Tag Archives: Child Sexual 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.

Advertisements

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

Can I Have This Dance?

k2600546

When you live with an alter, especially when you are first realizing and learning to live. It is like getting to know a new roommate. This roommate, unlike a college roommate, shares everything you do, but is much more difficult to get to know. It is truly a trial and error.

I have been fighting Little Hope for a long time. Angry that she intruded on my life. This week I have tried to accept her more, and befriend her more to understand her. She has remained hidden most of the week as I have dealt with my feelings about her.

Today however, I went to my kitchen to do the dishes and start dinner and I could feel her. My anxiety level began to rise. The more I felt her the more anxious I got. Then I stopped and began to talk with her, calmly nurturing her. Reminding her of the fun times that she and Granny had in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. I reminded her of some of the details. She began to settle down. She then showed me an image of her dancing with a doll. She was happy.

I had music playing in the background. It was one of Enya’s songs. I asked her if I could dance with her. She liked that idea. I closed my eyes and hugged myself and danced around my kitchen. Tears streaming down my face. I think it was the first time she really trusted me.

After I danced I had an idea. I know that I like to write, and writing helps me to get my thoughts out. I wondered if it would help her. I asked her if she wanted to keep a journal. She did not know what a journal was so I had to explain that it is a book that we put our thoughts in to help us feel better. It would be her own special book. We can put whatever we want in our own journal. I explained to her that I would create a special place on my computer just for her journal, and anytime that she needed get something out, then she could tell me or she could type it. Though, I honestly I hope this will be a way that she trusts me enough to let me be out all the time. I will not go into the things she told me. Those are her secrets. If she gives me permission to write them on my blog I will, but until then it is her journal.

To some this might make me sound more crazy, but to me, I feel more sane. I feel like I am getting somewhere with her. At least today, tomorrow it might be different, she is a five-year old.

All I know is these forty-year old eyes are sleepy and going crossed from looking at this Mac most of the day except when I was dancing with myself in the kitchen.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful night! ~Hope

Why I Blog and A Question

th

One of the reasons I stopped blogging a few months ago was because I was so caught up in numbers.  Worrying about my stats daily.  Am I being boring?  What are my readers thinking?  Between that and Little Hope angry that I called her Hope, it just became too much.

Today I have thought about what drives me to write.  Mainly to get the thoughts out to calm me.  Others is to connect with others.  I hope my words do reach others, and somehow help them.  Even it is helps them, helps YOU not feel so alone.

Originally I had hoped to make money blogging, but I know my blog is not going to ever make money.  It is not about a money-making topic that brings people in droves.  Maybe down the road when I am farther along in my journey, I will visit that idea again.  Right now I want to focus on quality posts about my life.

This is the life I am living.  This blog is much more than a blog to me, it is my online journal.  I am going to treat it as such.  I hope as I do you do not get bored reading.  Gratefully, some days are boring.  I long for those days.  Days that I can say, “Today I cleaned house and cooked dinner.”  Of course I will go into more details, and talk more about what I am feeling.

I do have a QUESTION. Before my hiatus when I blogged at the bottom in visual mode it offered suggestions on blogs that I could pingback to, blogs that had similar subject matter.  I do not see this anymore.  Is there something that I need to activate to get that back or what?  I do not remember what it is called.  I would love to have that option again.  I think it was a great way to network in our blogging community.  If you know what it is or how I can get it back PLEASE let me know.  Thanks!

I hope you all have a wonderful night! -Hope

New Year, New Look

Decided to change-up the look of my blog. I do not know if I will keep it this way or not. I really like the look of the owl, and I read to see what the owl symbolizes. It is wisdom. I should have known that.

I sang the little ditty as a child. “A wise old owl sat on an oak. The more he heard the less he spoke, the less he spoke the more he heard. Why aren’t we all like that old bird.” We would sing it over and over again in rounds.

Wisdom. What is wisdom? Wisdom is something you can only gain through experience. No one can give it to you as a gift wrapped in a pretty bow. You cannot read it in a book or on a blog, and magically bestow it through osmosis. No, wisdom comes through your own application of knowledge to your experiences. This journey is my journey to a completely new wisdom. I am learning more about myself that I ever knew existed and parts that I did not know I hid. I will learn how to work together with myself to create a powerful them so that we can do as the image of the owl states “Shine On.”

I have been counseled for years to gain knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge has always come very easy to me. Almost too easy. I suppose you could call me a nerd. Wisdom, not so much. I have to learn life’s lessons time and time again, before the wisdom sticks. This time, however long it takes, however many lessons are involved, I will gain the wisdom I need.  Can’t go around it, can’t go over it, can’t go under it, must go through it.
2766d9ec69c1b903206d27037b620388

get_out_of_my_damn_fruit_bowl_by_rhiallom-d4isqs2

So for me funny moment happened today, at my husband’s expense. He teases me constantly about my memory, as I addressed a couple of days ago. Today however, he called me on the way home from work and told me that he was at CVS picking up his medications. I was super confused and asked him, “Didn’t you pick those up yesterday?” That’s when he started laughing. He said he started thinking about the coupons he had to use at CVS and said he would go today since he had to pick up his medications anyway. The pharmacist tech looked and looked, and probably thought they had lost another of our prescriptions. (I called and reported them to corporate a few weeks ago for losing prescriptions.) This time it was not them, it was my adorable husband and his perfect memory. Thankful for those moments!

Not Too Difficult To Negotiate With A Tired Husband, or When You Mention Bread

Image

 

My husband is exhausted.  He has been working extra hard at his job as a government contractor with a project going on there, and then working a side job for two or three hours every night.  When I mentioned my idea he as pretty happy.  

Honestly I think he turned everything off when I said I would cook bread tomorrow for ham sandwiches and a picnic Saturday as we go to the Island.  Give that man my bread, and he is in heaven.   It is an Amish recipe that I learned with I worked at a Mennonite bakery here in town when I first graduated high school.  

He is going to talk to his pal and see what he thinks.  Looks like they will explore Savannah tomorrow while my hubs is at work.  Then my suggestion is that they head down to Brunswick to find a cheaper room for Friday night.  We can then head down Saturday Morning and spend some time with them, before they road trip it out.

This couple is living the life of Riley right now.  They sold their house, other vehicles, both quit their jobs, and now are exploring the country.  They do not have children at home.  They are in their early 40’s.  Living their dreams now.  Both lost their parents relatively young, and I suppose that could be part of this.  Doing it now, while they can, and enjoy it. They also wanted to live off the grid for a while.  Funny.  I admire them, and think they are absolutely nutters in the same breath.  

I have too much, I do not know…aside from BILLS, I have too much…hmmm, connection to home to and I do not know the word I am looking for to do it.  Not to mention I am a wimp too.  I have seen how the hubs drives when he is tired.  No, but seriously, being that far away from everything and everyone that I hold dear, except my hubs, our car, and a few clothes.  I cannot image it.  We would need a train.  One car for us and our dogs, one for my parents, one for my sister, and one for my other sister and her family.  I do not say my brother because I do not think he would ever come, and he can fend for himself.  I can’t imagine life without him, but he would get to us if we needed him.  My sisters, though they live several cities away from me now, if I were going to travel, really travel, I would need them close.  My family grounds me.  

Changing gears for a moment, through all of this PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety my family has been constant.  Though my mind plays games that they would go away, the reality is they will never leave me, nor I them.  We are like those train cars.  So, I suppose somewhere on the tracks, my little brother is going to meet up with us occasionally like he does really, check in let us know in his own special way how much he really does love and care for us, then boogey on along.  The railway connects us.  We are an eternal family.  I am so blessed.  I love my family so much, I cannot express that enough.  Sometimes it is hard to express through the other emotions, and I come off as selfish.  I really do not mean to, I am fighting so hard to come back.  I hope you see me.  I am coming.  

Okay, I just read the title of this post.  Did I mention something I also tend to do is ramble when I am exhausted.  Free flow writing I suppose.  You get to see who I REALLY am.  From talking about the friends in the area to my family the train.  I have not completely lost it, I promise.

Life is interesting.  This last week I have felt things are starting to seem clearer.  I cannot explain it.  Imagine going to river and dipping up water in a glass and scrapping the bottom as you do.  When you bring it up, all you can see it the mud, muck, grass, leaves, debris, and whatever floating around.  While you are working through things you are never holding the glass completely still, so it is staying stirred up.  Some items you can remove like a floating piece of grass, those are easier, but they still require you to work to remove them so they do not catch your eye every time you look at your glass.  Other items, are much more difficult to work on, they are obscured by the other items in their way, your hand cannot quite reach it, you are afraid you will break your glass, whatever the reason.  They are just harder.  You have to work harder.  This is your glass, no one else’s.  You have to take your time.  Others may not even see the things that you can see in the glass, often times they do not because you do not want them to, you protect it, or sometimes they do not want to.  Either way that is okay.  It is your glass.  This is your time to clean it.  For me, as I have taken some of the larger stone that were at the bottom of the glass out this week, examined them and continue to work with them outside my glass, I realize that I am not disturbing the water in my glass as much.  Some of those small minute particles that were making the water so unclear, is settling and I can see much clearer.  I still have a long way to go before the water is pure, but to be able to see through something that was so murky just a week ago, makes me so grateful, so very, very grateful.

Image

 

 

 

***Trigger Warning*** When Did I Lose Myself

Imagining myself writing a post even remotely similar to the one about to come from my fingers seems to be like imagining living someone else’s life or at the very least talking about their life. I have debated within myself the last two days whether or not I should blog about this experience, simply because the intimate nature of it. Today in therapy we talked about my blog, about how sad I get when my numbers are down, but then I reminded myself of that the reason I began a blog was to help myself and to help others on their journey to healing from remembering repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse.

As I thought I recalled the story of a little boy walking along the sea-shore after a storm. Hundreds and hundreds of starfish had been washed ashore during the destructive storm. The little boy was going along throwing starfish back into the water when someone came along and made a comment trying to discourage him from throwing them back. The comment was something to the order of “You cannot save all of the them, I do not know why you are even trying.” The child picked up another starfish, showed his antagonist and said, “You are right, but I can save this one.”

The experience I am about to share might be read by one person who like me feels alone and completely messed up. It might help that one person realize that they are not alone in the way they are reacting.

That is one of my biggest challenges. This is all new territory and though my abuse happened 34 years ago, remembering and living it now, dealing with it now creates completely uncharted hazardous waters in my life. New emotions and suppressed emotions experienced daily.

***Trigger Warning***

Since we married 8 years ago, and until recently, my husband and I have been very intimate. I had some issues after my hysterectomy, but I when were together I enjoyed it. Passion has not been a real issue we faced. There were times as in all marriages that you are not in the mood, but passion and making love remained relatively consistent. I guess you would say we had a healthy sex-life.

I remembered my abuse on May 2 of this year. In remembering my rape, I lost my sexual self, instead became an afraid 5-year-old child anytime my husband touched me in a remotely intimate way. If he kissed me and I felt his tongue, I would cry, feeling betrayed. He patiently understood or atleast tried to.

We have tried different methods of touch to get me comfortable with us again. I tell myself, as my therapist recommended, “This is my husband and my lover. It is okay to be with him.”

I have reach over and tried to touch “him” and was paralyzed in fear and sobbed in his arms. My inner child screaming at me while I tried to touch him that I was not being fair to her. Her voice very cruel and distracting.

Most nights he holds me in his arms, protecting me as I go to sleep. He gently rubs my back comforting me until I sleep.

A few nights ago I dreamt about being with him as husband and wife. I was so happy when I woke up, sad that he had to go to work. When he came home I explained to him how things could be done. It would not be passionate, no touching and fondling except what I allowed and directed. Very contained very ruled, very PG for sex between husband and wife, especially in our life.

When his rhythm started I was so scared. I kept my eyes tightly closed. I wanted him to finish. He noticed my tears and stopped. I wanted him to be happy, but at the same time I wanted to run. I wanted to get away. “She” felt like I was letting him rape “her”. I could not look at him when it was over. I stayed in the bathroom for a while. I felt dirty like I had done something wrong. I was sick to my stomach and sobbing. When I finally composed myself I came back to bed and we talked. Some of these things I only verbalize to him as I read this before I post it, the shame that I felt like I could not tell him. Not because anything he did, because what I felt.

I was shaking inside and I know he heard it in my voice. He wished that I would have told him when it started to scare me. It is such a difficult thing when you love your spouse and want them to be fulfilled, but and the same time you are terrified.

He had not pressured me into anything, as a matter of fact he had asked if I was ready. I said I was ready to “try”.

I am so ready for my life back!! I am ready to find me.I talked to my therapist about it today and she said it is a journey and I do not need to try to rush it. I suppose in a healing journey you need baby steps not giant strides. I am making progress inch by inch.

Blogging With A Schedule, and A Daily Twist?

I have read on several blogs that daily schedules and themes create interest and depth to your blog. It also promotes the blogger AKA me, to deeper and wider range of thinking. WIN WIN!

As I have thought about this idea, I decided to embrace it. Of course since this is my therapy blog, as things come up that I feel I need to blog about, even if they do not fit into the daily theme, I will blog. I will also continue to participate in challenges and “Daily Prompts” because I like how they stretch my mind.

The theme schedule I created for myself is:

Mayberry Monday:

Flashback with me on Mondays to the days when TV was fun, clean, and truly family time. I might includeYoutube videos, theme songs, and who knows what. I hope to jog some of your happy memories as I sit in my parents living room watching TV, occassionally arguing with my siblings about who had to get up and turn the channel.

Tell All Tuesday:

In my 39 years of life I have done some crazy things. Tuesdays will be dedicated to those funny and sometimes not so funny situations that I have gotten myself into and gratefully survived.

Wishful Wednesday:

Hopes and dreams make dark days bearable. When you are in the depths of severe depression you do not dream for a better day, because it does not seem to be part of your reality. Wednesdays, I am going to “force” myself into a daydream and take you along on the adventure.

Take A Look Thursday:

Photography is my new hobby. It brings me moments of joy. Thursdays, I will give you a glimpse into my world as I learn photography.

Find the Good Friday:

Finding joy in inspirational and uplifting stories that I have seen in the world around me. Friday will be a day dedicated to sharing those hidden people interest stories that touch my heart, and hopefully touch yours too.

Silly Saturday:

I want to laugh. I want you to laugh. Saturdays are for laughter. It might be one of those off the wall inventions that I see, or a joke I heard, or picture I saw, but we are going to laugh together.

Songs of the Heart Sunday:

Sunday being the Sabbath is a day I will share a song or other message building my testimony and strenthened my faith in Jesus Christ.

I am excited about the themes. I hope that as I begin this new phase in my blogging adventure I will stretch myself more as a writer and heal myself as a person.

I want to encourage comments and discussion on all of my posts as I engage with my blog family and new friends waiting to be met.

20130710-150729.jpg

Facebook Community

I am not sure why I did it because I all but swore away from my “real” Facebook page, but today I started a Facebook community. There are several people I have met through blogging that I enjoying enteracting with, and unless they blog that day and I can comment, there really is not a way to chat. I guess that is the nice thing about blogging, but the sad thing too.

If you want to find “me” on FB I am Hope Noel with Curious George as my profile. I do not really post that much, but the community that I started today is: https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimingMyNarnia. I hope to chat in the community.

I created an alias for myself to use on Facebook for this, you can use your real or an alias, whatever you are comfortable with. Come on over, I would love to have you.

Daily Prompt: I Don’t Wanna, But I Know Need To

Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!
Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.

Earlier this year my Internist and I sat having lengthy a conversation about my anxiety and depression. Both had gone of for years and years, and I have been through so many medications requiring to change them about every two years. He said in his wisdom that I needed to go to someone specialized in mental health and to get counseling.

My heart and my mind immediately went…EEEEERRRRRKKKKK!!! (That would be the sound effect of brakes stopping racing tires on the pavement.) My voice however said, “My husband goes to Dr. X, a psychiatrist and I will see if I can get in to see him.” My doctor had another psychiatrist that he had referred patients to in the past, if I could not get into Dr. X. I will always remember his words, “Choosing your mental health doctor needs to be a personal decision.” I did not quite understand the full impact and emotion behind that until later in my journey.

For the life of me I do not remember if it was that day or a week or several weeks before I made an appointment with Dr. X, nonetheless, I did. I cried on the way to the appointment, realizing that I needed it but still sad that I had to go. Even thought about cancelling, after all I had asthmatic bronchitis and was coughing constantly. I would not be able to talk, yes, that would be my excuse. I knew if I cancelled, though, I would not reschedule.

I had sat in his office a couple of times before with my husband, this time was different. I was the one under the microscope and being mentally interrogated. He started throwing possible diagnosis at me. MS, ADD, Asbergers, PTSD, Major Depression, and Anxiety. Woah, what are you talking about Doc? My mind raced. He sent me for a gallon of lab work, which was good. I needed several of them for my other doctor too. Before I left he said “I want you to make and appointment to meet with this therapist, she does EMDR.” I will never forget his words either, “I really feel she can help you.”

So off I went to call the therapist, she was able to see me that day. You often hear the cliché today is the first day of the rest of your life. Well, that day truly was, and not in a good way.

You can read about that experience here.

That is one call I wish I had never made, truth be known, I wish I could rewind the clock and see another psychiatrist. I think it is a bad idea for spouses to see the same psychiatrist, especially when one or the other is really close with the psychiatrist. My husband has been in with Dr. X for two years now. I am not saying Dr. X is not a good doctor, he has helped my husband, but I think because of the friendship he has with my husband it is hard for him to be objective about me, or at least that is how I feel. Trust is key in a mental health doctor patient relationship, as in any doctor patient relationship.

When I started going to the EMDR therapist Dr. X said he would “hover” over my care and see me every three months. He never changed my mental medications, but wanted to remove me from the medications for my other health problems, or rather wanted my other doctors to remove me from them. When things went so horribly wrong with EMDR, I felt betrayed by the EMDR therapist and Dr. X for recommending her so highly when she clearly was not going by EMDR protocol. My husband still goes to both, so as my internist puts it, mental health is an individual choice. I really think Dr. X is a genuinely nice person, and am so grateful for what he has done to help my husband.

I have now found the right therapist for me. She talks to and with me. When I explain how I am feeling she makes sure she understands she heard what I meant and felt behind my words. I appreciate that. I have an appointment to see a new psychiatrist soon. She is highly recommended by my therapist.

I am learning so much about myself in therapy. Just this week, right before session ended I recognized something pivotal. Anytime anything negative happens in my life, I do not just live that negative event. I relive every negative event. That is why I get so, so upset and so,so down and discouraged feeling like there is nothing good in the world. I guess misery loves company, so does my own misery, it brings its own memories. She mentioned this is a symptom of PTSD and grief.

A light bulb just went on in my head as I typed that. My Mother mentions that I get very very angry lately. I do not realize how intensely angry I get because I am trying so hard not to let my emotions take control of me. I wonder if this too could be part of that same picture. For example last Friday being denied by disability, I knew I was intensely sad, but I do not recall anger. Mother recalls anger. Do all of my suppressed emotions bubble over at once without me realizing it? Over something relatively small in the scheme of things, I knew I would be denied the first time. I became so depressed by the belittling terminology used in the letter.

I am learning that though I feel weak, in the same breath I am very strong. I have dealt with many trials in my life, and continue to do so every day. I am a fighter. Some moments I think that fight is gone, but it is clearly still there. I am a survivor.

I am learning and relearning talents that I would not have if I had been brought to this low point in my life. I once loved to write, and I promised I would write to help people. One day I stopped. I thought I lost the talent.

Blogging is not the same as the poetry that I once wrote, but is writing. I am grateful for the outlet. Also my new joy, I would say my one real joy is photography. I am grateful that I am learning to take pictures and see things differently. Something that is interesting to me, is that things that are normally ugly, can be absolutely gorgeous when taken with macro.

I think that is what I am learning through therapy. Take a closer look at yourself, study yourself, get to know yourself, and love yourself. One day, those things that are you think hideous, will be blessings and beautiful. Other people already see that beauty and hold that love for you close until you are ready to accept it, one day I will be ready.

20130628-113704.jpg