Archives for the month of: November, 2013

I haven’t had time to do much introspection lately. The class I am currently taking is very interesting, but has a heavy workload. I spend most of my downtime at my job doing work for class, and the rest of my time is taken up by internship, getting errands done, and trying to get a bit of sleep. I’m basically just functioning. I am fully present in my sessions at my internship, but being so present is exhausting for me and my quality of sleep is not such that I am able to restore myself. So after 3 days of internship, I am pretty much done with any sort of mindfulness or presence for the rest of the week.

I find myself longing for my brother’s presence. There are so many questions about our childhood. I just want to spend time with someone who understands truly and completely, and the only person who does is him. He sent me some music that used to be played a lot during our childhood, and it made us both feel very weird/strangely comforted. I just want to sit with him and listen and try to remember and cry. Neither of us has much of a memory for anything before the age of 10 or so, but we share a sense that something was very wrong. On one hand, I appreciate having somebody to share this experience with, but on the other, I wish that it had only happened to me (whatever it is). If I could go back in time and take it all, protect him better, I would.

When I was younger and our father lived in Manhattan, I was obsessive about making sure that he did not put a toe outside of the crosswalk when we would cross the street. We were expected to use public transportation on our own at an absurdly young age, and I felt invincible doing this because I was always on the lookout for people who might hurt my brother. It didn’t matter if they got me, but try to do anything to him and I don’t know what I would do, but I would do something. It’s amazing that I was so vigilant about strangers, when the real danger was at home.

There was a very real sense that it was the two of us against the world, as cliché as that sounds. I said that we don’t have much memory for events our childhood, and that is true (except for various little pieces, like the crosswalk/subway bit), but we do have emotional memory. We remember feeling very unsafe, unsure, tentative, and careful to not explode whatever land mines were waiting for us in other people. We remember a sense of trying to protect one another and being the other’s source of comfort and support when we were with our father. And yet, I did not protect him. At least, not as well as I should have. He still was abused, he still endured what nobody should have to face. I know rationally that it is not my fault, but I feel guilty for not sticking my neck out more to take the brunt of it so that he wouldn’t have to.

And he is on the other side of the world. I won’t see him for another seven months. My family is visiting him in a few months, but I won’t be able to go along due to my stupid schedule. I just miss him.

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I have exchanged a few emails with my father and am keeping it very light and “surface.” He has responded appropriately thus far, but I am not letting my guard down anytime soon. He doesn’t do a very good job of hiding his true self for a long time.

Came to work last night and I have felt very dissociated through the whole night. I feel very frustrated that I don’t know things about myself and my past. I am thinking that I may have parts in some form. I know I don’t have distinct personality states like someone with DID, but I do feel strongly that there are things within me that know things. I’ve been trying all night to talk to them, with no luck. I did some inner talking where I told them that it was safe, and I appreciate them protecting me for so long, and if they want to talk I would like to know them. After doing this, I felt very dissociated and this close to making contact, but I was just quite not there. I got really distracted and immediately went into “I’m making it up, nothing ever happened, blah blah blah” and then did some schoolwork. I never feel like another person or multiple people. I feel continuous, and I generally don’t lose time. My dissociation tends to be more of a depersonalization and numbness experience. But I just have this gut feeling that there are parts, maybe just separated memories that have developed into something a tiny bit bigger.

After I did some other things, I wrote the same message I had told myself in my head down on paper. I was hoping that maybe having a written conversation would help, but nothing. I didn’t feel as close as I did just talking in my head. I also feel totally crazy now, even though I never think of other people with this experience as crazy.

I could use some help from other people who have experienced dissociation. What was it like trying to access other parts of yourself? When did you start to realize you had other parts? Do you have any suggestions for how to go about accessing parts?

I really feel bad right now.

On my birthday, I received an email from my father. Like any time he contacts me, my reaction was a mix of panic, sadness, and guilt. However, this time was a little different. In addition to those emotions, I felt a powerful need to reply to him. I have been doing a lot of thinking about our relationship lately, and I have always struggled with the fact that there were good times and I really do love him and miss him. So I replied to his email.

One of the reasons I feel more comfortable having contact with him at this point, after two years of no contact, is that I feel stronger in being able to assert myself and protect my boundaries. Growing up, I never really learned how to do that with him. With others, yes. I am very strong in protecting myself. But he somehow had this hold over me, where even though I could clearly articulate to myself what was wrong, I could never tell him for fear of being guilted, called names, or other emotional abuse (threatening suicide, etc.). I feel that I am much more able to stand up for myself now and to say when things are bothering me, rather than letting them pile up and boil over much later.

I have decided to keep the contact limited to email for now, and he does not have my phone number. This is because I feel more able to express myself to him in a productive and emotionally healthy way in writing after I have had time to think about anything he says. I believe that my father has a personality disorder, and is truly limited in his ability to have healthy emotional relationships and boundaries. This is not his fault, but it is also not an excuse for him to behave poorly. I am trying to keep in mind the fact that he is doing the best he can to get his needs met and does not mean to be hurtful (and I truly believe that. He is not a malicious person.). At the same time, I need to make sure I don’t end up caving to his maladaptive emotional strategies because I don’t want to hurt him. His emotions are his responsibility, and if he feels hurt by what I have said he needs to tell me in an appropriate way and then take care of himself.

I am cautiously optimistic about healing my relationship with my father. This should be interesting. At some point, I would like to be able to tell him about my sexual abuse because I wonder if he would have any insight into what happened or why it might have been. There were a lot of adult parties that happened at his house when I was a child, and I have a suspicion that it occurred at one (or many) of those events. I can’t seem to get any information other than body memories and wallpaper, and this is very frustrating. At the same time, I don’t want to push it if I’m not ready.

My idiot therapist was late this morning to the point where there were only ten minutes left of my appointment, and she still wanted to meet. I rescheduled instead, because why would I pay my fee for only ten minutes? So I’ll be seeing her next week, not that I’m looking forward to it. I really need a new therapist, but I have no real time to invest and she prescribes my medications, so I think I’m just going to stick it out until I graduate.

On another note, I know that these past few nights have been very difficult for many people who have experienced trauma and abuse. I hope that everyone was able to remain safe, and if you had to do some “unhealthy” things to cope, please know that this is okay. Never feel bad about doing what you need to do in order to take care of yourself. Love to everyone.