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a new memory (maybe)

i have a pretty clear sense of how old i was in all the memories that return to me. i was a toddler in the ones that might be about rape- but i am older in one of the others and in the older one i don't remember what happened after a certain point. i was calling out to my neighbours (other children) from my parents bedroom window. i was calling hi to them and saying, 'i'm up here!' and inside i felt panicked about being alone with my dad in my parents bedroom with the door closed and wanted one of them to come to rescue me. i wanted to scream and cry and ask for help but i was too scared too. i think i remember the door closing and thinking that whatever i did i should try everything i could to stay off the bed, i felt a sense of dread even looking at it (it was made up well in my mothers style). i was young enough at this time to have to stand on the radiator to see out the window (but old enough to be moving around the neighbourhood with friends- this is what really disturbs me because it potentially means this went on for a long time). and i remember being dragged off the radiator and him angrily telling me to get away from the window. until i wrote this my memory ended there, but maybe now i remember that he pulled the curtains across the window? (ugh). i have no idea what happened after this point. the powerful sense of this came back to me in the situation with the priest where he came in when i was in bed. i felt the strong urge to get out of the bed and that the closed door was an ominous sign (and the sunshine outside blocked by curtains, but billowing from the open windows, that was the same too). that situation really seems to have triggered this memory to come back.

this memory suggests i was older and that the type of dread i felt meant whatever i dreaded was a repeated occurrence and one i knew the warning signs of (ugh). and that it went on for long enough that he had bought my secrecy or resignation in some way? because i am definitely old enough to speak here. i must have been so sure no one would listen.
 
this summer i had to go into my parents bedroom for something and i had the powerful sense that something devastating and terrible had happened to me in that room, especially in that corner. looking at that window showed me what height i was- and i was a small child. maybe not even half the height i am now.
 
i feel so spaced out today. hopefully going swimming before work will help, if i have time to. or doing yoga here at home, but then i won't get to wash my hair. i need to go and fix my bike before work as well.

replied to my girlfriend finally. she might be mad at me because of what i said and how long it took. but i had to be honest- there was no point in just saying i will change in every way, when i know i will struggle to. what i need most from her is to acknowledge that i am trying and when i hurt her, i don't mean to. i didn't say that because it wasn't the right time or place, but it's true. i've seen so much abuse that it really triggers me when someone casts me as intentionally malicious. i can do some personal work on this and i need to, but i also crave having my efforts at being the least abusive person ever acknowledged even when someone is annoyed at me. i could work on being less defensive- one way of doing this is just acknowledging when i feel that way, communicating that and leaving the conversation instead of going in and trying to defend myself. our relationship is so unhealthy for me right now, but all relationships probably would be.

i need to let go of my shame about struggling with this. shame that my childhood trauma affects being with a partner, to such an extent that i sometimes see her through a parental lens. it's true what attracted me to her were that she seemed to present a way of owning being a lesbian, owning having mental health issues, being a strong and confident person in the world despite that. some of what attracted me to her was a map for how to be, a way of coming home differently being, being at home while still being yourself. more than anything i hunger to talk more honestly and more gently with her.

as im writing this i feel less spaced out and more sad. i'm still struggling so much to love myself, to believe i am worth my own care.
 
today im procrastinating something important. i don't know if it's going to work out.

i need to defer my dissertation, so i need to submit an exceptional circumstances application. i will need to register as an assessment only student, but i still owe the university fees and they won't let me register until i get an approval for student loans. i made an application for student loans- but they sent me confusing correspondance in july that in my haze, i lost. so i don't know what i have to do to get those loans approved. but i need to get them approved, to get the financial block lifted, so i can apply for registration and ask them to extend the registration deadline for me (im deeply ashamed of being such a problem student).

emdr is helping me to think about my college assignments. im not as knocked out by it this week and it's left me with a hunger to take in information, though i realise that part of my sudden compulsion to read books is also avoidance of my financial responsibilities.

yesterday i went to the second meeting of a newish support group for sexual assault survivors. it reminds me of when i was not comfortable with my sexuality and was trying to go to events for queer people- i was at such an earlier stage of accepting myself than other people who were there. they had all been through specific counselling for it, they had been through the legal system, they had long accepted what happened and knew all the details of it. i am so, so far from that. it's a big deal for me to even sit in that room and say nothing. at least i've paved the way for myself to have experiences like this by being queer, i guess. i hunger to talk to other people in a facilitated way, i think- i have so many questions for them about how they survived this. mostly the support group so far has been casual conversation and discussions about the founder applying for funding. im not really sure what she needs funding for exactly. i love facilitating groups and designing workshops- but i don't think i can pull off putting them on in this group just yet, when i am so easily triggered myself. but i could offer to. i could look up some exercises and see if we could do some easy ones. several people said they hated icebreakers but i feel like we might need something like that because we don't all know each other.

i was late to the meeting and when i got there they had been having a discussion about relationships. the founder was saying she bought her husband a book called 'how to have a partner with ptsd' and offered to bring it in so we could look through it next time. i think this- the relational aspect of all of this- is what i hunger for answers the most about. how to relate to other people and handle how triggering that is.

emdr this week was:
i found it hard to get in that state again. but there were details i didn't even know i remembered. that i had my hands in my pockets. what scarf i had on, its feeling on my neck and how it kept getting caught in the zip of my jacket. the blinding whiteness of everything. it's coming back to me as flashback now and i don't know if it's a good idea to write about it. maybe it is.
 
i really feel the benefit of going to see the counsellor i do on tuesdays. i left feeling so much lighter than i came in. last week i missed it, and i missed that lightness too. it helps to have someone to tell something to. she's really on the same wavelength as me i think- or there is a gentleness and maternal quality to her i admire so much. i feel like im always waiting for the other shoe to drop though- for her to tell me im improving and my time is up. i don't know how long i have left there, or what it depends on. i still have suicidal thoughts and feelings when i think about possible abuse and i suppose that still makes me eligible, even though my situation has improved. it worries me a bit that it has only improved because of these things, and if i improve too much i will probably lose them.

emdr tomorrow. i have been so hypervigilant this week, so little sleep, so many nightmares. last week all the images were there of the 'worst' thing but i couldn't find my feelings anywhere. but they are edging closer to the surface this week. im exhausted every single day. always about to drop with tiredness. always spending the day struggling to stay awake, and then lying awake, wired and angry about injustice at night.

i have to write about what im doing emdr about for an assignment due in 9 days. can i do it? i really don't know.

spoke to someone yesterday at a support group who said im doing really well to be doing emdr and working at the same time- that she couldn't have done that. i feel that i need to give myself credit. looking at my grades or what i tell people im up to when they ask does not convey how many overwhelming things i have all going on at once. speaking about parts of my abuse history for the first time as well as starting to face the war stuff, while trying to skirt the abuse stuff that hasn't come up yet, handling a very complicated relationship, getting new jobs and keeping them, still kind of juggling life and paperwork in two countries, going to be on a panel about the war stuff next week, before that will need to submit assignments, one of which is about the war stuff. this is genuinely an awful lot of things.

i need so badly to be able to sleep.
 
Just after emdr, and god- I don't know how I'm going to work this evening. I feel drugged and so heavy and like I'm on another planet from this.

I remembered an incredibly important detail during emdr that I somehow forgot. My feelings were an awful lot closer to the surface but still a little bit far away. The practitioner said my body was moving around a lot, twitching and shaking. It took 50 minutes but felt like 5. Still feel like this is skimming the surface- so does he. But it was so hard to separate myself from the images, the whole time I literally felt like I was there. I do now if I don't try with all my might to bring the present into focus.

The version of myself I am in these war things is such an adult. A responsible, caring, maternal adult. That's not at all the way I am at all in the abuse ones.
 
ugh, my god. so much RAGE at the world. literal genocide, the people i know being slaughtered, while the whole western world are the ugliest cheerleaders i have ever seen. f*ck israel with all my heart and soul and i hope it never sees a day of peace again (it won't)

ugh just jesus. carrying on with normal life while all this is going on. what the f*ck is wrong with the colonizing world.

im supposed to talk about nonviolence on saturday. when so many politians have told me exactly what they won't do for the slaughter i have told them i have seen, like it doesnt matter, like the only people who are people are those murdering settlers who frankly do not deserve an ounce of the stolen peace they have had. i have gone on crusades before. tracking down who murdered the villagers i was tasked with protecting, who shot them in front of my very eyes. i will pursue them, i will make sure they will never know peace if it kills me, i will do everything within my power to make life so unlivable for them they are forced to atone to still be in society. f*ck israel f*ck israel f*ck israel f*ck israel. i will never stop working until that state is dismantled and its leaders sent to the hague, its soldiers lining up to face the ICC, its settlers trying to erase the evidence of their crimes and being prosecuted for it despite their efforts. i want to never stop working until israel is a distant nightmare, a horror story we tell children about the worse excesses of western savagery and barbarism. until the people who say that would have opposed slavery claim they did oppose israel too because we understand genocide and ethnic cleansing for what it is.

f*ck the us and the uk for enabling this tyrant. f*ck germany. f*ck all colonisers until the end of time.
 
still struggling with rage. so much rage. trying to just do things instead. but jesus christ, these horrors change everything. for what im working at, writing about and me personally. i am back in vendetta mode, in gathering evidence mode, in wanting revenge mode.

all i can say is f*ck israel, again and again and again and again. and f*ck biden, f*ck the US, f*ck Germany, f*ck France, f*ck the UK. there is no justice in this world there is just us. over my dead body will i allow these people not to pay for their crimes. i will make sure they do. israel must go. no peace for nazis
 
im so tired, but i got enough sleep. will stop off at the demonstration before work. but i'll also try as much as possible to stay off my feet.

i should be doing those two assignments. i will need to provide more evidence now that a week has passed since the deadline.

i got homework from emdr this week- it's cbt. i feel very defensive when we talk, because it seems like he's just looking for ways i'm thinking about this wrong. and he's jumping to conclusions a bit- assuming things in that place are not what they are. but maybe he's right that i am beating myself up about everything that's coming up in emdr.

what are some of my thoughts?

i didn't do enough
i should have sent that video to people with influence, at the time it happened
i am responsible for what happened to them
it's my fault they were evicted
it's because i didn't do enough that they moved on to killing children
my robotic tone stopped people from understanding the seriousness of what happened
i kept it to myself and didn't tell anyone
they lost their land because of me
there's nothing i can do to reverse or stop this, except maybe take revenge
they don't know how much i love them and think about them, because i was numb then too
i haven't kept in contact because i don't know what to say, and that's shameful

i'm supposed to look for distortions in my thought process. i know they are there. it's just finding them.

i feel so heavy. doing yoga to try to lighten the weight- only helped a tiny bit. i don't truly believe cognitions are at the root of this. whatever emdr is doing is helping though.
 
The distance between my daily life and the reality that there is- has lessened. because what feels urgent to me now feels that urgent to everyone. it makes me feel like, ok i was right. like i can't stop genocide, but i could do some things and i did them. i will keep doing what i can but like, i sort of understand i was holding myself to too high standards i don't know. it makes me feel sane, in the end. maybe this is crisis talking. crisis is always when i feel my most sane.

there is my friend where all of this began for me. and the tiny daily achievements while you are out in the field. which are so minor, but are such major achievements.

i want to put my childhood away. but i know that i can't really.
 
what are some of my thoughts?

i didn't do enough
i should have sent that video to people with influence, at the time it happened
i am responsible for what happened to them
it's my fault they were evicted
it's because i didn't do enough that they moved on to killing children
my robotic tone stopped people from understanding the seriousness of what happened
i kept it to myself and didn't tell anyone
they lost their land because of me
there's nothing i can do to reverse or stop this, except maybe take revenge
they don't know how much i love them and think about them, because i was numb then too
i haven't kept in contact because i don't know what to say, and that's shameful

jesus christ, i did the exercises. and god- i am holding myself responsible for so much shit. i also feel additional guilt:

that i am struggling so much at work to be present
that i am not working full time and am still barely surving. i feel so overworked but im barely earning enough to survive and still can't afford to buy waterproof shoes
i'm worried i am gonna be late for work again and they will fire me. or will make more mistakes
i'm worried i'm not doing emdr right by working too much and am going to lose this opportunity to heal (which i won't be able to afford for a long time, maybe ever)
i'm worried i'm too tired all the time to engage properly in emdr.
i'm worried i've shut off my emotions and am only going through the motions, with emdr, with everything

i was so looking forward to two days off work, to get my assignments done, to finally sort out my student loans, to try to register for classes, to fix my bike. but i was asked to cover a shift and i feel like i have to because i gave very little availability this week and also in my past two shifts have felt like i am doing everything wrong and everybody hates me.

i really need to calm down the pressures in my life i think. just struggling to do that, with work and everything.
 
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