• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

a new memory (maybe)

trying to have a plan to calm my life down. making room for exercise and pleasant activities. after 4pm on days i'm not working i'll do pleasant things- like read novels, write or draw or try some other artistic projects. swim or go to exercise classes or cycle around, or go to the cinema. im going to have to make a focused effort to do these things, but i am so hungry for them.

i feel so much lighter in the past week, i feel that emdr and those cbt exercises are really helping. my habits are still crisis ones, and it really is those i need to fix.

i'm going to try and develop self compassion because what little elements of that i have developed really seem to be helping. this coming year i'll focus on healing. knowing that so much more can be done once this weight is out of my body. i already feel it lifting, with comparatively little work.
 
I feel so incredibly fraudulent about the things which torment me.
Odd feeling. Is it denial ? Is it because you should be so strong that whatever you lived through, that should be nothing or next to nothing and you should go on with your life? Is it because of the others' denial? When talking about denial, again, the onus falls on the "victim", but what about the village who knew and did not do a thing? What about the mothers who knew what their husbands or their sons were doing to children and did not do a thing to stop it, or just looked at those children-objects as they grew up years later with this sense of destruction and considered them as hindrances to their marital peace of mind, as a sense of bad conscience - is that not self-denial they feel? And that self-denial hurt the children-objects as much as the crowd that killed and raped. The village self-denial is condoning the acts and, if they are not the killers and the rapists, they are as bad because they know and don't tell - and you don't trust them and don't trust yourself. Where is the fraud? I am the fraud. They are the fraud. They kill memories.

Odd feeling:
I feel so incredibly fraudulent about the things which torment me.
 
i'm so tired. but still going through my days.

i went to counselling yesterday evening and it was really confusing. i had so much trouble articulating myself and im so ambivalent about what my body and brain are trying to tell me. she was telling me, i think, that i have to make a decision about whether i'm trying to look at things or simply say no to them and try to put them away. i understand i suppose that i can't make things go away- i have been trying to do that and it hasn't worked. i'm learning through emdr that facing stuff, in a controlled way and in the right way at the right time is a lot less awful than trying to suppress things until i can't anymore and then becoming overwhelmed by them. i said to her i do feel like there's a child version of me stuck somewhere inside me, who is trying to hand me information and i am trying to disown. i didn't say, but i do understand- that i've put that internal child through an awful lot of shit and of course she wouldn't tell me things when i would only punish her. i need to create solid ground, and a guarantee of love and care for that frozen child if she decides to give me more information.

emdr- i really feel like i'm getting somewhere. he said i'm measurably improving, based on questionnaire scores.
 
i feel so terrible and alone, and have all week. since emdr especially. when that ended and i felt those shoulder triangles of pain settling into me again, very much not the lightness i felt in previous weeks. what's weird is that i stumbled across what i wrote down after my first flashback, which was almost exactly a year ago now. and all of things i wrote are the images and feelings that come in emdr. but i never made that connection before. i don't feel like i remember flashbacks very well after they happen, almost exactly like dreams. anyway, those feelings are so alive in me. moving onto a new thing in emdr leaves me with almost a sense of grief. all of that felt like it was so real when i drew it up, but moving on underscores how far away that time is, when in spite of all the awful shit we saw i had a devastating amount of hope. that old grief, for those people in that place, is so real and so present now, because its going on again as we speak.

spoke to the other counsellor about my difficulty looking at my own face, and feeling of not wanting to be looked at or seen. my own face morphs into his in front of me, it's not my own face i see but his. not his face from now but from when he was my age, when i was tiny. i've found his face terrifying for at least the last 10 years. i haven't been able to look at it. sometimes i can't bear to look at myself in the mirror.

i feel so alone. i know i'm isolating myself. i hardly got any hours at work this week. i'm scared they are trying to encourage me to get another job but i don't think i'll do that. another additional one sure but i am not going to quit unless they fire me. i know i need to break open all of this denial and stuckness to get anywhere but im so terrified of crisis, and know i am not so far off it.

i was supposed to visit my mom this week but i didn't because i can't bring myself to walk into that house full of things that might cause me to remember. even phone calls with my mom, she often says things that make it so present for me, but i can't say that to her. she always talks about him to me. she almost always asks me to talk to him or talks about how good he is or was. i don't contradict her because im tired of having that conversation over and over again. i need to visit before xmas starts coming up, and i need to get my winter coat from her house because i'm freezing without it. the counsellor asked me this week if i had a picture of myself as a young child i could put at the corner of my mirror - and i do, and i remember the one that caused me to run away. there's a picture of the two of us sitting on the couch beside each other. when i went to therapy before it was to this point i got before sensing a deep darkness i needed to run away from, i pivoted away and went to work in a genocide instead. i happened upon that back then, when i was living with them, and i was so depressed and felt so unreal. after a little while of going to a therapist i looked at photos. and that one was just so hard to look at. that banished place where all my feelings go was overcoming me when i looked at it. and the overwhelming question was, what changed? i don't look unhappy to be trapped there in that photo. it looks like genuine closeness. what changed? what are the things i don't remember that i would need to know to account for how suffocated i feel now in his presence? how drowning and crushed.
 
Numb so numb. And alert alert alert. I can't turn this off. My body hurts so much and doesn't exist at the same time.

I want my feelings back so bad. So bad so bad. Any feelings at all, no matter how bad.

I don't feel close to anyone. This is the problem, why I feel so unsafe I think. I can't share feelings because I don't have any.

I have some, but just.. horror at the news.

And the childhood homework I found. I can't identify that feeling. Sinking.

New images- are they real? I'm inside and outside myself at the same time.

Therapy is no substitute for social support, I read that somewhere. I don't have that. I've gotten so isolated. I don't think any one can understand me. I don't want anyone to see me up close. I am in so much pain. Still numb on the surface. Behaving like a working robot. I don't believe anyone will see me. But I need that.

There's so much conflict inside me. To tell someone everything and to pretend it's all fine. To know myself and to hide from myself. I'm lonely but lonelier with other people. I want to stop dissociating. I want to fall so I can be real again, be me, be something, be anything.

Not feeling anything at all because you can't live with all this pain is hell. What can help it? I don't know. I really don't know.
 
Numb so numb. And alert alert alert. I can't turn this off. My body hurts so much and doesn't exist at the same time.

I want my feelings back so bad. So bad so bad. Any feelings at all, no matter how bad.

I don't feel close to anyone. This is the problem, why I feel so unsafe I think. I can't share feelings because I don't have any.

I have some, but just.. horror at the news.

And the childhood homework I found. I can't identify that feeling. Sinking.

New images- are they real? I'm inside and outside myself at the same time.

Therapy is no substitute for social support, I read that somewhere. I don't have that. I've gotten so isolated. I don't think any one can understand me. I don't want anyone to see me up close. I am in so much pain. Still numb on the surface. Behaving like a working robot. I don't believe anyone will see me. But I need that.

There's so much conflict inside me. To tell someone everything and to pretend it's all fine. To know myself and to hide from myself. I'm lonely but lonelier with other people. I want to stop dissociating. I want to fall so I can be real again, be me, be something, be anything.

Not feeling anything at all because you can't live with all this pain is hell. What can help it? I don't know. I really don't know.
I always had that strange feeling, that question: what is suffering? I couldn't think or write of anything, and yet I was not sure whether I was suffering or actually knew what suffering is. All my life I felt a fraud because as if I was some sort of attention-seeking child, trying to get the others to pity me, but thinking about it, I have always been unsure about what would be a reason for me to suffer. In a sense, I do relate to what you are writing, I think. In spite of this, though, I have met someone to love and to love me. I am not sure whether this 30-years long story is real, but I have been living with that woman for over 30 years. Maybe she was mistaken about me, but come a point where I stop wondering: I just try to trust that one person. No one else, never. But that one, yes, I do trust her, more than myself. I stop listening to me and I got some sort of life. "Normal", I don't know the meaning of this word, though. I just try.
 
2023 for me was a year of too much feeling and not enough. finally stopped being numb and then started again after the crisis passed.

i finally have the chance to heal the wounds of 2013. there has been an entire decade of my life when i didn't have the support i needed and did my best without it. it's so scary to ask for support, ask for help, but this year i have to try. i did it before in 2022 and i don't regret it. my actions helped others and they helped me. they gave me the hope that i can begin to talk about my experiences, with the people in my life, and might meet something other than outright dismissal, leaving me with a the sense that i don't matter, and that what happens to me is not important. i think this what i most need to focus on changing. it's what has marked me the most.

I might have cracked what's causing my numbness. it's lack of social contact. having casual, nice contact with friends again has shown me that. when i feel love for others (which i do all the time) its a gateway into my own feelings, about everything. i've been eating this year to soothe myself, but i need emotional sustenance instead. i need to focus on lowering my walls so i can get it. i have people in my life who would listen to me if i spoke, i know that. if i said the things i need to say. sometimes my fear is about what happened to me in 2013 and often it's about what happened long before as well.

I have so many more memories than I began this year with. I have so much more to remember. But if i can accept what's likely in those gaps in my memory the impact of knowing what they are won't be as strong. I have struggled to decide whether I was sexually abused all year, whether my flashbacks (the images, the feelings) are memory, and if they are- what they actually are of. Building the capacity to stay alive if i was sexually abused has been a hard task. So has not talking about it. I can feel that I desperately need to start talking about it. But I am still so scared.
 
Just after emdr, but we didn't do emdr. I filled in those cognitive worksheets and can see how I've tangled my childhood and war experiences into one big mess, because it does actually make a type of sense (emotional sense, there's an emotional logic connecting the images not a rational one)

It seems protective and productive somehow. My flashbacks typically start with war, go into childhood and come back out in war. The childhood part is by far the most intense but couched in war stuff it doesn't feel as bad. Because in war I wasn't a helpless frozen child and I can feel that in flashbacks too. It's not as bad as a conquered child. But it's why it feels so important to escape (to not become a conquered child again).

One of my legs is shaking so much writing this, more than it has ever shaken before.

Have gotten to a type of plateau with emdr where it only ever leads into childhood. I can see that I need to let it go there, and the practitioner told me that too. He said we probably should have started there, but to be honest I feel that starting with war was essential- to learning that emdr works, to learning to trust him and the process- and to feel safe enough to access my feelings and feel that they can change or end. Feelings about war or genocide are the way into all my feelings (this is why I am so worried about being extra with my friends cos I know those are massive subjects and I can't feel anything without feelings those feelings first and foremost). So I think with emdr I am going to have to lean into this structure, to try to stop resisting it going back to my childhood.

I also think the practitioner realized in this session that the childhood stuff I am talking about is sexual assault. He showed me a video during it and I was really fidgety while it was playing (It was a description of flashbacks during sex and i honestly felt like the words were attacking me). It might also be because I included feeling weight on my chest as a trigger when asked and because I said what happened with the coworker has reminded me of some stuff from childhood I hadn't understood at the time. Before today, I don't think this was clear. It's a relief not to have to spell it out.

I need to share the details of what I remember about that so badly. I told the other counsellor about that and she asked me what I wanted to share the details for. I said, just not to be alone with them. And she said they was quite a good reason and I could tell her in 2 weeks with my eyes closed. Or write it down. I'll write it down for me anyway. So I know what I am trying to say. And maybe hand it to her if I can't keep my train of thought. It's such a long and confusing story but I need to try and order it somehow. There is a loose kind of sense in there. Maybe a timeline is helpful for me to orient myself. I think I said also that I feel new memories on their way to me (I do, I really do). How hard my body is trying to numb me, how often my mind is going blank and how much avoidance is rearing it's head. How much I have the urge to eat to avoid my feelings. To not sleep enough to avoid my feelings. I think that I need to share what I do remember, to try and give it a life outside of me and see if it helps get if off my chest, to have room for the other (and I think more troublesome) stuff, the blackness I don't remember). I think maybe it's like emdr where I need to see that I can resolve or lessen the impact of some stuff before delving into things that are more traumatizing. I think what I'm looking for in telling her is for her to know the details and feel it's not my fault and I didn't deserve it. For her to feel my feelings matter and it matters what happens to me.

This is exactly what I was craving and didn't get 10 years ago, when my life fell apart the first time. I had to tell that story as a condition of being part of the activism I was involved in and my healing was not the point of that. Eliciting others stories was. It was current, it was deeply traumatic, and I couldn't even say the word abuse. Without even knowing it I wanted someone to hear that story and tell me, you could never have deserved that behavior from him. It was not your fault and not really about you in any way. I also wanted hope, that you can have power actually when you think you have none. That you can come together through activism and lessen your shame and transform what life is like both for you and for everyone. I got that in abundance from being involved in that project. It was also true that a painful story from me, that I was expected to detail, with feeling, at the drop of a hat was the entry price of my involvement. I didn't feel like I could negotiate that. My then girlfriend tried to be involved without sharing her traumatic history and it limited how much responsibility she was given because they felt she didn't trust them enough. I remember them telling me I told my traumatic stories as if I didn't care about them and I didn't care about people's rights because I told these things in a monotone, in a way without easily accessible authentic feelings on cue for to develop others and then tidied away neatly again. I really internalized there was something wrong with me until I stumbled upon Judith Herman's book trauma and recovery and read it thinking every sentence 'that's me' 'that's me'. I've spent my adult life thinking 'i have to fix the defect that makes me numb in order to be of use to others' when what will fix it really, is being able to tell others what my experience really was (as a daughter, as a receiver of abuse, as a woman of my ethnic group, as a lesbian, as a colonized person and witness to some awful precursors to genocide of another colonized people) and have people not react as they have before, with disbelief, distancing, minimizing and blaming me and telling me I know nothing or that what I feel and what happens to me just does not matter to anyone.

This is what I'm hoping for in telling her. A different reaction to what happened before. I think I need a person to stay with me despite the story I will tell.
 
thank god i managed to conquer my awful, and avoidance and get those basic life tasks done today. the past few days have been awful.

new images and feelings, memories i think. triggered by reading something from the book courage to heal.

i think i remember lying in my parents bed, inside the covers which are messy, lying still and being alone- and wondering if i am dead. something just happened. im lying straight on my dad's side of the bed and i think im older than the other images from there. the color palette in the room is darker. the bedsheets are white inside and greyish or dark colored anyway outside. i realise im not dead and i wish i was.

and, sitting on the curb outside my house, younger. so young that the curb feels like a seat and i don't have to fold up my legs. i'm holding my head which feels so heavy. and i feel so incredibly sad and lonely. so deeply bad and on my own.

i feel both of these things so vividly, now too.

and being shot in the stomach. so much grief for the people i've seen be shot, their images, i feel like im them. i feel that feeling so viscerally but i haven't experienced it. i think im thinking, if i feel the shot in the stomach feeling from whay happened to me how much worse is that feeling. they died but i didn't. i feel like i was shot and killed. but it turns out i wasn't actually dead. the last 3 days i felt so much like i needed to die. and now i remember that i thought i did, and wished i had. i didn't even know people could do that at the time. seemed like there was nothing i could do to guarantee either death or life. it was all out of my control.

when i started getting my period it felt like being shot in the stomach. the familiar dread and certainty its happening because im bad and im so scared someone will know and realise im bad. having my period triggers the shot in the stomach dreams- those poor dead children, the feeling i shared with them, the knowledge they died but i somehow survived. i thought i was dying too. i hear and see those children who did die and it makes me feel like i too am dying. a part of me died in that bed- the hopeful trustful part. the free part, the safe part.

but a part of me survived, unlike all those shot people. that's how i am here. still trying to learn i survived. and still trying to learn that was never certain. i needed to blame myself to obscure how vulnerable i was. and am.
 
feeling terrible these days, avoiding myself and avoiding everyone.

not sure how i am going to manage telling my girlfriend about this. i'm scared to. but it's hard to hide, and hiding is such a waste of energy.

i told one friend (over text). it was so hard but i'm glad i did it. she's actually very helpful.

emdr guy has been trying to do cbt with me and i hate it. i don't hate it because of what it is but i just don't believe him about the stuff he's trying to replace my beliefs with- i don't believe him when he says child abuse is rare and i should think that because he told me it. he googled the stats to try and convince me and when i left i looked at the web page he found- it seems to agree more with me (that this is an issue without reliable statistics, most is never reported, it's very widespread and stats are a significant undercount) than it does with him (child abuse is very rare, most cases are noticed, taken seriously, prosecuted and the person responsible goes to jail!!)
i've lost trust or something in him, i don't know. i did manage to ask him if we can go back to emdr. but i don't really want to tell him what i'm seeing.

i'm seeing images in emdr that make me angry, trapped and scared. my father's stupid face trying to fool me into being as excited as he is. trying to make me mirror his delight. i resisted as much as i could. i gave all the resistance i could, but he was cruel and when i tried to not see anything- he made me look.

i finally stopped avoiding my mother. i love her, and she missed me. he was upstairs and didn't really try to talk to me (thank god, thank god). i don't want to avoid her. but depending on how she is it hurts to have her try to make me play a role in her denial. it helps to remember that she is somewhat a victim too and somehow deluded herself that a man who is abusive to her could be a good father. after that, she deluded herself that he was one.

i've isolated myself so much. partially from being broke. partially from knowing that many people can't handle me telling the truth and not having the energy to hide from them.
 
I'm having issues. I'm having so many issues.

Feeling sane and insane at the same time.

My world is so gendered these days. So many women who echo my own experience and men (emdr, psych) who don't and who I think are part of the problem

Maybe anger and frustration is going to save me, actually. Or destroy me, I don't know
 
Back
Top