Posts Tagged ‘healing’

I finally learned how to be a big sister. My brother came to visit me for three weeks, I have not seen my brother or sister in six months. When I heard he was coming, I was at once excited and doubtful. I’ve never been a proper big sister, never was able to be any sort of good example. Actually, the only good example I was able to give was how to stay on the right track so as to not totally fuck up your life.

When I first heard my brother was coming, I had this momentary insane worry over how should I act around him – like the me he knew, or the me that exists now? Problem was, I don’t really know how to act like a suicidally depressed whore, since I’m not that person anymore. I finally decided to simply go with the flow.

At the airport, I wondered to myself if maybe I shouldn’t smile so much. Maybe I shouldn’t act so excited. And while I waited at the arrival gate, I was overcome and wanted to cry, because this felt like a yet another second change for me. He did a double take when he saw me, jumping up and down and smiling. I don’t think my brother has ever seen me genuinely happy.

I forgot my ridiculous concerns as soon as I saw my brother. On the train to my grandparents house, we apologized to each other – it seems my brother did a lot of evolving and healing when I left, he said the sadness remained when I was gone — I simply made a good scapegoat. He also thanked me for being a fuck up, cause it kept him and my sister from staying down the wrong path as well.

It was a weirdly nice change, watching out for my brother, planning interesting things to do while he was here. I had a weird out of body experience as I would pack my knapsack in the morning with an extra pair of socks, sweatshirt, and gloves for my brother (having just come from the Canadian winter, he didn’t really understand that it is winter here in Israel as well). It happened again when I instictively tried to hold his hand when crossing the road.

Before my brother came over, I had been uncertain of the wisdom of returning to Canada for a few months before permanently returning to Israel. My family also thought I should stay here longer. But my brother changed that. I think it gave my family the ability to see more the change within me. And my brother said that I need to come back. To show my family that change is possible. It’s not enough to see the change through skype.

The last few years I always thought my siblings were invulnerable… I always saw them as having a tough shell, and I was envious of their close relationship, while at the same time, extremely thankful for the bond they have together. Any attempt I tried to made at fixing out relationship would end with their hard stares and monotonous conversation, which would start and end at ‘hi, how are you?’. So I was a bit stunned, when my big tough brother came to visit, and I realized he’s the same person I remember being friends with as a kid. A realization that made me tear up and made me feel even more protective of him.

My brother’s visit helped me. It helped repair our relationship, and made me feel better about potential that the future holds. It also gives me hope to mend things with my sister.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjPqsDU0j2I

I spent a few weeks wondering how to continue this blog, mostly because I have nothing really to complain about. No pressing issues either really, that I find I must write about lest I explode.

But then one night I caught up with friend back in Canada, who said to me that there is no word really, for the change that’s happened. Not a victim, not a survivor, but something more. I remembered also the moto (?) of my blog: Learning to thrive… I think I’ve gotten to that place where I can honestly say I am.

So… I’ll continue this blog from there. An update:

I’m almost done the ulpan program (learning hebrew) on the kibbutz after 5 months. I decided to stay here in Israel and apply for citizenship. I’m looking into doing a year of volunteer work (instead of the army, which I’m not obliged to do, since I’m 25). I’ve also returned to singing, and have as a long-ish term goal to study voice in university.

I’m in love. A fact I’ve deliberately kept out of my blog the last few months so I won’t jinx it. He’ll be coming here too.

I also discovered Israel has a winter season. I had scoffed at the Israeli idea of winter. But I’m currently huddled in fleece pjs and sweater. I’m still cold.

I’ve also discovered capability that I didn’t have previously – Its not a big deal to work and learn six days a week. I have no money, and that’s also not a big deal. I’m in a new place, with a new culture and new language and the threat of war.

And I find myself extremely happy.

 

I’m going through old CDs. I had to climb over piles of clothes (fell into them too, like falling into a messy and smelly cloud. tons of fun) to find them, dusty and hidden next to a stereo system that hasn’t been used since there was clear ground on my floor (clear ground meaning I could actually use it). That was maybe 3 yrs ago.

Anyways. I’m loading it all onto itunes, and then my ipod… The reason this mundane chore (of sorts) is so cool is that this is music I typically would have freaked out over.

It’s a mixture of Israeli music I grew up, and dark gothic/metal music. Both equally triggering for various reasons. The Israeli stuff would remind me of all my failures, my guilt, my shame (real or imagined, didn’t matter). The dark stuff… well, this is what I listened to in high school, where I was abused, committed for the first time into a psych ward, ramped up my self-injury, stopped eating, overdosed in school and got politely kicked out and sent to an alternative high school… etc.

So ya. These CDs have been collecting dust.

The pain associated is just gone. I remember, when I hear this music, images come to my head… Like having to get a pass from the hospital to sing and record music for my brother’s Bat-Mitzva. Having to get a pass to attend the event, where my asshole bf was invited. Which ended with my curled up in a ball outside crying in terror. Which ended with me back in the hospital, weirdly relieved. And completely crippled with the thought that I had ruined the event for my whole family. And completely ashamed at knowing everyone was aware of my brokenness.

One of my fav songs. My creativity is inherited. I got my voice from my dad’s side. I can hear my grandmother singing when I hear this. Makes me want to cry.

I think I finally get it. I’m not 100% sure what it is I get. I just know it all finally makes sense.

So my best friend lives out on the other end of the country. I got to talk to him a couple days ago. And got to hear his I told you so.. Not smugly, just pleased. He’s seen me as the person I am now, the person I’m becoming, for about 5 years now. Which in the past would anger me to the point I would completely stop talking to him. Now, I’m just really thankful that there was at least one person who didn’t see me as I was, but as I was meant to me. I know you’re reading this. So huge hugs and thank you 🙂

So ya. Everything makes sense. I cried for the first time in years last week. It was amazing. Like huge sobs wracking my body. In church. And I had strangers hold me and pray for me. It was awesome.

I saw a guy in the mall on the weekend who looks just like J. Who nearly killed me. Instead of running off (which is something I usually do when I see anyone I used to know, may know, or reminds me of someone I knew), I went up to him, introduced myself, and blessed him. And then ran off.

I’m also going overseas in a few weeks. Til the end of October. I’m super excited. I’ll be there for my birthday. So I’m expecting to have an incredible celebration. Which includes not being raped and having to pretend everything’s okay and then pressing and dropping charges.

So since I’m leaving, its given me a chance to rediscover the city I’m in. Which is kinda what prompted the post titled My City. It’s actually a nice place. Which I never really realized before.. I was so focused on getting out, running away, escaping, that it’s beauty completely passed by me.

My friend told me I should document all these changes that have been going on with me. Which is true. But I still have to catch up to all the changes.

I saw my therapist yesterday. And she was floored by how different I look. She stared at me and said You look like you’ve been reborn.

Ya, I have.

My vision of the city I grew up in comes to be in flashes of Technicolor.

Doctors offices, roving doors of emergency rooms, psychiatric wards, rooms made to look comfortable while having my mind probed. Medication. Violence.

This city:

It’s the scent of desperation coating my skin. Hopeless that smells like Chanel *5. The scent of death in its sweet seduction. The scent of choking on the very air you breathe, gasping out without sound.

This city:

It’s the feel of silky stockings, riding up to my thighs. Sexy in heels, and covering up red gashes of misdirected anger. A multitude of sin wrapped in a pretty package yet still rotting.

This city:

It’s the blurred location, blurred vision of bedrooms, blurred vision of faces. Meaningless. Endless.

This city:

It’s the feeling of violation. Of violent penetration. Of silent pain.

This city:

It’s the reflection of a person I don’t recognize. A familiar face masked in death. A body waiting to expire and eyes who’s light has extinguished.

This city:

It’s the relentless drug of sex and money. Of devaluation, objectification, and money purchasing worth and consent.

This city:

It’s the loss of any sense of Self, of no longer being an autonomous entity. Body and mind a product belonging to those posing as loved ones.

This city:

It’s forced orgasms, forced screams, posing and pretending, terror and anxiety.

This city:

It’s the unbelievable question ‘Is this making love?’ while being raped. And as the customer is always -always- right, it’s my flirtatious answer and another blow to my soul.

This city:

It’s being indebted to my pimp after running out on a client turned violent.

This city:

It’s the inability to hold onto tainted money. And the lasting incredulity of minimum wage. The knowledge what I can make in an hour. And knowing I never could.

This city:

It’s filth. The inability to feel clean. The feeling of scalding water and abrasive surfaces and sobbing in the shower.

This city:

It’s degrading names, and derogatory terms, and shame. Of isolation. A conviction of corrupting anyone near me.

This city:

It’s finding false redemption in hatred masquerading as love. It’s waking up on the floor of a hotel room mostly dead. It’s anger at not being allowed to die.

This city:

It’s survival. It’s forgiveness. It’s redemption. It’s healing. It’s mine.

I’ve had a few personal revelations in the last couple weeks…

I’ve realized that I have worth as a person, that I add value to life as a whole and to individuals whom I know, and that I am not an object.

Kinda obvious things one should know about themselves, but to actually FEEL it… is hard.

So I am now trying to find a happy medium with my person to see where I am comfortable being. So far it has led me to change my hair colour, reopen my septum piercing, and buy new makeup (I didn’t really have any anymore).

These are superficial changes, but, it’s good for me. I had dyed my hair blonde/red after being forced to have it black and straight all the time. I won’t straighten my hair either, I’ve discovered I like the curls I was born with. I’ve dyed my hair back to the dark red I’m most comfortable with, especially since I have the completely wrong colouring for blonde.

My septum I had pierced years ago. Actually, I’ve been pierced some 50x. Most are gone. My septum I got done cause it’s a warrior’s piercing. And the septum I took out cause my ex convinced me I looked like a crackwhore with all the metal in my body. And since half of that accusation was true, I went along with the removal.

Makeup: Also something that I had to maintain a certain level of. And something I stopped wearing cause the only person’s whose approval I crave is my own. Now that I’ve established some approval with myself, I think it’s safe to wear.

I’m still trying to find a happy medium with my interaction with others. I would love to be more social, but it’s hard when I am so silent. Especially since my silence is a totally misguided fuck you to the johns who paid for my company.

I’m feeling more.. whole. Overall. The fragmented parts of myself seem to be welding together. Slowly but surely.

Stay safe 🙂

I have been doing a bunch of research, now that my brain is working more optimally. I’ve been trying to figure out the root causes of (complex) PTSD, and the disorders that can mask it or go along with it.

This is what I found (please note that some of these theories, while increasingly accepted as fact, are not accepted by all doctors):

Mitochondrial Dysregultation. Our mitochondria, when operating optimally, is the energy source of a cell. A dysfunction can show up as cognitive dysfunction, attention disorders, and memory problems. Stress makes this reaction worse (PTSD, anyone?), and makes the person more likely to be depressed, have chronic fatigue, bipolar disorder, panic disorder (PTSD, anyone?). Autopsy’s have proven these mitochondrial dysfunctions. In mouse-studies of mitochondrial dysfunction, the mice had bipolar symptoms, altered states, and turnover of monoamines (believed to be connected to depressed states). Mitochondrial dysfunction caused monoamine depletion, leading to mouse mood-disorder.

It boils down to ratty neurons, dysfunctional mitochondria, and brain damage (inflammatory response in the body).

Pro-inflammatory cytokines can induce depression. Elevated cytokines have been reported in depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, migraines, and chronic fatigue (common ailments to those with PTSD).

Anti-depressants have been shown to cause inflammation, and to damage mitochondria, regardless of the anti-depressant’s mechanism of working within the body.

Bipolar disorder has been shown to be connected to Metabolic Syndrome.

Fructose and lactose, when malabsorbed within the body, react chemically to Tryptophan, a serotonin precursor, degrading it, and leading to lower levels of serum zinc and folic acid. (Depressed people on a low-fructose diet were shown to improve 65% within 4 weeks).

Relative Hypoglycermia as a cause of Neuropsychiatric illness (article by Harry M Saltzer, M.D.), linked to bipolar disorder, psychosis, anorexia, obesity, exhaustion, fatigue, cold limbs, and muscle/joint pain. Found that if blood glucose dropped to such low levels, the body can produce bizarre side effects, such as psychosis.

Psychology Today: Could soda and sugar be causing your depression?

Gut and the brain: “Fix your gut, and you fix your health”.

Anti-depressants cause serotonin to remain on the synapse: that can cause serotonin burnout (the reason for having to rotate through anti-depressants, they stop working eventually). Anti-depressants do not make serotonin.

All your neurotransmitters come from amino acids. You get amino acids for eating protein (think meat).

70-90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. Ingesting carbs releases serotonin to help move food along, but does not build serotonin (can lead to problems). Does create a feeling of satiety, which can lead to carb addiction. Solution: increase healthy fats and eat meat.

Tryptophan is a serotonin precursor, as is 5-HTP. Vitamin D also builds serotonin (sunshine!), and a deficincy can lead to a mood disorder.

Feed the deficincy, thus feeding the body. You are not suffering from a medication imbalance! No chemical imbalances have ever been unequivicaly demonstrated for any mood imbalance. Med’s work due to psychological effect (psych times).

http://emediahealth.com/2011/07/27/abnormal-cortisol-levels-depression-anxiety-and-ptsd-are-signs-of-long-term-abuse-and-psychological-trauma/

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/11/depression-beyond-chemical-imbalance.html

http://www.pointofreturn.com/gut_health.html

So how do you help this situation?

Compassionate body mindfulness, movement and breath can help. Eliminating processed foods, simple carbs, sugar… Increasing healthy fats help cravings (such as coconut oil, ghee, lard…). Talk-therapy, body-mind integration.

6 components to healing: Safety! Self-regulation; self-reflective information processing, traumatic experiences information integration; relational engagement; positive affect enhancement.

Signs of healing: your inner critic (the abusive “voices) shrink and lose dominance, allowing your own voice to shine through more often; increased ability to relax – resisting overreaction to triggers; Trusting in your intuitive response; Asserting your own needs; Self-compassion, -soothing, -protection.

http://www.palace.net/llama/psych/herman.html

http://ptsdawayout.com/2011/09/12/c-ptsd-healing-emptying-the-amygdala-one-breath-at-a-time/

http://ptsdassociation.com/ptsd-coping-strategies.php?Trauma%20and%20The%20Spiritual%20Path-12

One more thing (K, maybe more then one):

Complex PTSD is often misdiagnosed as bipolar or borderline disorders. The symptoms of the C-PTSD can be masked by medication, thus making the misdiagnosis seem valid. However, the root of the problem (the real issue- trauma) remain untreated, as does all the other symptoms of C-PTSD (shame, guilt, repeating trauma patterns…).

A genetic predisposition to Borderline Personality Disorder is unrelated to trauma. BPD can, in these cases, be interchangeable with Complex PTSD.

Human beings are not inherently broken. All cells renew themselves within the body– meaning that the imprint of trauma on the body/brain can be healed.

Stay safe ❤