 5 kids) in a house with two bedrooms and one and a half baths. Balthazar was the oldest of us kids, and was always trying to figure out ways to get the rest of us in trouble while he came out smelling like a rose. There was never any way of proving what he was doing and when you spoke up and said something about him, my aunt Tabitha would always stick up for him. After all he was her little angel and there was not way he would/could do anything wrong. I was his favorite target. It seems I was everyone’s favorite. Anyway for the 3 months they lived with us and the year to two years they lived three houses down from us, he found ways of torturing an already tortured me. He made my life a living H@!!. I was so glad when they moved away, even though I missed my cousin Hannah. Since then I have made it a practice to stay away from him as much as possible, but when I had to see him in the past; he’s always gone back to his torturing ways. By torturing, I don’t mean physically, but he is one of those persons who can always find your weak spot and go in for the kill, torturing you emotionally. For many years, he made it his duty to destroy whatever confidence I had. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in many years because he moved his family far away and he never seemed able to make it for family reunions, weddings, etc. for which I was always grateful.

Now out of the blue, he wants to bring his family here and he’s asked my parents to stay with us. I suddenly feel six years old again, looking over my shoulder waiting for the next attack. The problem is, is that he was always so good with the sneak attacks. He’d wait till you relaxed then hit you with all he had. I know that I am an adult now and things are different but I still remember how much he was able to hurt me and I go back to being a child facing what seems like a giant that can’t be brought down. I’m not sure if I have the strength to deal with that or him. I know that he isn’t coming to visit till sometime in August but he’s already got me looking over my shoulder.

I’m really unhappy about this whole thing, I hope against hope that something comes up and I don’t have to deal with him. Maybe he won’t come or maybe I can go away while he is here. I just hate that he can send me back to such a helpless place.

He’s Back!?!

For the last two years, my cousin, Amos has been living with his mom and sister across the country, and it has been relatively peaceful on that front. I guess I should really start at the beginning when it comes to Amos and all the messed up emotions he invokes.
When his parents went through their divorce it was like I gained three older brothers and I really didn’t get a say in the matter. A part of me is still VERY resentful of this because they took the little attention that my mother was able to give me and made it vanish into thin air. The thing with Amos, though is that I got a kind of gift. We are only five dayknife blogs apart in age and it was like having a twin. We were inseparable as children, we were each other’s shadow. That changed when Amos, was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. The person I loved and was like a twin to me disappeared and a stranger was left in his place. He still looked the same, his voice was the same, but the part of him that made him, him was gone. It was like he died, and his Amos body was inhabited by someone else. Medications help and you’d get to see glimpses of the old Amos, but there was also this new Amos to deal with. The one that won’t stay on his meds because nothing is wrong with him, the one that takes a machete to furniture, the one that will kill you in your sleep, the one I am afraid to be alone with. While he was gone, I didn’t have to face the fact that the Amos of my childhood is never really coming back. That the person that he was is now gone for good.
On Tuesday we got a call from, Amos that he was is Tennessee and his car broke down on his way home. To make a long story short I just spent the last 2 1/2 days driving with my uncle back and forth to Tennessee to pick up Amos, his things and get his car sent to a scrap yard.
Now I know most of you are wondering why in the h(!! I would go on such a trip and it comes down to the worst of two evils – a 2 1/2 day trip into the country to pick up Amos or staying home and dealing with the screaming banshee that is my nephew, Reuben. I chose the trip to the country. Not sure if it was the best choice but at least I got to go somewhere I’ve never been before and got to see the town that is considered “The nursery (tree) capital of the world”.
The return trip was horrible, and I really pushed for doing the drive in one day instead of two. My uncle Able has no clue about mental illnesses (although he should since our family is riddled with them) and he doesn’t know how to treat Amos. The last thing you want to do to a paranoid schizophrenic, who isn’t on his meds, is make him more paranoid. My uncle, Able love watching all these conspiracy programs and then going on and on about the end of the world; till even I was paranoid.
Now that Amos is back I feel like even the little hope I had of finally getting some of my mother’s attention is completely gone. I don’t know why I keep hoping for something that is never going to happen (my mother realizing that I need her, and her being there for me), but I do! I’m sad, mad, angry and frustrated!

Enough Already!

I lost another person that I was close to in childhood to cancer, just yesterday. That makes 2 deaths in less than a week. Which means 2 funerals in the coming weeks, something that I normal avoid like the plague, unless they are for family, but these people are almost like family to me. So I have to steel myself up for them. This is when I really wish I could still drink whiskey. At least it numb the pain and dialed back the anxiety of being around other people. I am feeling extremely sad and emotional but also empty inside. Part of me wants to submerged myself in the pain and the grief and another part of me wants to feel nothing at all. The hardest part of all this is that I am missing my adopted grandmother SO MUCH! It use to be when my parents were gone I’d spend a lot of time with her, we’d do dinner and a movie, go shopping, whatever. It really didn’t matter because I was with someone who loved me for me, without strings or the need to improve on me. I miss having that person in my life; I miss her unconditional love. It’s hard because I keep seeing things that I know she’d love  and I want to share with her but she is no longer here for me to do that. With the death of 2 people this week that I cared about, I’m feeling over whelmed with grief.

I am trying my hardest to find even a reason to get out of bed but there doesn’t seem to be one. Kit, Genevieve, Edith and Beth are all weeping and whaling in my mind, Becca and Sonja Split_Personality_Disorder_by_Rebeccannoyingwant to do something wreckless or maybe shoot-up something, or break something, or release their anger somehow. The Shadow is whispering a very enchanting tune of how nice it would be to join my dead friends, Rose is trying hard to shut down all my feelings and emotions. It’s almost like I can see her in my brain trying to flip switches like you would on a computer getting ready to meltdown; she pulling her hair and cussing. Lola is being quiet for a change; maybe she realizes that now is not the time for her and her needs. But Peter on the other hand is being overly loud and obnoxious. He’s yelling at the weeping girls to shut up that death happens and to get over it; which isn’t helping and just making the crying worse. He’s mad at my wreckless duo because that is not appropriate behavior ever. He’s incensed that “A” would even listen to the bewitching words of The Shadow. That is not the answer and to think it is, is a sin against God and one’s self. Boy, I wish he’d shut up!

To add to all this I am not looking forward to the return of my parents because they are bringing my nephew, Reuben with them. Which means the noise level is going to double; I’ll have the noise going on in my head and the noise going on outside which will be doubled with him here. Plus, he and my mother’s interaction with him ALWAYS triggers me. No wonder bed seems the safest place for me right now.

The Legacy Of Child Abuse – DOUBT

When you live in a family whose whole life has been about covering up abuse, you have a tendency to doubt. You doubt them, but most of all you doubt yourself, your doubt your memories, and you second, third and fourth guess everything from the time before (your childhood).  A perfect example of this happened last night, we were having dinner together – mom, dad, my uncle – Abel and one of my mom’s friend’s. They were discussing Babylon (grandmother) who is once again in rehab, because she broke her other hip. Anyway they were talking about how Babylon gave up drinking Coffee because of the way it made her act, and how the nursing gave her coffee instead of tea. I spoke up not even really thinking about it and said “I remember that – the way she acted on coffee”. I said “that I remembered her trying to hit someone with the glass coffee pot”. My mom immediately opened her mouth and said “Oh, no Babylon gave up coffee long before you were born.” I sat there for a few minute doubting my memory, then I looked around the table and I got this eerily feeling like they were are waiting for me to doubt my memory and believe the memory they were trying to put in its place or rather the fact that I didn’t really have that memory at all.

I know that I should have just shut up, but I clearly remember Babylon having a cup of coffee with my father and then about a half hour later her going ballistic because someone left the coffee pot on and burnt the last 1/2 inch or so of coffee to the pot. I remember her threaten to break it over someone’s head if the person responsible didn’t clean it up. I can still hear the metal bottom ringing as it hit the counter and I can remember with clarity that she was the last person to touch the pot but that you couldn’t tell her that because it would have made her more violent. I also remember that the rest of the time we stayed there my dad would always make his cup of coffee, dump the rest down the sink, turn off the pot and make sure it was washed out before my grandmother could have any.

When I mentioned the part about her threatening to break the pot over someone’s head, my family back down enough to say MAYBE that happened but they don’t remember it (which only tells me that they do, but they don’t want to admit it).

Because the tricks my mind plays with repressed memories I already have doubts enough to fill an ocean, which makes it harder is when the people around you are trying to make you doubt your memories too.

Doubt is a tricky thing in that it makes you want to believe that what you remember you really don’t. After all it would be so much easier not to believe in your memories, to go with the flow, instead of fighting the current. The problem with that is that:

I KNOW WHAT I KNOW.  And even when I doubt it, it is still the truth.

I’ll never forget the first time I faced doubt, the first time my memories where called into question, it was the first time I realized that the only one I could trust was myself. But that is a subject for another post – Trust.

 

The Legacy Of Child Abuse – ANGER

Like I said Anger seem to be my personal favorite in the list of aftereffects child abuse has left me with, or maybe to put it more accurately Anger is the one that sticks the closest, appears the most, and is seen by those around me. Anger is a very powerful emotion. It poisons our minds and makes rational thinking almost impossible.

My anger is out of my control, I have no idea what will set it off, how it will choose to display itself or where it goes when is suddenly disappears after putting me in the situations it does.

But first who am I angry at and why am I angry?

I’m angry at myself, my family, God and well, the world as a whole.

I am angry at my family because they didn’t stop the abuse. They knew what my grandfather was – a child molester – yet they gave him easy access to children. They didn’t keep me safe. I am angry that I had to be the one to stop the abuse because they were too blind to see what was going on right under their eyes. I am angry that it took me becoming deeply depressed and suicidal before they even notice there was anything wrong and got me help. I am angry that my family never talked about or will now talk about what my grandfather did to us. I am angry that they are still trying to keep it a secret. I am angry with my family for the way they handled the situation after the abuse became known. I am angry that I was treated like I had done something wrong, when I was in fact the victim, while my grandfather seems to get away with it. I am angry that my family dissuaded me from pressing charges against my grandfather, in an effort to keep their secret. I am angry that every bit of my therapy has been paid for by me, instead of by the person who caused me to need the therapy in the first place, even though I have no money and his estate is large. I am angry that my family thinks that it is time I get over this already and move on with my life. I am angry at my family for being able to have a life while I live in misery and pain. I AM ANGRY AT MY FAMILY.

I am angry at God for allowing this to happen to me. I am angry at God for giving this man a place of prominence in his place of worship. I am angry at God for allowing him to use that prominence and God’s word, the Bible to gain power over me so that he could abuse me. I am angry at God for allowing this to make me question my faith in him and have doubts. I AM ANGRY AT GOD.

I am angry at the world as a whole because they just don’t get what being sexual molested as a child does to you, how it effects every day after that. I am angry at everyone – teacher, doctors, etc. – who should have noticed, and didn’t. I am angry at the system that is now denying me the help and support I need to get better. I am angry at all those happy people out there with their happy lives, who never had to experience what I have; I am angry because I can’t be one of them.  I AM ANGRY AT THE WHOLE WORLD.

Yes, I left being angry at myself for last because I am the person I am most angry at and because this is the hardest one to admit to. As I said in the beginning of this post “anger poisons our minds and makes rational thinking almost impossible.” Logically I know that being angry at myself is foolish, because I did nothing wrong, my abuser did, but emotionally I am still angry at myself. I am angry because I allowed the abuse to happen, and I keep allowing it to happen even though I knew it was wrong. I am anger that I could have say “no” and made him stop, but I didn’t even try. I am angry that I wasn’t strong enough to make him stop. I am angry that I never told although he used threats to makes sure that I didn’t. I am angry that I can’t make this all go away like it never happened, like I use to be able to do. I am angry that I can’t put this behind me and get on with my life. I am angry that I have allowed this to make me feel ashamed, guilty, and worthless. I am angry that I have allowed this to make me feel dirty and undeserving of the love of others. I am angry that I can’t trust anyone because of my abuse and am therefore unable to get close to or allow others close to me. I am angry that I have allowed this to bottle up my emotions to the point where I am afraid to have or express any of them. I am angry that I was not able to handle the effects of my abuse so I now have to deal with at least 7 different personalities in my head all trying to tell me what to do. I am angry that I have allowed this to make me such an angry person. I am angry that it is hard for me to say these things, without being angry at myself for feeling them. I AM ANGRY AT ME.