Tag Archives: Abuse

The Difference A Few Years Make

Hey. It’s Shanna. I have been trying to create a journal from my older posts. It looks like the last time I posted was in July of 2014. I’m sure my readers have long since unfollowed my blog. I’ll test the waters again.

What has happened these last 3 1/2 years? I continue to go to my therapist monthly. Yes, I still live with my alters. Gidget and Little Shanna, mainly Gidget. She does not allow me to experience any anger before she feels the need to protect me.

My psychiatrist is currently trying to figure out the right combination of medications. They were okay for a while but in November my bipolar episodes started swinging really badly.

March of 2016 I had the gastric sleeve. My heigh weight was 404 my current weight is 176.

Other things that have taken place since 2014, years of an unhappy and emotionally exhausting marriage, one that I always tried to sugarcoat, came to an end. A very abrupt non-amicable end October of 2016. It was extremely difficult and trying. I, however, am rediscovering the person I surrendered so many years ago.

So, I’ll see if blogging again feels right. I’m not sure yet. I’d love to hear from you.

Nature’s First Green Is Gold

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight…”

The first and the last words of The Outsiders, a movie that quickly became one of my favorite a pre-teen. I do know not know what drew me into the story. It could have been the adorable and quite handsome young Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, and Tom Cruise. It was more than bubbling hormones though. I not only loved the movie, I loved the book.

In the eighth grade when required to do a report on the book of our choice, I chose The Outsiders. Honestly, I think I related to them somehow. Ponyboy and Johnny the tightest of friendships, even to laying to Johnny laying down his life. Each of the boys in the story carried trait I could relate to.

Not understood. Angry. Funny. Desire to be loved. Together with friends, but still outsiders.

When I presented my oral report, I began by quoting Alfred R. Ferguson’s poem that Johnny loved so well.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

It is ironic to me now that I quoted the poem. Not really understanding what the words meant, though Johnny explained them to Pony in a letter.

The irony lies in the loss of my innocent childhood. It was gold to me. Beautiful, fun, exciting, perfect, innocent, but one event remembered has marred the golden beauty of my innocence. I do not know if my words capture the feeling and the meaning I am trying to convey and the relationship I feel to the poem. I just thought it interesting how it unknowingly personified my life.

I need to apologize for my lack of posts the last couple of days. I will sit down and start a post and something will distract me, and it is almost like “SQUIRREL” and I am mentally and/or physically gone! I am so easily distracted and completely lose the train and the track the train of thought was on. I hope to do better, but I cannot make promises. I know my brain, and it does not like to cooperate these days.

With that said, I am extremely sleepy. I think I might take a nap. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. Thank you for reading my blog!

~Hope

P.S. This is a picture of a male red cardinal on a red bud tree outside my parents home yesterday. Isn’t he gorgeous?
Cardinal

Didn’t Mean To Broadcast To The World

After publishing my last post I went to my Facebook account, imagine my horror when I realized that I have been publicizing THIS blog to everyone. I had set my blog to be published to my other Facebook account, my Hope account, but somehow it switched when I was inactive. It made me ill. There are several people on my list that I would never want to know or read about my experiences.

I have gone and deleted the posts from my Facebook account and deleted my Facebook account from my WordPress account as to avoid any future issues.

I hope no innocent eyes read my blog and were injured by anything I said. I worry so much about my niece and young cousins reading it.

No need to worry I have done what I can.

Correcting Misperceptions

Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions. – Unknown

I do not know if I blogged about it or not, but last week I wrote my Kindergarten teacher. Through therapy we have come to realize that many of my feelings of self worth were created as she practiced some very unethical teaching practices with me. As we have discussed it, I have come to terms with the abusive nature of her acts, and that her acts are not my fault.

I still have a hard time accepting or believing any compliment, and I feel like I am going to fail at anything given to me. Though my successes in life may outnumber my failures, my failures are magnified in my eyes and overtake any success I have.

So last week, I took courage and found out where my Kindergarten teacher was. I felt sickened to learn that she still teaching. I weighed the thoughts I had about writing her, the courage won. Initially I just emailed and asked if she taught Kindergarten in the early 80s. She emailed me back within the hour.

She stated that she had taught Kindergarten, and taught me. That year she had 31 students, stating she took off ten years after teaching us. She went on to tell me about her life. She ended her letter with “Good to hear from a former student.”

I felt sick. I was shaking.

How do you start a letter to an abuser? How to you start a letter to a teacher that seemed excited to her from you? It has been 34-5 years, I believe people can change. I also feel responsible for the child in me. I needed to do this. I needed to be her voice.

So I began just like that. Letting her know that I did not know how to start it. Then the rest of the letter I used the sandwhich method good-bad-good. As I write that I remember I did blog about it last week, so I do not need to go into more details about that here.

I still have not heard back from her. After much more thought, I decided to follow my gut. I am never going to be able to let go and move on if I did not let someone at the school know my story. I want her students to be protected. I do not want any other child to deal with the humiliation or the self loathing that she caused me. Children already deal with so much these days. They need to be protected. I emailed her principal and received a very kind and thoughtful response. I have no doubt that she will keep her eyes out.

I hope that by confonting this demon from my past, I will be able to forgive, not only her but myself. I want to erase all of the misperceptions and misconceptions formed so long ago and create a new and healthier way to view myself and the world.

I know have other demons to deal with too, but I must take it one step at a time.

It’s My Life

It is hard to say whether or not I should consider my last few weeks as eventful. Most of my days have been spent in my room with my blankets pulled up to my nose while I watch a Glee Marathon now I am on to Party of Five. I had brief breaks from the shows to watch movies, and a couple of days of doctor appointments, I vetured down to my parents a couple of times, and then I attempted to cook supper for my husband maybe three times. I also went to church on Sunday, but ended up coming home.

My life has become very sheltered. The last couple of days I have found words to describe how I feel. You see people in abusive relationships. They become imprisioned and cut off from their support system by their abuser. That is what I feel like “Little Hope” is trying to do to me. I do not know if she thinks that is her way of protecting me or manipulating me. I really feel like her wanting to kill me is her feeling like she has been the one that has protected us for all these years, and if I go away she will still be here strong, and I will not be hurting. Death through the eyes of a child is like it plays out on a cartoon, you come right back. I do not know if she realizes that we or she would not come right back. I do not know. I can only guess what she is thinking and feeling, and go by the memories and feelings that I have after she has manifested herself. Sometimes I am present with her as an imprisoned bystander and others I have very little memory to no memory that she took over.

Our minds are facinating and terrifying things. Though this Little One is me, because of her defiance, I do not feel any connection to her. When I think back to me as a child, that is not how I was.

Earlier this week my young cousin told her Mom that her teacher had gotten angry threw her folder, scattering papers everywhere, and then told the child that it was her fault to clean it up. When confronted the teacher lied infront of the Principal and then my little cousin was given a lecture about lying. Gratefully her peers came forward and backed her story and she has now been transferred out of that class.

My cousin’s courage gave me the courage to seek out my abusive teacher. It scares me that she is still a teacher, but I also know people can change. I first wrote her to verify that it was indeed her. It was and she remembered me. My anxiety shot through the roof when the last words she wrote were “Good to hear from a former student.”

She had no idea what I was about to write. Being the person I am and truly hoping she has changed, I wrote in the sandwhich method that I learned in management training years ago. Good BAD Good. Meaning good news and nice, bad news and harsh, good news and nice again.

I based the good news and nice on the few things she told me in her first email, and then I reminded her exactly who I was. I detailed the things she did to me and how they made me feel, then and now. I also let her know that I spoke to others in my class and without prompting they had the same memories. They also have their own stories to tell. I let her know that I was giving voice to the child that did not have one back then.

I let her know some of the good things that have happened in my life and that we share the love of working with those that have special needs. She changed from regular ed and is now a special needs teacher. I also commended her for getting out of teaching for a while to raise her boys. My Mother was a stay at home mom, and it was so important to me. I know not everyone can.

There were several things that I mentioned. I tried to express that I was not coming down on the person she is today, but in hopes of forgiving her I needed to let her know what it had done to me. I need to heal.

Sadly, I have not heard back from her. No apology, no excuses, no nothing. Now, it worries me that she still teaches. In my heart of hearts, I really thought as an mature adult, realizing what her actions had done, she would have apologized. I have now drafted a letter to her Principal, but have not hit send. I know her Principal well. I am waiting, in the hopes she is just processing the information. I know I should not expect and apology, I just hoped.

After writing the letter to her I spoke outloud, letting “Little Hope” know that I have taken care of it. She can become one with me and know that she will not be forgotten, but I will take care of us. I do not know if she heard me or not. She seems to listen in on my other conversations.

Yesterday when my husband and I where having lunch together, we were talking about teachers. I do not remember exactly what he said. I excused myself to to restroom. While in there she fought so hard to manifest, I knew I needed to get back out to my husband. I do not know what set her off. I do not know if she got full control or not, I was fighting so hard for her not to. I have not asked my husband, I remember seeing fear in his eyes. He kept saying we could go, but I remember telling him no that I needed him to get his dessert. I felt like she was trying to control that situation, she did not want him to be able to have his dessert, he has been waiting for that for a while. She knew I would feel awful if it was my fault that he did not have it. I do not remember him eating it or leaving.

Today is Saturday. I have family coming in. I am praying for a good day with no suprise guests.

It’s A Date

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I have a date today. With someone who needs some TLC. This person comes recommended by others pretty highly.

I am nervous about this date. Not exactly sure what we will do.

The first thing we did was have lunch with my Mother and Aunt at Old Times County Buffet. Yummy. It was delicious. My date made rude remarks about how much I ate. I wish someone would shut them up.

I was so excited to see a dear friend from school come in. My date was too. They stopped nagging me for a while and we started remembering times from school.

The next stop on our date is the mall. I am not a mall shopper. I find it hard to shop with my eyes only, and my bank account is hating life. We entered by jC Penny’s, the salon. Oh, I had just mentioned to my Mother that I wanted a haircut. Maybe I should drag my date in there just to ask the cost. Asking the cost would not hurt a thing right? Maybe my date would pay if it is not too much. I have not had a hair cut since December 2011, or it might have been late Winter 2012. These days my hair is frizzy and long. Dry and damaged.

I asked the prices. The Master Stylist that I spoke to looked at my hair and pulled out this neat little card. Complimentary haircut with purchase of deep conditioning, I am going to get out of here with cut style and deep treatment for $25. My date frowned initially telling me that I am not worth it, but I figured that if I get it I might feel better and be more appealing to my date.

I do not see what everyone sees in this date. Why they recommend them so highly. All I have heard is negativity and belittling from them.

I am under the hair dryer for the deep conditioning. It heat is so relaxing, the sound soothing. I think I could go to sleep. I am eager to see what comes of the mess on my head. I will not show you the front but this is the before front.

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Looks like Cousin It.

Finished, stylist was very nice. I am not sure if it is because my date keeps telling me that it looks awful, not much change, or if I really do look like a poodle that needs a dye job that went through a car wash and then stepped through that air dryer. I keep looking on my wrist at my trusty scrunchy, but of fear hurting the stylist’s feelings I do not pull back my hair.

Now my date and I sit in the middle of the mall because I do not remember where my Aunt was going to be and she let her phone battery go dead. I hate that she is in the mall pushing herself around in a wheel chair, my mind is just blank. I sit here hoping to see her rolling by.

I have learned today that taking myself on a date is not the best thing to do. Even as I try to pamper and love myself the other feelings are too loud. How did I get here? I could never and would never treat another Child of God like this.

I am sitting around watching people, wondering what their life story is. Looking at the children, what does their story hold.

How many people have done the same to me? How many got it wrong? How many got it right?

I guess we will never know.

You Can Be Mended

You will probably be bombarded with uplifting videos and posts from me today. I woke up feeling very anxious and depressed. I need to start getting ready for Church soon, very soon, I am trying to pull myself together by watching videos.

When I find one that I think might help my readers, I post it.

Song of the Heart Sunday: Hope of God’s Light

“It is part of our condition as mortal beings to sometimes feel as though we are surrounded by darkness. We might have lost a loved one; a child might have strayed; we might have received a troubling medical diagnosis; we might have employment challenges and be burdened by doubts or fears; or we might feel alone or unloved.

“But even though we may feel lost in the midst of our current circumstances, God promises the hope of His light — He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness….

“There may be some among you who feel darkness encroaching upon you,” he said. “You may feel burdened by worry, fear, or doubt. To you and to all of us, I repeat a wonderful and certain truth — God’s light is real. It is available to all. It gives life to all things. … It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn.” Dieter F Uchtdorf

This talk touches my heart and souls and the Spirit testifies that it is true.

I Once Loved Roller Coasters

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This morning is some better. I am still very anxious and depressed, but not teetering. I realize how many kind and good people read my blog, and they are going through a lot right now too. “Our community” helps one another when we are down. Kind words of encouragement, the reminder of the beautiful things in life and in me, virtual hugs, and a simple “like” they let me know someone is listening and cares.

I have my amazing family. I know the are weary. It is hard having someone you love with severe emotional problems. I could charter a club, I have been on the other side. Living daily, not knowing what to say or do, fear of triggering them. Fear of the backlash. Not knowing if the will be there in the morning physically or emotionally. Holding your tongue and swallowing your emotions, sacrificing your own mental health while they work on theirs. Crying more than laughing. I hate that I put anyone through this roller coaster.

Tagline Hope: Mirror Stalker

She is there, everyday.
I cannot remember the first time I noticed her.
Following me room to room,
house to house, store to store.
Reflection to reflection.
Eerie.

If I remember correctly, the first time I noticed her.
She was much younger.
Had a light in her eyes hazel eyes.
Long brown curly hair, not a gray in sight.
She smiled, sometimes even laughed and made silly faces at me.
What a pleasant girl.
Still, she followed me everywhere.
And copied me, oh how annoying.

As I grew older, so did she.
But, she aged much more rapidly than I did.
Poor soul.
Her eyes tell a story, secrets hidden.
I feel sorry for her,
Inwardly grateful, that I am not her.

I wish she would stop following me.
It has been years.
I am still somewhat young, but everywhere I go,
This lonely soul stalks me.
Grays in her hair, saddness in her eyes, overweight.
Please stop following me.
Once in a while I would like to see my reflection in mirror.

I wish she would make the silly faces she once did.
The faces that warmed my heart.
Letting me know she was okay.
But she does not now.

She seems trapped in the mirror.
Behind a glass wall of fears.
Years of depression and anxiety.
Ruling her life.

But I am still young.
I can help her.
Lead her to the fountain of youth,
Healing balms.
Showing her that she and life
Are beautiful beyond the glass.