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a new memory (maybe)

suicidal thoughts and feelings. then too much adrenaline. i'm procrastinating really important things. i know i will perform better if i sleep. so i need to stop procrastinating and get these things done so i can do that. it matters- teaching what im teaching matters, even if my take on it is not perfect. i know it will give people food for thought. i'm just realising that part of being excellent, or feeling that way anyway- has been being outside myself, pushing the experience of having a self away.
 
Have been feeling so spaced out and unreal.

Emdr hurts. CBT makes me feel like I am going crazy, like I hunger for the acknowledgement that my perception of reality was real, actually. That my feelings matter - and that acknowledging that is true would help so much more than typing 'emotional reasoning' into YouTube and showing me the first video that comes up. What 'feels true' IS important information about the world. And it is me that has to calculate my safety, not him. I really wish he would acknowledge that. I wish he would acknowledge that what he calls 'objective fact' doesn't exist and that safety is deeply contingent on how powerful you are. You ARE less safe as a marginalized person- I wish he would acknowledge that. It's making me lose my mind that he will genuinely spend 3 and a half hours trying to force his (subjective) ideas about the goodness of the world onto me. And that submission on my part would look like progress to him. I'm seeing myself get so much worse so quickly.
 
I think maybe this dynamic in emdr/cbt hurts so much because it feels like having an ideology foisted on me by a man and I am drowning in that already. the struggle of my whole life has been to identify with my own experience and not theirs. and he doesn't even realise he is doing this. i guess it's not good to feel that a man in authority is trying to overcome your resistance and you must perform compliance for him, you must submit to his program. It's way more about his program than it is about anything being useful to me, I understand that. If he tells one more anecdote about a man having a car crash I will burst. Being raped repeatedly by your dad is not like being a man having a car crash. It's not like that at all. There's no ideology that cars never crash at work in the world.

I'm not sure if I should leave. I am getting so much worse so quickly but I also know that I need to do something and this is what I can afford. Is it better than nothing? Instead of leaving, can I ask him to respect that his feeling that child abuse is rare is subjective to him? That it is him who lacks an objective view about this, not me. The research DOES agree with me- that its common, that its undercounted, that it rarely results in conviction. Even the webpage he found through google to convince me it's rare agrees more with me than with him. Can I ask him to respect that the reality that I have lived is true for me? And that what feels true about life to a straight male professor reflects reality less than my experience?

Is there any value in having this conversation? He really does want to overcome my resistance like some kind of logic wizard and have me decide my perceptions are not to be trusted. they are trustworthy- acknowledging that is central to healing to me.

acknowledging the power of men over women and adults over children. acknowledging the spectacular acts of violence that keep the world in check. acknowledging that you must believe your data and not distort it. I NEED to be allowed to do these things to regain my sanity.

Having this repeated conversation for hours about how i must abandon my intellect, how 'being a critical thinker is a double edged sword' just makes me feel insane and hopeless. I NEED my reality acknowledged as truth and not denied.
 
Thinking about telling my girlfriend about what I've been going through. I was gearing up to do that before she got really mad at me, and now I'm not sure. I don't trust her completely and that has always been a problem.

Sometimes I have thought that she would not side with me about my abuse history. This is a longstanding worry of mine- that she will turn against me and not support me. It's hard for me to assess evidence for or against. On the one hand, she usually does side with authority. But on the other she has been really gentle and empathetic with me sometimes. It doesn't feel consistent or reliable.

Our communication dynamics are a problem anyway. When she gets overwhelmed she says mean things, makes rash decisions and leaves it to me to repair the conflict. I haven't done that this time (on purpose, I'm fighting the urge to jump in and try to talk it out). I don't really have the energy to baby her about a lack of emotional regulation any more. I think I've enabled her never learning that by being too understanding about it, and too willing to just be grateful she's out of the bad mood and move on without talking about it. That is the problem in my family of origin too. That might makes right and we never talk about it. I don't want to carry this pattern (walking on eggshells) into a new family and pass it on unchanged. I really don't want to do that. Even if I did, I recognise that it's making me sick.

So, I think I'm recognising that I will not tell her until we have worked on our communication and conflict dynamics and I can be reasonably sure she will support me, and never say what I've told her back to me to be mean

Her having OCD means she can be really intense about household things sometimes. She really wants to lay down the rules and control things. This really aggravates my democratic instincts and hatred of being told what to do. I didn't realise how entrenched she was in those patterns until she came to visit me and had to accept a different set of household norms. I didn't realise that was going to be such a big deal for her. I feel humiliated that we argued so much about the heating and I had to tell her, I can't afford both electricity and heat this week. It feels unjust that she couldn't accept that wasn't negotiable, that I literally do not have money for it. Her lack of ability to accept that it was a reality I could not change really frustrated me. It brought home how much more I am struggling. But she was blaming me for how it affected her, without any concern for how it affected me to not be able to afford these things but also to be humiliated by having that drawn attention to.
 
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What are the things that I have deprived myself of by being in this relationship in this way?

  • employment opportunities because they involved some months of relocation (she didn't want me to go and didn't want to come with me)
  • acknowledgement that living with her mom affected how much power i had to decide things about our life (I had very little, to get more I had to leave)
  • being spoken to with respect when there is conflict
  • being offered opportunities to repair conflict
  • my wishes and needs being considered equal and important
  • a rock solid sense that the abuse I went through wasn't my fault
  • the sense that my emotional safety is important and a priority
  • opportunities to compromise
  • opportunities to rest and not need to be useful to her
  • having my right to have boundaries acknowledged

How could this improve?

  • I can focus on myself and not allow our new conflict to torpedo the progress I'm making (do this by not reaching out to try to mend what happened)
  • I can self reflect to figure out what my needs actually are and how I can communicate this before telling her anything of my history
  • I can figure out what my boundaries are and what I am going to do when these are crossed
  • I am going to keep being financially independent and thus able to afford integrity
  • I am going to get involved with projects where I now live that can lessen my isolation
  • I will seek out places where I can talk openly with others who have experienced what I have
  • I will keep journalling every day
  • I will work on learning how to identify what I am feeling and thinking
  • I will seek out more counselling and try to avoid having a gap where I don't have access to anything
  • I will specifically seek out counselling that acknowledges injustice and understands the realities of child abuse
  • I'll try to stop being so scared of my bodily sensations by engaging my body in pleasurable activities (but which are about my own experience and not someone elses)
 
What do I need from the coming year?

  • To respect my financial limitations and live within my means (to expect others to respect this too)
  • To re-engage with the activities of being a student but with an income this time and without so many time constraints or financial worries
  • To re-engage with the people around me and social and activist opportunities in the city I live
  • To reconnect with the physical landscape around me (bike, gardening, swimming outdoors, camping)
  • To contact old friends again
  • To keep attending counselling
  • To pause and ask myself what I want and need regularly
  • To share more of myself with others and find places where this is welcome
  • To identify goals and how to work towards them
The last year was hell but I learned so much in it. Probably most of the things I know in life I learned either at 21 or 31. It still wasn't as bad as being 21 because for all the things that happened, I wasn't completely alone. I really did find help for most things.

Things I've learned over the past year:

  • what thought suppression is
  • to identify and distinguish between my thoughts and feelings
  • how avoidance works to prolong the problem
  • the benefits of journalling (it makes you feel so much lighter and more sane)
  • that speaking and being heard with compassion generates catharsis
  • that shame keeps you safe and protects you, and as such is deeply functional
  • that the child protection agency are contacting the police and the police are visiting people
  • that the child protection agency are losing children all the time
  • That I was under 4 when sexual abuse first happened to me
  • That it went on for years regularly
  • That I have to respect my own pace and am keeping secrets from myself
  • That I have to give my inner child compassion
  • That my inner teen is activated with my partner
  • that I have textbook PTSD
  • that I am really, really strong
  • that my coping habits resemble those of other survivors
  • that i resisted as much as i could
  • that Israel really will commit genocide and the US will support it (that it wasn't unrealistic at all for this to feel possible to me)
  • that having places in your life where you can talk openly about every single aspect of being yourself is really important (it doesn't have to be most places but it has to be SOMEWHERE)
  • that i can trust my perceptions
  • that my judgement is sound

this doesn't even come close to being a complete list
 
What are the things that I have deprived myself of by being in this relationship in this way?

  • employment opportunities because they involved some months of relocation (she didn't want me to go and didn't want to come with me)
  • acknowledgement that living with her mom affected how much power i had to decide things about our life (I had very little, to get more I had to leave)
  • being spoken to with respect when there is conflict
  • being offered opportunities to repair conflict
  • my wishes and needs being considered equal and important
  • a rock solid sense that the abuse I went through wasn't my fault
  • the sense that my emotional safety is important and a priority
  • opportunities to compromise
  • opportunities to rest and not need to be useful to her
  • having my right to have boundaries acknowledged

How could this improve?

  • I can focus on myself and not allow our new conflict to torpedo the progress I'm making (do this by not reaching out to try to mend what happened)
  • I can self reflect to figure out what my needs actually are and how I can communicate this before telling her anything of my history
  • I can figure out what my boundaries are and what I am going to do when these are crossed
  • I am going to keep being financially independent and thus able to afford integrity
  • I am going to get involved with projects where I now live that can lessen my isolation
  • I will seek out places where I can talk openly with others who have experienced what I have
  • I will keep journalling every day
  • I will work on learning how to identify what I am feeling and thinking
  • I will seek out more counselling and try to avoid having a gap where I don't have access to anything
  • I will specifically seek out counselling that acknowledges injustice and understands the realities of child abuse
  • I'll try to stop being so scared of my bodily sensations by engaging my body in pleasurable activities (but which are about my own experience and not someone elses)
I admire the instight you had into your relationship and solid plan to work on it. I'm just at very beginning of that. My relationship with my wife is co-dependant on my side (as I discovered recently) and I deprived myself of many things as well, which actually hurt both of us and relationship as a whole. I wish I had "Relationships and other ships 101" in school ...
 
I said some pretty harsh words to my girlfriend and I feel bad about it. But actually I didn't say harsh words it's actually just the first time I stood up for myself in a tone that is assertive and not pleading. It's better than being radio silent and unclear about why.

I have so much instability and unsafety in close to all areas of life. I really can't afford to have a romantic relationship be a form of instability too.
 
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