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Sunday, June 4, 2017

rant

I don't even know where to start.

I'm feeling a bit crazy today, not in a good way.  I'm struggling with some things and I'm finding that hard to admit, for various reasons.  I'm not sure I should (or want to) go into too much detail right now, so I'll just make a list and keep things short.  This is for my own sanity anyway, right?

I watched "The Keepers" on Netflix.  It's a documentary series about the catholic church covering up abuse and murder.  I'm not done watching it, but so far it's been incredibly heart-wrenching.  I can relate, and yet my story looks nothing like theirs.  It makes me question if my story is even real.

As of today, I have 31 days of sobriety under my belt.  Yay me?  Why am I so ashamed of this?  It should be longer.  I can't tell anyone because they don't know that I relapsed, yet again.

I was feeling all fabulous and strong yesterday and posted something on facebook that had been rolling around in my head.  It's a simple concept, but my addict self has never understood this until recently.  The only way to get stronger is to practice being uncomfortable.  For years I've been keeping myself sick simply because I don't want to face any pain or discomfort.  A guy that I considered my best friend in highschool posted a "that's what she said" meme in response.  I was immediately pissed and annoyed....and then filled with self doubt.  I hate that joke.  I've always hated it.  It seemed like he was sexualizing what I said.  It brought back all sorts of memories of times that he made jokes at my expense.  I always laughed them off and pretended not to care.  I regret not standing up for myself then.  I don't associate with him much now.  I replied to his comment and told him it wasn't funny.  A few minutes later, he deleted it.  Now I'm wondering if I'm just being too sensitive.

I've been dealing with some major fears of abandonment lately.  People in my recovery community are either moving on toward bigger and better things and not keeping in touch due to circumstances, or they are falling back into their sickness.  I feel torn between them.  The ones who are moving on don't want to surround themselves with the illness they tried so hard to get free from.  It seems like the healthy people in my life don't stick around for more than a few years.  People move on.  It's a fact of life that I don't really want to accept right now.

So much for the "list version."  Ha!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

storm dream

I haven't had a dream in a long time.  Well, not one that I remembered at least.  Even though I overslept this morning, I was excited that I actually remembered my dream!  I wrote it down and have been thinking about it off and on all day.  I had a moment on the way to work when I was praying through this dream and I wondered if dreams really are from God, or if they happen in our own minds...come from our psyche or whatever.  Honestly, I have no idea.  But, does it matter?  I've found that I hear God's voice in my head and I "see" what He is saying to me through mental images.  I'm sure that there is a human element to all of that.  How could there not be?

I think this dream could be a bit of both.  It reveals a lot about how I've been feeling lately, at work, church and even within my tiger mt circle.  Work feels very unsafe and dangerous to me right now....and yet I feel rather isolated from my "safe" people.  People at church have their own families, their own lives to live.  People from tiger mt are just moving on into new (or renewed) relationships as they find their true selves in recovery.  I feel a bit excluded and forgotten.  It's not anyone's fault....it's just a circumstance.  As I get healthier, church friends don't feel the need to keep the same level of contact as before, because they aren't worried for my safety.  At work, I feel the manipulation and more intentional exclusion.  All of these situations suck, but they aren't necessarily bad.

Anyway.  Here's the dream:

I was at a University.  The classes looked like 12 step recovery meetings but they were loosely structured.  I didn't know anyone, though I recognized a few people.  There was confusion about the seating and I was slowly, over time, pushed out of the group.  It seemed like a few people manipulated where I would sit and I allowed it.  Eventually I found myself isolated and feeling alone.

There was a person there that had no gender, yet was also a man and a woman.  (don't know how to explain that, really).  I experienced this person as both genders at different points in the dream.  This person took charge of the seating situation and set a chair out for me and invited me to sit next to him.  He sat close, with an arm around me, holding me close.  I felt safe and protected, but was also shocked because I couldn't imagine anyone would want to be that close to me much less feel protective like that.

I looked at the person again and saw a woman.  She told me I had pretty hair.  I physically pulled back in absolute shock.  (my hair is probably the thing I hate the most about my appearance)

The meeting/class ended right as a storm was starting.  It started hailing and the man invited me into his car.  At this time, I saw him as two separate men, but he was still just one spirit...only two bodies.  We took shelter in his car and watched the hail get bigger and bigger.  I was scared but I still felt protected.  When the hail started to get big enough to break the windows, the man pulled the car underneath the shelter of the building entrance.  I cringed as I watched my car being destroyed by the hail.  The man told me not to worry, "we'll get you a new one."

When the hail stopped I got out of the car and realized I was barefoot.  In all of the chaos, I had been thrashing around in the car and had lost my shoes.  I reached for them and realized that they each had just half a sole and were beyond worn out.  I said to myself, "I can't wear these!"  I put them on anyway because I had nothing else.  As I started to walk toward my ruined car, wearing my ruined shoes....I thought, "this is gonna suck."

Monday, March 6, 2017

My head has been in a super dark place since Friday night.  I'm feeling hopeless.  Not that I'm hopeless....but that my situation is, my life is.  My life has no meaning.  I struggle to see how I'm worth anything to anyone.

I'm not suicidal, yet last night I was thinking about it.  Wishing for it.  I'm back in the place of thinking that if death presents an opportunity, I wouldn't avoid it.  I don't want to kill myself though.  I'm not to a desperate enough point for that.  I haven't told anyone about this because I don't want to worry anyone and I don't want anyone to overreact.  I have no plan, these are just thoughts.  This is just my current darkness and I'm trying to feel my way out of it.

Last night I found myself asking God (and later, google) to give me a reason to live.  Remind me again, why does any of this matter?  Google lead me to a website.  It was beautifully worded...and exactly what I needed to hear.


Feelings are not facts, nor do they last forever.  Suicide would only transfer my pain to the people that I love, it wouldn't fix it.  It might end it....but death would rob me of enjoying the lack of emotional pain.  It would also rob me of a life that could get better.  So for now, I'll get up every morning and just take this one day at a time.  Eventually the sadness will give way to something else.  It will not always be this intense.

The website suggested a new hobby.  I mean, why not?  I should.  But what?  Why not make a bucket list of (realistic) things that I want to do before I die...and actually DO them?  The site also suggested reaching out.  I don't necessarily need to explain what's going on in order for friends or family to help.  Human connection alone can pull my face away from the pit long enough to provide a small amount of relief.

While driving home from work it occurred to me that I could make a pros and cons list for both life and death.  Morbid?  Kinda.  

For right now, I'm concentrating on breathing and reminding myself that in a few weeks I will probably not feel the way that I do now.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

a dream, some answers...and pain

My head is full and my heart hurts.  I need to vent.  I'm gonna throw a trigger warning on this post.  Be prepared for talk about sexual abuse issues and neglect.  And of course....if you're upset by swearing, atheistic tendencies, spirituality or charismatic-mania, it's probably best to not read this.  :)

Great!  So, now that nobody is reading this.....moving on.

****

I've been asking God to fill in some blanks in my childhood.  I want some clarity in my memories.  Some explanation.  I've had a nagging sense that there is something more that happened.  I don't think my dad was my only abuser.  Certain things don't add up, specific fears don't make sense.  Overall, my eating disorder and various addictions and difficulties DO make sense in light of the abuse from my dad.  I just....know that something else is there.  Am I crazy for thinking this?  It seems reckless to dig for answers like this.  It bothers me that I am a textbook survivor of oral rape.  To my knowledge, this has never happened to me.  It adds up though!!!  WHY do I have these symptoms??  For several weeks I've been diligently asking God to show me where these issues are coming from.

So, I had a dream.  It was graphic.  It was more like a memory than a typical dream.  I woke up wondering if God was helping me remember, and answering my plea for details.  I didn't see the man's face, nor did I recognize the location....but I had a distinct sense of knowing.  I knew exactly who the man was.  I don't have any emotion over what I saw happening.  It made me curious though, so I began to dig for information.  I had completely forgotten about this man.  I did some internet sleuthing which lead to a conversation with my mom.

Ugh.  I'm beating around the bush and trying to be too careful about what I'm saying.  Fuck!  This is difficult.  WHY is this so difficult to put into words??  This is dumb.  *sigh*

The man was our neighbor.  My family lived in this particular house when I was 3...and we moved when I was 7.  My parents were not very watchful or present.  I was regularly left home alone and I had the freedom to go wherever I wanted in the neighborhood, provided I was home by bedtime.  Despite her obvious absence, my mom had strict rules about my interaction with neighbors.  I was not allowed to go inside anyone's house unless I had specific permission from her.  Did I follow this rule?  Hell no.  I firmly believed that I was in charge of my own safety as a kid.  I didn't trust my mother's opinion or rules.  I was a pretty intuitive kid and very aware of potentially dangerous situations.

This neighbor...I didn't like him, nor did I trust him.  I was friends with his daughter though.  She was also left alone a lot.  She was loud and angry.  She picked fights, was aggressive and reckless.  We seemed to be opposites.  I remember spending HOURS with her....slipping easily into our own imaginary world.  Other neighborhood kids would quickly lose interest in our elaborate stories.  Most of the time, our "play" consisted of laying side by side in her driveway....staring at the sky, building stories, and occasionally practicing what I now know as dissociation.  HA!  Good times.

She and I lost contact when my family moved.  My recent internet sleuthing was interesting.  She appears to have no contact at all with her dad.  She's a total hippie, lives mostly off the grid, is a stay at home mom and participates in the "un-school" movement.  I know all of this because she has a blog.  I'm not at all shocked by any of this.

I haven't been able to get her, or her father, out of my head.  I called my sister last week.  My mom happened to be visiting her and so the phone was passed along and I ended up having a rather intense, and very unplanned conversation with my mom.  I asked her if she remembered this neighbor and his daughter.  She immediately launched into details.  This man was a known womanizer, and a violent drunk.  He was divorced and lived alone with his daughter.  (I thought this was odd...usually the dad isn't the one who has sole custody in small-town-bible-belt-'merica.)  My mom also told me that she didn't like that I was friends with his daughter.  She was a "very bad kid" according to my mom.  She said that my friend never wanted to go home.  I asked her if she knew why....and my mom then dropped a fucking bomb.

My friend told my mom on several occasions that she didn't want to go home because her dad made her sleep in bed with him.  She said she was scared of him when he was drunk.  She begged my mom to let her move in with us.  She regularly tried to sneak into our house and hide.  My mom said that she saw evidence of physical abuse and she witnessed severe verbal abuse.

I was...at a loss for words.  And confused.  And suddenly filled with burning rage.

I finally cut into my mom's chattering and said..."So, you knew she was being sexually abused?"

Mom:  Oh, well, the whole town knew it was happening.

Me:  Did you say anything?

Mom: Well...

Me:  Did any teachers at school know?

Mom:  *silence*

Me:  Did she tell anyone other than you about what was happening?  Did anyone think to call the police?  Did anyone at church know?

Mom:  I don't think so.  I have no idea.

Me:  Wow...so this girl probably spent her entire childhood being sexually abused by her dad and nobody did a damn thing to help her.  That's heartbreaking.  She wasn't a bad kid, she was a desperate kid

*****

I can't believe I actually said that to my mom.  Word for word...including the word damn.  I was physically shaking when I hung up.  I was overwhelmed with emotion and pain for my friend!!  And...for myself.  It's hard to explain, but it suddenly became very real to me....that if my mom could turn a blind eye to what was happening to my friend, then how much more blind would she be to what was happening to me?

I've always defended my mom when I tell people that there were times that my dad sexually abused me while she was in the same room.  I would say that it's possible she didn't realize what he was doing.  But no.  She does NOT get a free pass anymore.  Not after this conversation.  My friend was begging her for help and my mom did fucking nothing.  NOTHING!!! 

I've been in a really weird state of mind ever since this conversation.  I'm angry.  I cry whenever I'm alone.  I want nothing to do with my mom.  I just can't deal with her right now.  What sucks is....I need to deal with her.  She's having surgery this coming Tuesday.  (Valentine's day, of all fucking days!)  She wants me to be there, is convinced that my dad won't be able to take care of her the way she needs, plus she's terrified.  This surgery is new territory for us because it isn't a spinal surgery.  My sister is planning to be there, but she has her first radiation the day before.  We have no idea how that's going to affect her.

All of this on top of the fact that it's still a very tricky situation for me to be under the same roof as my dad.  The fact that my own father sexually abused me from the earliest age I can remember, all the way until I was in my 20's......is suddenly a raw and gaping wound all over again.....because my mom did nothing.

How did she not know?  I didn't specifically tell her.  But, looking back....it had to have been obvious!  I always knew it was pointless to try and say anything about what was happening.  My only option was to do whatever it took to get through it.  Just concentrate on growing up and getting the hell out of there.  Everything I was doing, was a cry for help.  The beginning stages of my eating disorder was an attempt to make them SEE what I couldn't actually say.  I was hitting my legs with a hammer, hoping that somebody would notice the bruises and give me an excuse to talk about what was happening to me at home.  I was acting out sexually and violently....from an absurdly young age.  I wrote detailed, sexually graphic stories and left them out for my mom to find and read.  I swallowed a bottle of pills, then called my pastor to confess.  I told everyone it was because of sexual abuse.  I didn't, however, say who my abuser was.

Where am I going with all of this?  I don't even know.

I feel like I'm in a sort of wasteland.  All of a sudden church is scary again.  Why?  It makes no sense.

The good news is that I'm only doing minimal amounts of numbing.  I've purged a couple of times, and I got really drunk last night.  I've wanted SO badly to self-harm....but I haven't.  Other than purging.  I've been restricting a little too, but not a ridiculous amount.

Well shit, my brain is mush right now.  I think I need to stop and get my mind on something else.

To be continued.....maybe.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

keep fighting...

How many times, I wonder, can a person fall down....and still get back up?  For me, it seems that recovery looks more like a series of falling and clawing my way back to a semi-standing position, only to fall flat on my face.  Again.  *sigh*  I suppose I should take comfort in the fact that I'm getting up each time?

I've spent this morning catching up with friend's blogs and a few ED youtubers that I follow.  It seems everyone is struggling right now and it's heartbreaking!  I cried legit tears over the pain felt by people I've never met in person, people who live across the country...and even across the world.  In the midst of your own heartbreak...you guys inspire me!  So, you keep getting up....and I will too.

A few days ago I was praying for my sister and a powerful image came to my mind.  I wasn't planning on sharing it because there is SO much back story and the thought of explaining it all is just overwhelming.  Nevertheless....

About a week ago I had a terrifyingly evil dream.  Two days later, my sister texted me in the middle of the night...scared out of her mind because she had a similar dream.  I'm still not sure where I stand on spiritual warfare, but lately I've been praying in that direction, declaring freedom and asking protection for myself, my husband, and my sister.  It feels like a comfy old pair of shoes, to be honest.  Anyway, while praying for my sister and asking for clarity on both of our dreams, I saw (imagined) this:

 I was standing beside my sister, we were holding hands.  Our stance was strong and fierce.  We were both praying out loud and leaning into something invisible that was pushing against us.  It was loud, wind roaring...intense.  Both of us, in unison stomped one foot...and the ground shook underneath us, and the air in front of us vibrated...like that stomp sent shock waves out in front of us.  And then, it was quiet.

You see?  We're stronger when we fight together, and for each other.  I went out on this crazy shaky limb and actually shared this image with my sister.  I told her I felt like God was encouraging us to pray for each other, the same things that we would pray for ourselves.  I know that my sister has her own dark and broken places...addictions and hidden shame.  It looks different than mine, but the root is the same.  So, when I'm crying out to God to free me from this hell that I feel so caught up in...I'm stopping and asking God to show me how to pray this exact same thing for my sister.  I know it sounds crazy.  I swear, I'm not really a charismaniac loon!

With that said....I hope that the ferocious warrior that I see in this image will one day become a reality.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

food!!

Talking about food is awkward.  Am I alone in thinking this?  Eating disorder recovery kinda requires discussion about specific things that I'm eating, and that's, well...embarrassing.  I tend to be private about what I eat.  I'm slowly getting better with that.  It helps to have people in my life who are normal and practical about their own food.  I have a pretty good mix of friends that I've been drawing ideas from, both inside and outside of recovery.  They're all getting used to me occasionally drilling them about what they eat.  lol

I eat weird.  Really weird.  For breakfast today, I had a concoction of navy beans, corn, bbq sauce and cayenne pepper.  

I went to the store this morning, intending to stock up on a few staple items that I consider "safe recovery" foods, things that will help heal my body from the damage I've caused with my ED.  When I know the nutritional benefits of eating something, I'm not as likely to succumb to guilt and purge it.

I've trolled the internet looking for ED recovery meal plan ideas and....they all seem so unrealistic and commercialized, and.....perfect.  It's more triggering than helpful.  Lately, I've been trolling the internet looking for food plans and recipes from people who are recovering themselves, rather than ideas from the professionals.  I'm insanely interested in what other recovering ED sufferers eat.  I've toyed with the idea of posting what I eat every day but I don't want to trigger other people.  In the past, tracking my food has been an unhealthy obsession.  I'm starting to wonder though, if I can redeem that obsession and bust through some food shame, while promoting the sharing of ideas.

My safest food foundation has been what I experienced at Tiger Mt. Structure and routine, plus constant exposure to cooking and food preparation that ranged from quick and easy to needing to read recipes.  I also was able to watch how other people ate...people with and without food hangups.

Anyway.  I could ramble on about this forever.  I'm off to troll the internet for more ideas.  :)

radio silence

Sorry for the radio silence lately....I just haven't felt up to writing a whole lot.  I still don't, but for some reason I'm feeling the tug tonight, so I'm rolling with it.

I used to write more often when I was struggling, but now it seems to be the opposite.  I'm not sure why the flip in writing habits.  I don't want to disappoint anyone, or trigger anyone.  With that said....I'm not doing so great.  At the moment I'm okay, but the last month or so I have been anything and everything BUT okay.  I'm scaring the people I love.  That never used to bother me!

I started drinking again, which lead to a really horrific cutting episode.  I woke up one morning and my bathroom was a war-zone (spiritually and physically).  I've been hiding the drinking...stashing bottles under my bathroom sink.  Usually I purge under the guise of taking a shower or a bath, so lately I've been purging while the water runs, then soaking in the tub while I get drunk.  Drinking on a freshly purged stomach is a bad idea.  I need to read up on the science of that and find out why it makes me feel so horrible.

God is not letting me sit very easily in this relapse.  I've had a couple of conversations lately that have made me think hard.  A good friend from tiger mt told me that she's been thinking about the circumstances that lead me to tiger mt....and she's concerned that I don't have another one of those in me.  Meaning, the next time I do something like that, I may not survive it.  That was tough to hear.

So, what happened?!

Life?  Stress?  I don't know.  I'm just starting to face some difficult realities in therapy.  My sister is not doing well.  My family is needing me and I'm feeling unable to be what/who they need me to be.  Work is filled with drama.  And....holidays are coming up.  *cringe*

For awhile, I was crumbling beneath the weight of all this.  I'm overwhelmed, heartbroken, terrified...but I'm slowly seeing a glimmer of hope.  This hope doesn't look like I expected.  My problems are not solved, my situation is certainly not any better.  My home life still sucks.  The hope is coming from something that I'm not sure I can understand, much less explain.  I don't want to throw out churchy christianese answers.  The reality though, is that God is mixed up in this hope business.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

oh, just rambling...

I'm in such a fabulous mood.  No reason for it, really.  ha!  Work really sucks right now, none of my issues have gone away, family drama is still happening....and yet, things are actually okay right now.

I didn't purge today.  At all!!  Not even once!  Nada!  Considering my track record lately...that's pretty amazing.  I'd like to say that this lack of purging was on purpose, but it wasn't.  Circumstances, the Universe, whatever....LIFE just seemed to get in the way of me purging.  My lunch break at work has been a big down-fall lately.  I went back to seeking peace and solace and getting away from coworkers...and that has morphed into isolating and attempting to relieve stress through crappy fast food.  This morning I absent-mindedly grabbed a container of raw carrots to take with me.  So for lunch, even though I most certainly did NOT want to be eating carrots for lunch, I took my damn carrots, drove PAST the fast food place, and parked my car under a tree in the park...and actually had a dose of healthy solitude rather than sickness fueled isolation.  I didn't just eat carrots though.  I'd forgotten that I had some Lara Bars stashed in my purse for "emergency" food situations.  Score!  I've found my new favorite safe food!!  Holy crap these things are delicious!  The ingredient list is safe...nothing weird in it.  Despite the calorie punch, I feel good about keeping these things in and not purging.  :)  Junk food is just so easy to purge, psychologically.

That said....

My body now hates me!!!  Raw carrots and a Lara Bar for lunch, another Lara Bar and a crap-ton of romaine and spinach with salsa for dinner...and my stomach is wondering what the heck I'm doing.  I don't know if this is bulimia bloat since my body had gotten used to purging again, or if I've over-done it with the fiber.

I hate to say it, but I think a good percentage of purging relapses (for me) are actually brought on by the physical discomfort of eating somewhat normally.  My stomach is so bloated right now, you'd think this was a food baby brought on by a huge binge.  Nope!  Ugh.  *ow*  I'm hoping this goes away soon.  I've been reading up a little on digestive and nutritional issues that are specific to bulimics....in a weird way, it's giving me some hope and making me excited to do some healthy things for myself.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

It seems lately, that I have SO much to write about....that I get too overwhelmed and end up writing nothing.  Thus, the lack of updates.  A lot of intense and heavy things have happened in the last few weeks.

My dad could have died.  Could have...but didn't.  Looking back at how it all played out, I'm amazed at God's involvement.  I was visiting Tiger Mt for a friend's graduation.  I don't keep my phone on me while I'm there, I leave it in my purse, locked away in the staff area.  That afternoon, on a whim...I asked to check my phone.  I had several missed texts and calls from my mom and sister.  My dad was in the emergency room.  He collapsed in the back yard and my mom called an ambulance.  Turns out, he had a blood clot in his leg, and several clots in his lung.  My mom was really upset with me for not being reachable.  The last thing she said to me (before hanging up on me) was "This could be fatal, keep your phone close."  GAH!!

Cue emotional hurricane. People die from blood clots!  It can be instant.  I didn't know what to think and I was suddenly feeling everything. I felt a sudden pressure to hurry up and deal with the issues between my dad and I.  I needed to make amends, forgive him, fix our relationship and make everything right again!  This triggered a huge wave of grief.  It was definitely a good thing that I was in my safe bubble of Tiger Mt when this happened.

It seemed like God rolled with the opportunity to lead me through something both painful and healing.  He very obviously guided my thoughts.  Since it was a graduation, Freddie was there.  He's.....how do I describe Freddie??  He's a genuine, kind hearted man.  He does church at Tiger Mt on Sundays, and is usually there for special events like graduations or alumni days.  I doubt he's even aware of the impact he's made on me, even the first day I met him.

**side story....
The first few weeks I was at Tiger Mt, we watched a church service online.  This was hard for me, but I tolerated it and was open to whatever God wanted to do through it.  Just as I was getting accustomed to the idea that I was "doing a church thing" every Sunday morning, they decide to change things up.  RAWR!!  Saturday afternoon I was told that Michelle's husband was going to do church with us in person.  I was NOT a fan of this idea.  I was both petrified and pissed off.  How dare they!!??  lol  Sunday morning, I sat on the floor against the wall, as close to the door as I could get....and I stared outside while some guy I didn't know sang, and talked in between songs.  No matter how much I tried to not listen, God kept focusing my attention on what Freddie was saying.  He apologized to us on behalf of all the men who had harmed us.  I remember staring coldly out the door while he said that...trying to will my heart to not shatter too noticeably.  He told us a story about a song that he wrote for his wife....about what God would say to her about her history and about His heart for her.  The song was about safety....how Jesus is a lighthouse, a focused beacon of light....guiding us and providing a safe haven in the midst of a storm.  Hearing Freddie sing that song....was like God singing directly to me.  Hot tears rolled down my face and for the first time, I was able to uncover a piece of my battered soul in front of a God who desperately wanted to heal me.  When church was over, I put my walls back up and purposely avoided people.  I slept the afternoon away.  It took a few weeks for me to warm up to Freddie and the whole church experience.  I maintained my rebellion against the "institution of church" by wearing my roommate's Slipknot t-shirt and sitting on the floor in the back of the room while everybody else sat in chairs and actually participated.  I would stare at the floor and pretend like I wasn't paying attention, but in reality, I was hanging on every word....and crying out to God inside my head.  He told us often that he saw us as his own girls, daughters.  This was tough for me to hear...my immediate thought of a father is not somebody like Freddie...a guy who very obviously has a protective and loving stance toward not only his own girls, but all of the hurting women who cross his path.
**end of side story

Back to my dad, and the visit to Tiger Mt....Freddie was there for graduation.  My inner six-year-old threw me into a bear hug when I saw him.  The significance of this didn't hit me until hours later, after I got the news about my dad.  I will never be able to hug my own father the way that I hug Freddie.  Hugging Freddie is safe, I don't have to be guarded when I'm around him.  For some reason, this realization hit me really hard that day.  In a way, it felt like my dad had actually died.  The weight of this....was heavy.  Even if (when?!) my dad and I sort through the abuse (aka: incest), I will never be safe with him.  I will never relax when I hug my dad.  I will never feel the safety of a father's love when I'm around him.  This is a very harsh and painful reality for me.

That evening, I cried and prayed the entire drive home.  I mentally shook my fist at God for not giving me a dad that I could trust, yet I cried out to Him to please spare my dad's life.....give me a chance to mend things, to find peace, to forgive him while he's still alive.  I think God started answering this prayer long before I even prayed it.

So where am I now in all of this?  I've been talking to my dad a LOT the last couple of weeks.  He was in the hospital for a few days, and is now at home, with an oxygen tank and blood thinner medication.  I called him on the phone two or three times a day.  Was it triggering?  YES!  Was it necessary?  Yes.

The sweetest part of all of this is that in the midst of some really intense pain, God provided a source of comfort and peace.  I'm able to face the fact that my dad is not a safe person for me...because God has proven that He can (and will) fill that emptiness through other people.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

why grieve?

A thought crossed my mind today.  "What, exactly, do I need to grieve?"  Why bother feeling sad or angry over the things I went through as a kid?  It feels a little like I'm playing a victim and throwing my parents under the bus.  I should be grateful, not angry.  If anything, I'm pissed at the circumstances I grew up with, not the people.  I understand why things happened the way they did and I realize that many things were beyond my control.  I also feel like....things weren't that bad.  There are others who have suffered far worse.

Is this just me "doing what I do" though?  Minimizing?  Downplaying?  I am quite the master of these things...

I think the one thing that might actually make me a little sad is the fact that I will never have the type of dad who is safe.  As long as he is alive, I will have to be careful around him.  It's necessary for me to protect myself both physically and emotionally.  He can cross boundaries in so many ways.  It shouldn't be that way between a parent and a child.  I've never been able to just throw myself into my daddy's arms...I've never felt a protective hug from him, and I never will.  Even conversations are not safe.  I have to constantly be on guard that I don't say the wrong thing or say too much....or open doors for subjects that a father and daughter should never talk about.  I will never be able to trust his advice, or lean on him for strength and support when I'm struggling.  

I think I've been holding back on expressing some of this stuff because I don't want to suddenly come up empty.  I've spent my whole life surviving the lack of a safe father....I don't want to end up attempting to fill the void with something unhealthy, or worse yet...run to my dad, hoping that things will be different.  It's easier to live without these things when I'm convinced that I never needed them in the first place.  Does that even make sense?

Even just writing this little bit...makes my heart ache.  Why not call my dad?  Give him a chance?  Share more of my life with him, agree to a weekend visit....aaaaand cue all of the unrealistic-little-girl-disney-story wishes.  *sigh*