Archive for the ‘dissociation’ Category

I hate uncertainty. I need clarity in all things. With that in mind, I hate even more when I allow the filters through which I was taught (brainwashed) to see the world to influence me. I know where those lenses came from. I know why I think this way. So why can’t I stop it?

While I feel free here in Israel in a way I never have before, there are times when I pause in terror of conflict or potential conflict. This includes times when I’m asked where I want to eat, whether I want to do something or not, what do I think of (blank)…

Then there are the bigger things. I’ve finally loosened up to the point where I can not only interact with others, but I’m actually having fun. And then I feel like shit for having fun. Like its so exhilarating, it must be wrong. I half expect some sort of punishment to fall on me.

Fun has come in the form of dancing mostly. This week drinking also, since I’ve realized if I’m not set out to destroy myself, it’s okay. And drinking doesn’t mean drunk. Drunks freak me out. But so do clubs.

Anyways. I avoided clubs and dancing for the longest time. My experience of going out to dance included seeing how many guys I could lure at the urging of my ex. This was when I was recently exited, and had turned down stripping jobs (as if that would have eased me out of the lifestyle. NOT). He knew all this. That’s why he got a sadistic kick out it (just like he did when I broke down crying cause I didn’t want to work anymore in any aspect of the trade). Not to mention being molested in clubs by drunks. Which my ex thought was funny.

So. Dancing. I went dancing before I left for Israel. It was a transformational experience. It had nothing to do with seduction, pretense, performance. Just feeling the music. Was amazing.

I don’t think I’d be able to go out now if I hadn’t that night. The only thing I care about is the music. No one else matters, nothing else exists, it doesn’t matter what I look like.

This is intensity. Reaching the moment where I am so overcome by the beat that I lose my Self in the moment. I dance smiling like an idiot cause it’s the greatest high.

Unfortunately, I later come back to myself. And with returning self-awareness there condemnation and doubt, even though I know there is no reason for it.

But I think to myself of the way I have gone out of my way to avoid people who party or drink in any way. Avoiding, but not judging. So why do I judge myself? What am I judging myself for? What is harmful about enjoyment?

I feel like I’m heading in the right direction, doing things I would not have been able to do months ago, even. Its amazing. And terrifying.

It’s a learning curve that feels more a twisted maze.

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I think a lot of us with PTSD struggle with the concept of a healthy body image.

After being repeatedly degraded, sexualized or desexualized, being mocked, and condescended to, raped and beaten… I am no longer surprised to hear of eating issues, body dysmorphia, and a general lack of love for your-self.

It took me a long time to realize the correlation between my weight losses and gains and being abused. The first time I “came down” with anorexic-like behaviour, I was 15 or so, and being abused emotionally, physically, and sexually by my first serious boyfriend.

I gained weight after, and lost weight again in a similar situation. By the time I was being prostituted a couple years ago, my “bf” (read: pimp) at the time liked the fact my body was curvy and voluptuous. Instead of escaping the situation, I internalized all the cr*p he was feeding me about being “only good for one thing”, and took it out on my body, losing weight again. When I met my next bf, who “rescued” me (never trust a white knight– their armor is tarnished, as is their souls), I was down to an abnormal weight for myself. The longer I was with him and more dependent I became on the relationship, the more I hated the body he loved. I gained significant weight before the night he tried to kill me, but after that event, it was like a no-holds-barred food buffet in an attempt to stuff my emotions.

Anyways…

I didn’t start liking myself until I started spending time with myself. I realized I had to have some positive emotion towards myself in order the change the pattern. I’m still trying to figure out the mechanism that lead to change within me, so that I can share it. All I know was that after the rape three months ago, I had enough.

In conversations with one of my exes, it becomes blatantly clear to me exactly why I turned to someone who rose red flags in my mind. As sad as it sounds, he made me feel completely unwanted– like I had no value sexually.

Bizarre, how I reacted, one would think that I would welcome the change from a literal sex slave, to… unsexed companion? But I’ve finally had to admit to myself that I’m simply not in a place mentally where I can be with a man, and not be physically intimate. I feel useless. And lonely. And dirty. And convinced that if he’s not getting any from me, he is getting it elsewhere.

So as soon as I cut him out of my life (again), I turned to a guy I casually saw, and who DID see sexual value in me. Enter feelings of validation. He rose red flags through mock-hitting me, accusations of cheating, and constantly checking up on me throughout the day… But I did not count of being assaulted by him.

I digress though, this is supposed to be about body image.

I had my massage yesterday, which was interesting. It incorporated BodyTalk techniques to help release trauma from my body (the areas worked on were my back and neck and face). Some of the spots she worked on felt completely numb to me, while pain flared elsewhere, and images flashed through my mind reminding me why I was hurting there.

It is very hard to relax during a massage. I hate being seen without my clothes on, to the point where I will put of showering or changing my clothing so I don’t have to experience myself naked. Touch without alterior motives is completely foreign to me (and perhaps on of the big problems I had with the ex mentioned above).

It’s hard to admit, but it went well. It was difficult emotionally, and afterwards I could not stand the thought of being in close proximity with anyone. The thought of anyone coming up behind me has me paranoid (not unusual).

The fact that my sex drive has bounced back through healthy eating and the elimination of libido-supressing medications has me a little freaked. Part of me worries I will act out like I used to. But the fact that I have an awareness I didn’t back then, helps me realize that self-destructive behaviour is unlikely.

Sorry for the disjointed thoughts. I seem to be a bit all over the place today. I really did intend on writing a well thought out post on Body Image.

Stay Safe ❤

Lately I have been listening and paying attention to what my body has been telling me. And I have been analyzing those messages.

I believe the body holds onto trauma. And that my body has beyond reached it’s threshold to withstand anything has come to a halt with my body screaming in protest.

At times it feels like my body is falling apart, with the various aches and pains, the sheer physical and mental exhaustion, the insomnia, the edema in my feet, the weight fluctuations… Then there is shoving aside all the hurt and pain and grief into tiny compartments to ignore and pretend they never existed, paste a smile on my face, and pretend everything is alright, and go on being a ‘positive’ person.

I started using essential oils to augment my therapy sessions and to help with the chronic pain my body is feeling. I started out with the essential oils in my skin care products, but realized that EOs (essential oils) good for wound healing, will also be good for physical and emotional/spiritual wounds. With a bit of research, I realized I was correct. I have been using a 10% dilution of Immortelle EO on my decollete (which corresponds to wounds of the heart, which is also the source of my physical pain), as well as Lavender EO to relax my muscles and mind, and Spruce Hemlock EO, more for the physical pain, rubbing some on the places of my body that hurt most, as well as a dab on my chest, which helps with stress related emotional pain (like PTSD). {This is what works for me – if you decide to use EOs, do a bit of research, and do so with caution, as I am not a professional}

Today I also started doing BodyTalk therapy. It was a pretty incredible experience which felt like a bit of a cross between biofeedback, emotional freedom technique, and intuition. The therapist has me doing visualization exercises at home in which I imagine bandages being ripped off my body, and another in which I imagine repelling mosquitos from my body.

The first exercise is multipurpose. My posture tends to curl in on itself, and I never really thought about it, but it’s a protective mechanism, making myself smaller against potential predators. As well, it is more comfortable as my back in always in pain. My weight is also a “bandage”, protecting me, and arming me. So by stripping me of my “armor”, I get down to my essential self, and can deal with the emotions that come up.

The second exercise is more interesting. I was described as a kind of “host” body for parasites (abusers) to leech onto. Something in my physical chemistry is attracting this parasite, through no fault of my own (perpetuating the cycle of abuse in my relationships, which is true, I have never had a normal relationship). So by repelling mosquitos, I am, in effect, stopping that cycle. That is the thinking, anyways, and I am willing to give it a go 🙂

She also intuited that the pain in my lower back came from the lack of support from my family, and she made the pain better. In fact, she made all the pain in my body better.

It was weird, I had feelings of grief and sadness and dirtiness and guilt and that false happiness, all cycling within me while she worked. Even now, while I write, I can feel the grief trapped in my chest, like a tangled black mass of poison choking me.

I will be going back next week, and I cannot wait to find out how it will help. I have tried alternative therapies before, but never approaching it from healing the pain of the abuse first, as opposed to all the healing all the other symptoms first.

Stay safe sisters

 

I spent the last 2+ years wondering why my trafficker let me keep profits. WHY? I knew he got a sadistic pleasure seeing me being pimped out, and that’s what I told myself was the reason for my keeping profits – that money was not his goal out of trafficking me. But now I have another explanation that make SO much more sense, and is SO much more chilling.

My theory:

A young woman I was seeing at the time put me in his sights. I have reason to believe she was one of his “girls”, a favoured one, and she saw “potential” in me, and got him to contact me.

He set her aside and chose me, claiming to love me. I asked what he did, who he was… all those normal things you do with a potential or new partner… but could never verify his businesses or his name (and I did try) – but I ignored all of this because “he loves me”.

I believe he then started grooming me – sending me out to have sex with other men while he watched, even when I did not consent (which was all the time, especially in the beginning… later on in the relationship, I would simply shut up, and asked how high when he would say jump).

He had me join an escort service after months of debate and protest, and told me I needed to make money (never really explained why though, or why a “normal” job wouldn’t do… He just broke me down by constantly objectifying and sexualizing me). I think he wanted me to become addicted to the money (I was making 180-300$ an hr – all profit, and all soul-killing).

He kept getting infuriated that I would save none of it. I considered it blood money, and it ran like water through my fingers (something I at times feel pangs about since I am unemployed and attempting to start a business)… He tried, and succeeded for a time, to make me believe I was only good for sex, and all I was, was an object to be used. That my worth lied between my legs. It is a belief I still struggle with.

He mentioned that he was involved with someone who later become a BDSM porn star. That I DID verify. He wanted me to get into porn. I never did, and just missed doing so only by the grace of God. I now believe he was still involved in that poor woman’s “career”, and he bragged about getting her into it. I believe he was seeing profits from her. And I do not believe she was the only one.

He mentioned in casual conversation killing people, and wanting me to participate. I went along with this (I had a lot of self-loathing and anger towards men), but never took him seriously. I now take what he said VERY seriously. I believe he DID kill someone. And that he will again.

He kept trying to get me to stop taking my medication. Every time I listened, I would become suicidal, and eventually go back on them.

I now believe he was trying to get me addicted to other drugs, use the profits I made from sex to move in with him, and then he would “casually” take over finances, keeping me there as a sex slave, financial prisoner, and emotional punching bag, and whatever else his sociopathic mind saw fit to put me through.

Posted: October 18, 2011 in abuse, dissociation, family, relationships
Tags: , , ,

Two nights ago my dad went into a rage.

I’ve probably mentioned before that I live at home – due to the PTSD and fibromyalgia, its hard for me to work… I am moving forward, and healing, but I have to do both in my own time, not in the “now now now, go go go” pace of society.

Back to two nights ago –

I had been making skin care products in the kitchen for my therapist. It was just her birthday, and I also wanted to thank her for all her support and love and compassion. It was my first time experimenting with beeswax, and it left a waxy residue in the stainless steel bowl when I was done making everything. I set it to soak in the sink with the intention of going back to clean it later (remember, I have to go at my own pace, I get exhausted easily – this method works well for me, but not for everyone else… they get easily exasperated with me, thinking I am lazy). In the meantime my dad found the bowls in the sink and started cleaning it over my protests that I would get to it. He started getting angry and so I shut up. My mom came down and started lecturing me unnecessarily.

I simply dissociated from the situation until my father started slamming things and stomping his considerable bulk around the main floor. As he continued his fit upstairs I told my mom that if he did not calm down, I would call the cops. My mom, upset, asked why I would do such a thing.

I stared at her in disbelieve. Did she truly not understand why I was so distressed? She then began defending him.

Instead of losing it like I wanted to, I left the house. I went out in the dark, in the rain (both of which terrify me), and wondered around for a while, scared and alone.

Eventually I returned home. I refused to talk to anyone, to look at anyone, to even breathe in anyone’s direction.

In my mind, my parents had just become like my abusers. Which meant the house that alreadynot feel that safe to me in the first place to me, is now feeling downright hostile. did

I’ve been trying to keep my mind occupied. I created a skin care line for my neighbour. Doing so made me happy – it’s something I adore doing.

On the flip-side, I’ve been trying hard to be good to myself. I’ve been pushing myself past the point of breaking. I quit smoking months ago, yet bought a new pack after my dad’s freak out, unable to cope anymore on my own. It shames me to admit it, but this blog is about honesty and truth, no matter how ugly it is to me.

Stay safe, and I will try and do the same

*hugs*

I had to go back to emerg last night. The pain is getting so bad that it hurts to sit up straight, and it hurts to walk. I feel unsteady on my feet.

Emerg was a disaster for me. There were too many people there – too many men. I went by myself, though I guess I had the option of having someone with me, it is just too shaming to have someone “normal” there with me when I feel somehow defective.

It felt like the nurses were checking up and comforting other people while I sat there alone, crying.

The woman beside me asked if she could help somehow. I thanked her, and said I was alright. How do I explain that I’m there because I was raped and I feel like I’m dying?

I talked to the nurses, explained it hurts to sit. They told me to stand. Umm. ya, like that would help. I replied that I would fall. They in turn explained to me that there was no bed available, as there were other people ahead of me. Yes, yes, I know, I understand the e.r. is overworked and understaffed. But you think I really cared about all that, while I was (am) in agony? Frankly, no, I could not care less.

I went back to sit down, but grew more and more agitated and angry. The thought of being touched again made me want to punch something and scream my pain out loud. So I left, scribbling my name with a shaky hand on the form saying I was leaving against medical advice. Honestly, I didn’t want to sign it, since I was not given any medical advice to begin with, and I’m pretty sure the nurse I spoke to had no idea what brought me in to begin with.

Anyway,

Back at home, I am at least more comfortable. I can lean on my side and curl up on the couch, which does not reduce the pain, but I am a bit more relaxed.

I admit, that in my despair I started wondering if there was any point staying alive. Until I received an outpouring of love and support from my DV group. It brought me out of my head a bit.

I left a message with my regular doctor, and have yet to hear from her office. I also plan on “bugging” the police a bit, see what is happening with my case.

Doctor just called back and I have an appt this afternoon. Maybe, hopefully, I will get some some sleep.

I have been unable to sleep in my own bed – to afraid to, though the exhaustion is catching up with me.

I feel like I’ve been running on a treadmill the last week or so. You know, running no where fast?

I do realize I am still moving forward, slowly but surely, but sometimes the slow pace frustrates me. I want life’s changes to happen now. 

I love the saying “even if you fall flat on your face, you will still be moving forward” (forget who the quote is by).

Cause even though my sleep has suffered – as in I am getting almost none – I am still going to school. I am still writing my blog. I am still taking care of myself. Even though I have been triggered by two of my exes… I am still keeping up with therapy, and with my support groups, and I decided to trust a friend with what happened when the burden of silence became too much for me.

I passed my birthday in this limbo-like state. I went out to eat with my family. I normally lack the patience to eat out. I hate the insincerity of small talk. I find it depressing. I was the odd one out – my parents were there as a couple, so were my grandparents, so were my siblings with their gf and bf. I was the only single one, and for once that did not bother me.

Yet if I was so unbothered, and in a good mood, why did I break my two years -or so- sober streak? It was only one drink, but I am so unused to alcohol that it hit me by the second or third sip. And I finished the whole cocktail.

Ugh. I know why I did it. I drank to get through the dinner without being disturbed by wondering if the sex I “participated” in the day before was really consentual (it was not. I clearly said no, stop, and even kicked him back).

Am I right to be beating myself up for being fooled into that type of situation again?

Maybe.

But before I beat myself up, I would rather beat him up for creating this turmoil with me.

And for my other ex, for his constant harassment of me through text messages – time to change my number yet again.

So how about something more positive in my life right now?

It might sound silly, but when I am stressed (which is often), I tend to recite things that are good for skin care (for example, what vitamin A or zinc are good for in relation to skin)… And as a gift for my birthday, I got to order a bunch of skin care items. I like to experiment and make my own creams and lotions and body butters…

I discovered skin care as a way of turning my self-destructive tendencies into something more positive. I’m now taking classes in esthetics, and its very weird to be touching other people in the esthetics lab. Triggering in a way, but soothing at the same time.

I have this crazy dream, once I’m done school, and have established myself somewhat in the field. I want to work with survivors to make them feel beautiful, and help them gain back their self-esteem. But even more then that, I would love to create my own skin care line, with proceeds going towards DV awareness.

❤ stay strong