Passive suicidal ideation

 

The other night I was watching a paranormal show (yes I watch them) and the lady on was discussing different things and she said “Passive Suicide” is when someone has thoughts of dying but would never do anything to hurt themselves.  I can’t explain the feelings that slammed into me when I heard this but it was like every light bulb came on at once and I wanted to scream out YES… THAT’S IT!  You see, if you follow my blog you know already that I suffer from Bipolar and all that entails.  I’m walking basket case that has learned how to somewhat keep it all together while in public but pretty much lose it when at home and especially when I’m alone.  Those hours between night and day or the worst.  I have anxiety disorder, anger displacement disorder, PTSD and Bipolar, I’m a blast at parties!  For the most part I deal with all of it with sarcasm and humor.  Even my therapist has told me more then once how hysterical I am and how she knows that the funnier I am being the worse off I am in my head.

Anyways, back to my original thought.  Sorry I shoulda added ADD in there to.  So apparently Passive Suicidal Ideation is when the thoughts of death go through the mind.  Like thinking “I wish I could just go to sleep and never wake up”.  You’re in essence wishing to die but know you could never do something drastic like pulling the trigger or swallowing that bottle of pills.  I have these thoughts often, more often then I’ll ever admit to anyone.  Sometimes when I’m driving over a bridge or high over pass I’ll have a day dream of going over the side and smiling as I knew the pain would soon be over, but I never act on it.  I know too many would be so upset if I did so I put my mask of false bravado on and go through the motions of getting through the days.

Some days are better then others.  Not every day is bad, and not every day is a time of wishing for death.  Some days are all about living and watching those around you happy and healthy and enjoying life but being Bipolar means you never know when that mood will swing the other way.   When I’m manic I am on top of the world and everything is great. I’m full of energy and ready to take on the world, I’m 10 feet tall and bullet proof.  The problem is I also cannot sleep for days which means when the crash finally comes it’s one of epic proportion.  When I fall from the hilltop down into the valley there is literally nothing that can bring me out of it.  I have to ride the wave until that wave reaches the hilltop again.  During this time I find myself shrouded in the thoughts of death.  I stare at my endless supply of pills the doctors keep throwing at me for the many different ailments I have that they can’t figure out and fix so they just throw a band-aide on it in hopes that it’ll shut me up.  I have those day dreams of my car veering off the road and hitting a tree, or just going to sleep and having some kind of a massive heart attack and never waking up.  Anything to stop the hurting and the pain.  I thought I was the only one who had these thoughts, well not the only one I realize others with mental illness have these thoughts to but when I heard the name of it I was happy to know that it’s common enough that they named it.  I mean, I’m not happy that enough people suffer from it that they named it but happy that I’m not even crazier then I already think that I am.  Does that make sense?

Right now is a valley.  Last week was an escape from reality.  I was in NYC and there was no “normality” around me.  I got to be someone else for a few days which was fantastic, but now that I’m home and my family has gone home and life is back to normal reality has set in and it fucking sucks!  I’m stuck.  Literally stuck.  I can’t go anywhere or do anything because of financial reasons, I can’t get a job because of medical reasons, I can’t work on my book because of crappy equipment reasons, I can’t paint because I can’t afford the material to do so… you see… I’m stuck.  I get to watch TV.  I had planned on getting out and start walking and enjoying the sunshine and trying to help my hip but I had to have a Biopsy last Monday and they said “don’t get sweaty until this is healed up” so there goes that… stuck.  and I hate it.  So the thoughts are back.  The logical side of my brain realizes this is the mental illness talking but the illogical side of my brain is telling that logical side to shut the hell up and the anger and hatred and self loathing is taking over.  I hate being stuck, which makes me hate this life I live.. if that’s what you call what I do is living… I hate it all…and I want the pain to stop.. I want to disappear… just poof.. be gone.

I’m not writing this for your pity, I don’t want that.  I don’t want sympathy and I don’t want a “You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself, you have it so much better then some” lectures.  I’m writing this to let people know and understand that mental illness isn’t always that person who goes on a shooting spree, or a serial killer, or even that really strange kid in high school that ended up committing suicide.  Mental Illness is me.. it’s the estimated 57.7 million people in the USA who manage to make it through every day without hurting anyone except themselves.  You may not know this or realize it but someone in your life, someone you are close to suffers from some form of mental illness.  You’ll never know until they either lose their handle on life or they ask for help before that happens because we are excellent at hiding it when we need to.

Even though there is still a debate on whether or not Passive suicidal thoughts are as dangerous as “real” suicidal thoughts I will tell you from personal experience that they are.  I know this because I have held the gun to my head and pulled the trigger (playing Russian Roulette) and I’ve taken the bottle of pills and had to have my stomach pumped.  If the thoughts are there, the thoughts on how to carry it out are there to.

“An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older or about one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2015 In Review

This past year has been a completely different kind of year for me.  It saw a lot of turmoil, health issue’s, heart breaks and angels I never knew we’re watching over me.  I started out the year knowing I had to have surgery, and knowing before I even went in that I would be putting in my notice at work because several doctors were pretty much screaming at me to quit my high stress job and concentrate on my health or  I’d be dead in a year.  I was already terrified of my boss’s wrath and to have to a) tell him I’d need at least 6 to 8 weeks off to recover and b) knowing that after I left for the surgery after some time I’d have to put my notice in had me in a state of unbelievable stress.  If you know me then you know that I am a worker and the thought of not working was/is terrifying for me, and you’d also know that despite my hardened shell I truly do not like confrontation.  I’ve had to fight my whole life.. I’m kinda tired of fighting.

I had my first surgery of the year on Jan 23.  The doctors believed that I had a twist in my intestines and had to go manually check all 5000 feet of intestines… okay okay, I am sure it’s not 5000 feet but I know it’s a lot!  It was a very painful recovery period and for the first time ever I actually took the needed time to recover.  Before this surgery I had had 3 abdominal surgeries in less then 4 yrs and ALWAYS went back to work within a few days (totally against doctors orders.. but hey my boss wouldn’t allow the time off w/o find a reason to fire me and we needed the money) so I did what I had to do, and that was work.  After my surgery the first few weeks were not overly stressful as I was in a great deal of pain and wasn’t thinking about the mounting bills and looming reaming from my boss when I put in my notice, that was until after the second week off and I quickly discovered that asshole was not going to pay me medical leave.  He is the owner of a small business so the “rules” don’t apply the same way as if you worked for say Verizon.  He doesn’t have to pay medical leave, he doesn’t have to have a valid reason to fire anyone and he’s a spoiled little rich kid whose never had to work for anything so he doesn’t know the meaning of the word struggle.

By April my anxieties had gone through the roof.  Not only was I going out of my mind not working, watching the bills pile up but I was still having issue’s with my stomach/intestines.  My surgeon had been removed from the clinic and put in the teaching part of the hospital so I had to see a new surgeon and pretty much start over again!  I already had severe issue’s with my left arm/shoulder.  I have been fighting frozen shoulder for 3 yrs, plus a bulging disc in my neck and Ulnar Nerve Damage.  Now my left leg was having problems and my left hip was killing me.  So it was off to more doctors, more clinics, more tests.  Long story short I now have Poly Nueropathy in my left leg, no reflexes in my left ankle and arthritis in my hip plus something is going on w/ my sciatic nerve area.  I had a spinal injection to help w/ the pain but it did no good so I’ve been in physical therapy for month.  I’m scheduled for another injection in January to see if this will help.  This one isn’t a spinal injection and it’s for the muscle over the sciatic nerve to see if that’s the problem.  If it doesn’t work I’ll be going to a Spine Doctor (which is what my PT wants me to do)

By September I had to have another abdominal surgery where they removed a mass that had been bothering me for some time (I referred to it as my alien) and fixed an “indented” scar that I had.  I will say I have to giggle when I think of my first few encounters with the new surgeon.  The first time she saw me I had a cup of coffee in my hand.  Well she just laid into me saying Gastric Bypass patients aren’t supposed to be drinking coffee. After a few minutes of listening to her rant about the dangers and evils of coffee I finally said “If we aren’t supposed to have coffee, then please explain to me why it is that every time I am a guest here at this hospital I’m not only asked if I’d like a cup of coffee but it’s actually on the Bariatric menu?”  she of course could only reply with “Oh.. I didn’t realize it was on the menu”.  So after that every time I had to go see her I had to wear one of my many coffee shirts and have a coffee in my hand.  She finally gave up!  I’m a red head.. don’t argue with me.

After the second surgery in September, the spinal injection in October the holidays were here and just stressing me out beyond belief.  How was I going to do anything for my kids?  We were barely making ends meet (and even they weren’t all meeting.. some things have not been paid in months).  How was I going to be able to buy all the stuff for the Thanksgiving meal, the Christmas meal?  My kids have been denied a lot in their lives, love never being one of them but still, every parent wishes they could buy their kids things and not have to tell them no every time they walk into a store.  My son who is 18 and recently graduated High School had finally found a job and honestly did not want much for Christmas because he understood that we are struggling, but the now 13 yr old just doesn’t grasp it yet.  I know she will one day, I hope she never has to live this way when she goes off into the world and lives her life but I know that when she is out there she will be armed with the knowledge of how to stretch a dollar.

I had stressed myself to a point of fever blisters and sick to my stomach.  I was completely dreading the next 3 months.  My husband’s GI bill was running out in December and honestly that money was keeping our heads above water… All I’ve been able to focus on is Feb, Mar, Apr and all of 2016.  With me not working and his GI bill out… will we be able to make it?  Will we be living off Ramen Noodles?  Can we pay rent?  My stomach hurts pretty much daily now, my alien spot still bothers me and the injection didn’t work.. so yeah.. I’ve been pretty much bah humbugged for months.  Then out of no where and beautiful angel contacted me asking me what my kids wanted for Christmas.  She wasn’t going to take no for an answer, she wanted to help and she wanted to take some of the stress I’m under off my shoulders for awhile.  It truly was a blessing as I could finally breath a little knowing my kids would have some stuff under the tree.  Words cannot express the gratitude my heart feels for this angel.  I hope to one day be at a point in life that I can do things like this to help others.  To be a secret Santa and pay someone’s lay away off, or support a family for the holidays… one day.. maybe.

Now that Christmas is over and this long crappy year is over I find myself reflecting on what I’ve managed to make it through.  I’ve survived 2 surgeries,  multiple injections, it feels like hundreds of MRI’s and medical tests.  I know I have a very long road of recovery in front of me and pray daily that it won’t take the “Up to 2 years” to get a court date for disability.  I try to live day to day and not think about the coming months because honestly I can’t see how it will work and thinking about it all just kinda makes me shut down.

I have also thought on those I lost this year.  I’m not talking about people who have died as I’ve been lucky and not lost a loved one this year to death.. but I have lost some in other ways.  I had one person that I loved dearly.. looked forward to spending time with her and considered her a sister.  We always laughed when were together and I would do anything for her.  When we would see each other we would both light up with smiles and give each other big hugs…. we spent Thanksgiving and Christmas’s together, our families united together.. then suddenly, with no warning no nothing… it all stopped.  She no longer calls or texts.. she makes no effort to speak to me… and the last time I saw her she said there was nothing in this county to keep her here… forgetting I guess that I am in this county.  She’s moving soon, but she’s not even told me that she’s bought land and is building a house.. I am no longer in her life and I don’t know why.  My heart is broken.  I’ve cried over the loss of her friendship.  The day she told me that my son was with me.  When we got in the car he said “mom.. that was really mean.. but don’t worry.. I’ll be your friend and I’ll never leave you”…. yup.. the tears fell.

I’ve also realized that no matter what I’ve sacrificed and how much I’ve tried my step kids will never accept me, remember me or even think of me.  So I am deleting them from my life too.  I have to rid my life of stresses that are hurting me.  I’m not saying that my husband can’t have a relationship with his kids, on the contrary I want him to have the best relationship he can possibly have with them.. I just can’t be a part of it.  It just hurts to much when you know all you’ve given and given up for them and they can’t even remember to say Thank you for gifts bought, happy birthday, Merry Christmas.. nothing.. When you are just completely not thought of at all.  I wish them well.. I know they have great lives and always have because we’ve sacrificed so that they would.  May life bring them nothing but happiness and success… I just can’t fight to be a part of it.. if I’m not wanted I won’t fight to be there.

So 2016 will be the year I concentrate on myself and my family.  My kids and those that bring positive vibes and love to the table and will be severing ties with those who think it’s okay to just throw my love and friendship away..only to be used when they want something.  So if you are reading this and your first thought is “Oh no.. I hope she doesn’t delete me” then maybe you should think about why that was your first thought.  I try very hard to not upset people, I don’t delete people and I let people live their lives.. but I’ve decided that doesn’t mean I have to be people’s 2nd or 3rd choice.. I don’t have to be their “Well I can’t find anyone else so I guess she’ll do” person or the “I never talk to her but I”m going to be nosy and find out what her status is about and whats going on in her life even though I never include her in my life”…. 2016 is about me and mine.. getting my health in order.. hopefully getting my back/hip and leg fixed so I no longer have to use a cane.. and showing the world that I am worth more then most people like to believe.

 

Sorry this was so long… but it’s thoughts I’ve had to get out for awhile.  Life is to short to stay miserable because of other people.  I have enough in my daily life to deal with, I don’t need to live with the pain of feeling like those I loved and cherished couldn’t even manage to find time to say hi to me in months.  So to all those who’ve shown they care, know that I’m always there for you whenever you need me.. I love you all and I wish you all the very best in the coming year.

 

 

 

24 Things only Anxious People Will Understand.. to true.

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I came across this article from BuzzFeed today and had to giggle.  You see I suffer from anxiety disorder and I completely agreed with every single thing they said.  Here is the link to the article for you to check out.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jennaguillaume/things-only-anxious-people-will-understand?bffb&utm_term=4ldqpgp#18wtwae

I decided to go down the list and let you know how I agree from my perspective… give you some glimpse of the craziness that goes on in my brain!

1. You have a constant feeling of unease..

.  YES and those days where you have this feeling that something horrific is going to happen you walk around thinking the phone is going to go off at any moment and it’s going to be the absolute worse thing ever!  Or, God forbid something good happens because then you walk around waiting for that proverbial other shoe to drop on your head!

2. Your anxiety causes actual physical discomfort and pain.

This is the absolute truth.  I constantly have headaches, my shoulders hurt, my neck hurts.  There are days I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck.

3. Which at its worst turns into a full-blown panic attack.

Luckily as I’ve gotten older the panic attacks have become fewer and fewer.  I remember the worse one I ever had was after my son was born.  He was lets say a handful to handle when he was younger (severe ADHD, ODD, Aspergers, OCD traits, it wasn’t easy) and we were at the grocery store one day.  The stimulation was too much for him and he lost it, screaming and crying, throwing things out of the cart onto the floor.  The entire store watching my every move, judging me as the worst parent ever, not knowing if I should ignore the behavior, spank him or what.  I couldn’t get out of the store fast enough and ended up dropping to the floor and crying and feeling like I was having a heart attack.  Luckily there was this older woman who must have known what I was dealing with because she ran up to me (butting through the people screaming I was having a heart attack call 911 which just made it worse) and told everyone to get back and give me air.  She gave my son a piece of candy and talked calmly and quietly to me telling me to just breath through it. After I regained my composure she walked me to my car and told me “Just remember honey.. that baby is a precious gift.  He may try you at times but his love for you will be deep as yours for him”… she hugged me and I went on my way.  I rarely took my son to the store w/ me again.

4. Your mind is constantly racing.

Imagine my brain is like a NASCAR race going 200 mph around the track, then for shits and giggles, through in oh 10 or 15 other cars heading in the opposite direction weaving in and out of the racers.. yeah.. that’s my brain.  24/7.  It never stops.

5. And you’re always second-guessing yourself.

Oh lord.. this can range from life changing decisions to “I turned off the stove, didn’t I?”.

6. Seriously you question EVERYTHING.

Not only do I question everything.. I’ve taught my kids to question everything and I usually turn those questions into “What if” questions.  Which drives my husband utterly insane.

7. You have zero ability to switch off.

Even on sleeping pills I find I wake up in the middle of night thinking about things that I did, have to do, didn’t do, need to do ect.  Watching TV or listening to the radio I have those pesky thoughts in the back of my head going “You really need to go do this”.. Hell, sitting here writing this I’m thinking of 5 other things!

8. Feel like watching a funny movie? NOPE.

Now I guess I’m a little different here because I truly enjoy a good funny movie.  It takes my mind off the self loathing thing for a little while.

9. Want to catch up on some sleep? NOPE.

Not without medication, and as I stated early even that doesn’t keep me snoozing!I take a sleeping pill with a muscle relaxer and sometimes pain pill and I’ll still wake up seven times a night!

10. Having an interesting conversation with a friend? NOPE.

I have no problem w/ this one either.  I love having conversations with my friends. Of course they have to be able to keep up with me.

11. You get anxiety about anxiety.

Oh yes!  If everything is going smoothly I will start to worry something is fixing to happen.  It’s that whole other shoe dropping thing.  My husband tells me all the time I find things to worry about, and I do.

12. You are never really ~in the moment~.

What is this living in the moment thing?  I have no clue what that is!  None..

13. Trying to make a decision is excruciatingly painful.

Naw.. I’m good with making decisions.  I’m a Virgo and crave control so it’s nice and easy for me to tell people what we are doing!

14. And even when you make a decision you immediately worry if it was the right one.

Now this one is true.  Oh crap, what if I chose the wrong place to eat and we all get food poisoning.  If we buy this here I’m sure we’ll find it cheaper somewhere else!  Now I won’t be able to pay my rent since I bought this $39.00 pair of shoe’s!

15. It takes forever for you to do anything because you’re frequently lost inside your own head.

Nope.. I get shit done!  I stress on it until I have it done.

16. You’re exhausted. All. The. Time.

God yes!  My favorite saying.. “I’m much to young to feel this damn old”… some days I feel like I could sleep for a month.  Of course I can’t but it would be nice.

17. You find yourself in the bizarre situation of not being able to trust your own brain.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve ended up somewhere thinking.. how the hell did I get into this mess.

18. Then you’re faced with the difficult prospect of trying to combat your anxiety with the very thing that is causing it.

I’m in therapy for this!

19. Well-meaning people try to help, but sometimes make it worse.

YES.  My husband especially.  He’ll say things like “Just don’t worry” or “it’ll work out, I don’t know how it just will”.. you can’t tell someone like me these 2 things.. you just can’t.

20. People who DON’T mean well make it a lot worse.

Both of my ex’s.  “Only an idiot wouldn’t be able to get this done”.. or “You are the worst ever”.. heard all of it.

21. You really worry about being a burden on the people you love.

This one is really difficult because I have days where I find myself literally trying to push my loved ones away from me.  I’ve had more days where my brain has told me that if I just killed myself everyone I loved would be so much better off.    Just recently on one of my bad days I held the tip of a knife to my wrist and wondered would it hurt?  would it be quick?  Would they miss me if I was gone?  It’s truly a horrible thing to feel.

22. You want nothing more than to just stop worrying but you literally can’t.

My new years resolution this year was to just be happy.  I’m still working on that.

23. You know there are things that could help your anxiety, but you feel anxious about trying them.

I can sum this up for you.  All medications for this are WEIGHT GAINING MEDICATIONS.. I won’t take them!

24. Finally, there’s the relief of being able to talk to someone about your worries and knowing they totally understand.

I have my therapist, but honestly sometimes I feel like even she’s getting tired of me.

If you need to talk to someone, you can call Beyond Blue Australia on 1300 22 4636, Anxiety UK on 08444 775 774 or Hopeline America on 1800 784 2433.

The Road to Healing begins with Hurting.. session 6

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So last week’s session was kind of a break from “facing the demon’s” and more of a “lets deal with how your feeling right now” kinda day.  I had had a manic day the Sunday before, even though I didn’t realize it until Monday that I was in manic mode.   I spent the entire day in the kitchen Sunday.  I roasted 2 sugar pumpkins then made puree’ out of them.  Then I roasted the seeds. I baked banana bread, banana muffins, pumpkin muffins, bread and made spaghetti sauce from scratch!  Then I made dinner.  I was going full force from the time I got up until the time I went to bed.  Monday wasn’t much different for me except I realized that I was in manic mode.  I did a lot of stuff at work, started a new class, got all my paperwork done ect.  I also found that I was sexually charged up, even more so then normal.  I’ll explain why this was important to tell in a moment.  By time Tuesday rolled around (appointment day) I was tired.  I was coming down off the manic high and heading for the inevitable crash afterwards.

From the moment she saw me in the waiting room she knew I was aggravated.  I told her about my week before and about my 2 manic days and how even though I was running and running and going I was extremely horny and frustrated because my husband and I were unable to take care of the problem (life sucks sometimes).  She started telling me how most bipolar people are hyper-sexual people.  I had never heard that term associated with bipolar before.  She started talking about it and how not being able to fulfill that sexual need in that moment it added to the chaos already in my brain.  I’ve inserted a link to an article that will help you understand the connection.

http://www.bphope.com/Item.aspx/522/opening-the-door-on-hypersexuality

If you’ve been reading my blog, especially these concerning my therapy then you’ll remember in the beginning I had to write a letter talking about how the rape affected me then and now.  One of the things I’d talked about is how I had never been faithful to any man before my current husband and always had to have a back up guy.  How I crave the attention and approval of other men.   I found another article that talks about the symptoms of Hyper-sexuality and guess what??? yup.. it’s me!

http://www.hypersexualdisorders.com/hypersexual-disorder-signs/

We talked about ways to try to deal with my sexual needs and desires.  I told her how they seem to be getting more severe with age.  It’s hard to function sometimes when you constantly feel like your vagina is plugged in and electrically charged all the freaking time!! What’s even more confusing to my already messed up brain is how I’m constantly wanting the same thing (sex.. not the violence) as the very thing I was in this intensive therapy for.  How does a sane person crave sex, literally thinking about 100 times a day or more when they’ve been so violently assaulted in the most private of ways?  Shouldn’t I not want sex?  At least not every freaking minute of every freaking day?  Just writing about it is starting to get me pissed off again!  I just want my brain and body to work normally for once.  Is that too much to ask for?

Anyways, tomorrow’s session is probably going to be like last week’s.  My homework was the ABC worksheets, which I haven’t done.  I mean I have in my mind I just haven’t written it all down.  Until then…

 

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE

If you have been sexually assaulted, even if your not sure because you might have started it, or your married to your attacker and by being married you think it’s not rape.. please call them.  There is help.. and even if you are married… NO MEANS NO!

 

The Road to Healing begins with Hurting. Session 3

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Session 3 went a little differently.  We didn’t really discuss the previous session very much.  You see I had had a very bad day that day and was in a bad mood. I was angry and irritated with life and wasn’t hiding it.  So this day we had just discussed the day and the few previous days and what had happened to get me so annoyed.  At the end of my session I gave her my list of core values that I had to write during the week leading up to my appointment.  I’m sure we will be discussing these things during my session on Tuesday.  Below is the list of core value’s that I wrote down.  I a sadden to say that I truly believe these things to be true and I pray that one day I can change the way I think.

 

1)  I am not meant to have peace.

2) It seems I am meant to fail, always.

3) I am strong.

4) I am scared of happiness.

5) 1 step forward, 2 steps back.  Every time.

6) I survive everything, only because I have no other choice.

7) I am hard to love.

8) I will never be one of “those” girls.

 

My homework for this past 2 weeks is an ABC worksheet.  A is to write about something that happened.  B. is “tell myself something.  C. is “I feel something”  The example given is A. I build a porch and the railing comes loose.  B. “I can never do anything right”. C. “I get angry and kick the railing.  I also feel down and sad because I can’t do anything right”

Are my thoughts above in “B” realistic?  “No.  It wouldn’t hold up in a court of law, because I do SOME things right”.

What can you tell yourself on such occasions in the future? “There are soe things that I do all right.  It is not true that I “never” do anything right”

 

I’m still working on this one… the dead line is almost here.

The Road to Healing Begins with Hurting, session 2

Every2mins

 

    When I went back for my second session I had to read the letter I wrote out loud.  Normally I have no problem reading or speaking in front of anyone, or even large groups of people but this was harsh.  My throat was dry, my eye’s threatened to over flow and my hands shook.  My therapist asked “Why is this so hard for you to read aloud”.. my answer was simple “if I say it out loud then it’s all true and I can’t run from it anymore and I can’t hide from it anymore”.  I’ve talked about the rape before, to a few people, I’ve even blogged about it but that’s as far as it goes.  I’ve never delved into the feelings left behind, the aftermath.  Like telling a story that you’ve heard before, it’s just a story until you live it and then tell it.  Then it’s your soul.  As I read out loud all I could think of is how sad my life has been, how I’ve been betrayed and lied to to the point of believing it all.  Then I started to feel angry followed quickly by defeated.  I slumped in my chair and just sat there, listening to her talk to me about how I felt and what was going through my mind.  I wanted to crawl into that dark place in my mind that keeps me protected but she wouldn’t let that happen.  She made sure to force me to answer the questions, gently but she gave me no choice.  

   One of the things we talked about that day and previous sessions (but not in great detail) was what I refer to as Angry Shannon.  “Who is angry Shannon?”.  Well, she’s mean.  She will cut you down with words in an instant. She will rip your head off and chew up and spit it out.  She will shred your heart into a million pieces and will never bat an eye doing it.  She doesn’t cry and she gets angry when I try to cry.  I keep her pushed down and locked away.  She tries to come out every now and then but I fight her every step of the way.  “Why do you keep her locked up?”  Because if I let her out everyone will know that I’m a horrible person.  

Another one of the questions she asked was “If you had answered his question differently, do you think what happened would have still happened?”.  I thought for a moment and then answered “Yes”.  “Why” she asked.  “Because I deserved it”.  I heard myself say the words but my brain started screaming at me.  YOU DIDN’T DESERVE THIS!!!  But how do you convince yourself of that after you’ve believed for so long that you did deserve it?  I guess that’s something we will work on in future sessions. 

   We talked more and more about angry Shannon and when she would come out.  She asked very specific questions and I started to see where she was going with them.  Angry Shannon really isn’t angry, she’s protective.  She’s only ever out when my anxieties are through the roof and or my fear is rising.  She comes out to protect my body, my heart and my mind.  Looking back over the years she’s only ever come out when I needed the extra strength to get me though something.  This made me feel better.  I said something out loud I hadn’t let myself say ever, even to myself.  I really am a nice person who didn’t deserve the pain that I have endured.  That I only strike back when someone strikes at me first.  What I said to him did not warrant what he did to me and me fighting back didn’t mean I deserved more of it.  Maybe this is a step in the right direction.  Maybe one day I can look in the mirror and not see what I see now. 

 

    My homework for the next week was to write down some of my core values.  I thought about them every day.  I thought about how most people would say “I am nice” or “I am beautiful and smart”.. my list is completely different.  

 

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE

 

If you have been sexually assaulted, even if your not sure because you might have started it, or your married to your attacker and by being married you think it’s not rape.. please call them.  There is help.. and even if you are married… NO MEANS NO!

Little Boy Lost

jonathan1

 

When we decide to have a baby (whether it’s intentional or accidental) the majority of us hope and pray that our baby will be born perfect.  10 perfect little toes & 10 perfect little fingers, a cute little button nose.  When we first get to see and hold our little bundle of joy we make sure that all those things are there, we kiss the little hands and feet and we wrap them up and hold them close and pray that they are healthy.  Never once do we think “I hope they are mentally stable”… at least I didn’t.  When I had my son I just wished and hoped and prayed that he would just be healthy.  I had such a rough pregnancy and almost lost him several times so my only concern was he be alive and healthy.  After a very long 23 hours of induced labor I had to have an emergency Cesarean.  I still remember the fear gripping me as they wheeled me to the operating room, I even told the nurse that I was about to have an intense panic attack because of it all.  She assured me that everything would be okay and helped me to calm down a few short minutes later my 8lb 15oz bundle of all boy was out of my tummy in the world.  I just didn’t know then that it would be a world where he wouldn’t fit in.  

I’ve blogged about my son before.  It’s very very hard to understand what a parent of a child like my goes through, unless you have a child like him.  You see, my son was diagnosed at 5 with having severe ADHD, his doctor saying he knew he had it at 3 but couldn’t do anything about it at that age.  Before anyone goes on the “You shouldn’t medicate your child you should just be a better parent” kick.. trust me.. I tried everything.  I NEVER wanted to medicate him but it became very obvious that he would never survive school without it.  He went from barely able to recite his ABC’s and unable to read to being able to read and write within a month of starting his medication.  Even though the medication was helping his ADHD he was still struggling and we couldn’t figure out why.  He argued over everything, I mean everything!  If you told him “Hey, look at that beautiful blue sky baby” he’d say “It’s not blue it green” even though he knew it was blue.  He argued simple for the sake of arguing.  We were referred to another doctor who diagnosed him as having severe ODD, so severe in fact he stated he’d never seen a case like him and even wrote about him for the American Medical Journal.  If you do not know what ODD is, it is Oppositional Defiant Disorder.   It simple means they argue just to argue.  They can’t help it, they just do it.  Fast forward a couple of years and they attached yet another label to him.  He has OCD traits, not outright OCD but he does have the traits.  Now at 16 they are saying they believe he has Aspergers, yet another label.  He is struggling so hard trying to find himself and where he belongs.  I keep telling him that it will get easier when he gets out of high school, that he will find a place but I do not believe he is believing it.  

I have noticed lately that he is showing signs of severe depression and I am at a lost.  He’s been in counseling since he was 7, it doesn’t work for him because he doesn’t want to be there so he doesn’t utilize it.  He’s not quite yet a man, but he’s no longer a child.  I see his world closing in on him because now not only does he not fit in at school, but he’s not fitting in at home anymore either.  I see his face and think back to that day in the hospital, when I promised him I would protect him and help him grow and become a great man… and I feel like I’m at a loss because I am not doing my job right, no matter how hard I try.  I wish I could afford to send him to a military school or a place that specializes in kids like him, but frankly only the very wealthy can afford those and I can barely pay rent and groceries.  

So now I just pray to God that something will click in his head.. something will let him know that everything I do is to help him, not to hurt him.  That he will learn that the rules we put in place for him are for his own good, not just to make his life even more difficult.   That we try to teach him how to be a productive citizen in this world, to know that how he has been treated is not the right thing and hopefully when he grows up and gets out in the real world he’ll be there to help kids like him.  To be a role model.  To be the man I know that he can be.