19 November 2004

What Do You Mean, Depressed?

"The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven's lieutenants."~William Shakespeare

I guess it's worth mentioning here that all this old stuff I'm dredging up is making me depressed as hell. My therapist suggested that it might be why I've been so down lately. Oddly enough, I hadn't considered that.

I had also not considered that one of the (many) sources of my depression is my recognition that no one ever considered my needs important. Sometimes I felt like Athena, sprung from my father's forehead. He thought me into existence. When i was younger, I had a lot of trouble determining what I might be other than what my parents wished me to be. of course, I've figured it out since then.

Nonetheless, I have to acknowledge that neither of my parents--for different reasons, probably--was capable of seeing me as a small human. If they told me I was supposed to sit somewhere, they expected to find me there when they came back, irrespective of how long they stayed away. I was like a doll for them. They were actually the only important people, only their needs and desires were worth noting. Do I find that depressing? Well, I guess so. The problem is that one can only have one's own life. Had i had a different, better life before I lived with my family, I'm certain I would have recognized the problem for what it was.

I have some friends who had good childhoods, but I can't really compare. I have no real idea what it is to have a sane family. I have no idea what it must be like to have a mother and father who acknowledge your humanity on a daily basis. I have no clue as to what it would be like to have my parents do something for me when they couldn't see how it would directly benefit them.

That's about enough for today.

american held hostage day 1771

bushism of the day:
"There's only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids upon the death of their loved one. Others hug but having committed the troops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug and that's me and I know what it's like."

17 November 2004

The Baby Comes and My Dad Finds Someone Else He Likes More Than Me

"It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake."~ H.L. Mencken

Before I begin my continuing litany of what went wrong with my life, just an update on what's going wrong now. My hubby is somewhat bipolar, I think, and he's in the midst of a slight upswing into the manic mode. Unfortunately, this is not the type of mania that leads to euphoria. He's been in a bad mood for at least a couple of days now. I'm much better about dealing with it than ever before. I pretty much leave him alone to work out his own mood disorder. I try not to get anxious. Unfortunately, he has this nasty habit of slamming doors when he's irritable. Every time he does it, I can feel a tremor run through my nervous system. I consider it a triumph that I'm able to recognize what's going on and detach from it a little. I guess this is really just desserts after my little tirade about triggers yesterday. Yes, boys and girls, I do have triggers. I have many. I generally just manage to carry on, nonetheless. As i am doing now. It's just a little blip on the radar screen of unpleasantness. It is unpleasant, though, and maybe a little scary.

It's been raining here for two days now. The sun has been out for about half an hour now and I'm so thrilled to see it. Relentlessly gray skies wear me down emotionally. It's supposed to be clear for a couple of days, so maybe I can regain my emotional equilibrium.

Okay, so where was I in the saga of trauma? Oh yeah, the baby. When i was around 13, I noticed what appeared to be a growing pregnancy in my father's wife (yes, that would be the 15 year old). There was, of course, general denial, although I don't think I ever actually mentioned it to anyone. You know, what would have been the point? After the baby was born and returned to my house, my dad told me it was someone else's kid. Yes, this pisses me off even today. I endured. what else can I say? I was enraged and contemptuous of him. Somewhere in there, before the whole baby thing, my father decided he'd found someone else he liked more than me.

We went to visit his family in Hillbilly USA because, I guess, he wanted to demonstrate to his mother and siblings what a cool thing he was doing. He took the wife with us, along with my mom. If you'd buried me in a hill of fire ants, you could not have caused me any more torture than sitting in a fucking car with all of them for a good 7 hours (one way). While we were visiting the folks, my father dropped in on his oldest sister at her house. She had several kids, including a girl who was my age. Se seemed to hit it off. Of course, it's easy to hit it off when you're looking for any distraction available so you don't have to think about what a huge fucking mess your life is through no fault of your own.

My dad's great idea was to bring her back with us for a visit. I don't know how long the visit was supposed to last, but in retrospect, it seems like several months. Well, guess what? Once she got there, my dad used every opportunity to point out how she was better than I was. She dressed better. She had less acne. She was smarter. Goddamn it. Just in case I wasn't getting the message already that he thought I was just a huge piece of shit, here was further evidence.

Have i mentioned how much I hated him? I worked up a pretty fair hatred of my cousin, too. By the time she left, I never wanted to see her again and, in fact, I never have. I understand that she's been living with another cousin of ours for about the past 15 years or so. Just to be clear, the cousin is a male and yes, they're having a sexual relationship. No children, luckily. It's the scandal of the family. That would make me laugh if it weren't so grim. Let's see now. We have a father (my grandfather) who definitely sexually abused at least one of his daughters, but I'm guessing all of them. He also allegedly sexually abused his sons. It's my own personal guess that his wife (my grandmother) also sexually abused the boys.

I have at least one uncle who sexually abused at least three of his nieces. he may or may not have raped someone. He definitely sexually abused his own daughter. I have a father who's also a pedophile and a sadist. My father said that he once caught his mother in bed with some guy who wasn't his dad. I don't know about that...it's definitely possible, but with my dad you could just never be sure whether he imagined it. He also told me he'd interrupted a conversation between my grandmother and one of my aunts about murdering my grandfather. My personal take on this is, wouldn't you? So given all of this, they all consider it surprising and scandalous that my two cousins are cohabitating? I also have a cousin who's gay. He's been officially excommunicated from the family. He might actually be one of the lucky ones. There are more fun stories from my father's family, but no time now to delve into them.

This seems like about enough for today.

16 November 2004

Okay, I'm A Bitch

I can't believe how mean spirited I was being about people suffering from ptsd. It must be the root canal talking....

Could You Possibly Just Buck Up?

"I seldom think of my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers."~Helen Keller

I had part 2 of the root canal today, so I'm feeling a little worn out already and it's only mid-afternoon.

I've been reading some more messages from folks in my complex post traumatic stress disorder group. I'm once again struck by how many of them have found themselves completely unable to function normally. (Whatever "normal" means.) A few of them have been homeless off and on, most are unable to hold a regular job. It sort of takes my breath away. I mentioned this to my therapist a couple of weeks ago and she was also surprised at the number of people who've given up.

Even though I can appreciate the extreme difficulty of finding and keeping a job, there is defintely some part of me that thinks people should just pull themselves together and try hard to function. They speak of being triggered on a regular basis. Hell, life itself is triggering. I mean, sometimes the way light fills a room can trigger flashbacks or dissociation for me. People being angry is triggering. People startling me is triggering. Anyting and everything carries some terrible memory; nothing is untouched.

Nonetheless, I've been employed for most of my adult life. Furthermore, I've been employed in highly demanding jobs. I never thought there was an option. I need to eat and I'd prefer not to live under a bridge somewhere. I'm incredibly independent and would never be able to tolerate depending on someone else's charity. (Several of the people are staying with friends while they await word on their disability status.)

I know this sounds like I'm denigrating people who are in more difficult places in their lives. I guess maybe I am, as much as I hate to admit it. I'm a very compassionate person and I'm a little surprised at my reaction. I know it's exhausting to continually push yourself forward when all you want to do is lie down somewhere and sleep for about a decade. If you decide to give up, though, there's no hope you'll ever be able to care for yourself. Caring for one's self is critical. If you depend on others, you invite continued abuse (of many different types).

The members of the group also tend to discount what "normal" people say because they believe that no one understands ptsd unless they've lived through it. Well, okay. I suppose it's true that most people don't know what it feels like to have images of incredible violence arise in their heads because they just picked up a stick from their front yard. Do I need for them to understand? It would probably be nice, but it's certainly not mandatory for adequate treatment. When their therapists tell them to buck up, they get really pissed off about it. When their psychiatrists prescribe anti-depressants/anti-anxiety/anti-whatever, it pisses them off that the doctor is only "masking" the underlying pain. Hey, take what you can get. If masking the pain helps you to get out of bed and go to work, then use it.

I know i've been blessed with an extremely hardy constitution and an iron will. They've propelled me through life and helped me to live a normal life even though deep inside I'm in great pain. My compadres talk about wanting to be strong and independent...but only if they can be on ssi. I wish them luck, but i don't think that's how it works. Instead of being dependent on family and friends, they're dependent on THE STATE. That might be even worse.

Well I'm clearly not feeling very charitable today and I'm in no mood to go traipsing through old memories.

america held hostage day 1659

bushism of the day:"The law I sign today directs new funds and new focus to the task of collecting vital intelligence on terrorist threats and on weapons of mass production."

website of the day: CTheory.nethttp://www.ctheory.net

15 November 2004

Root Canal and Distrust

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement."~Alfred Adler

I had a root canal on Thursday afternoon and I'm just now feeling better. I haven't been able to open my mouth more than about half an inch all weekend...makes it a little difficult to eat. I have part two tomorrow at 11:00, so I may be missing a couple of days this week, too.

When I saw my therapist on Friday, we spent most of the session talking about my early sexual abuse. Sexual abuse in my life came in many forms, but we were specifically addressing that perpetrated by my uncle. I noticed sometime last week (maybe Wednesday) that whenever there were moments that my mind wasn't actively engaged, a nasty little internal voice would jump right in with, "I hate myself" "I'm a terrible person." You get the drift. when I noticed it happening, I tried to counter it with more loving messages. They were completely ineffective. My brain just completely disregarded those thoughts in favor of the destructive ones. I also noticed at some point that I seemed to be disengaged from my body. The feeling was somewhat different from my usual dissociative state. It's difficult to really describe the difference.

Once I realized I was slipping into a sort of hypnotic state, I was able to shake it off for the most part. had to force myself to really focus on the physical surroundings, in addition to focusing on re-establishing the mind/body connection. I've never noticed any similar states of mind.

My therapist suggested that it sounded like it might be related to my sexual abuse. Any mention of traumatic episodes guarantees that I'll have some flashbacks. We spoke about those flashbacks as they arose. It's been a very long time since I've discussed those memories with anyone. Just talking about it makes me feel like I'm going to implode.

My stepson and his wife were in town briefly on Sunday. They came by to have lunch, but I was doing grocery shopping for the week. I only got to see them for about ten minutes. Just as well, really. I'm very ambivalent about that relationship at the moment, but I need to be able to conceal my distrust and anger with my daughter-in-law. She told my step-son that she'd divorce him If he doesn't address his alcohol problem. My husband and I never knew about him abusing alcohol, but both of us support her decision. Since that time, she's taken a couple of trips out of town. The critical information here is that, before she married my stepson, she was married to someone else. My stepson and she began dating while she was still married. Her behavior now is very similar to her behavior then. If she doesn't wish to be married to my stepson, I can understand and accept that. I'm just having some difficulty trusting her at the moment. Of course, since this is completely between her and my stepson, all I can do is pray for them both. I don't wish to betray my feelings to either of them. Okay, I'm actually boring myself at this point. must be time to go.

america held hostage day 1658

bushism of the day:"The administration I'll bring is a group of men and women who are focused on what's best for America, honest men and women, decent men and women, women who will see service to our country as a great privilege and who will not stain the house."

website of the day:http://thecropcirclewebsite.50megs.com/