Dream triggers & painful memories 

****Some possible triggers about sex and abuse.***
I woke up this morning from a night full of dreams. I know I had lots because I kept waking up and I would acknowledge to myself that “she” was in them, and then I would fall back to sleep again – and repeat. When I woke up and it was morning I felt groggy and had head-cloud. I had a headache. The main bit of the dream that I can still visualise clearly is that I had slid down an inflatable slide with someone and at the end, a man put his hand inside my skirt. He slid his hand from the waistband. I didn’t do anything but I knew it was wrong. The next thing the man was taking photos of me and my mum was jumping in the photos and posing seductively. 

Writing about this dream makes me feel weird. I feel like something is building up inside me. Maybe anger? The dream makes me feel sick because when I was a teenager one of her boyfriend’s put his hand inside my skirt (from the waistband) and into my knickers. I didn’t move at all, or say anything. I froze. I was petrified and confused. 

I really liked and trusted that man. I told him everything! Too much as I can now see from adult eyes. The man groomed me. He used to give me money and top up vouchers for my phone so that we could always speak and he would ask me to send him photos of myself, he brought me a camera phone and they weren’t cheap back then! 

He spoke to me about everything. He asked me inappropriate questions about boys and my sexual experiences. I was innocently naive and thought he was just treating me like an adult! BUT I didn’t want that. Him touching me didn’t last long luckily because my mother came down the stairs and sent me to bed. I went into the kitchen and froze. My heart was thumping and I was in shock at what had just happened. My mum shouted again and I went to bed. 

I wrapped my blanket under and over me like a sausage roll in the hope that he would struggle to get to me. I cried and shook – then I heard him coming up the stairs and he went into the bathroom where he sent me some vulgar text messages. 

I didn’t tell my mum for 9 years. The point is, the dream triggered this memory and some horrible feelings. It’s effected me all day. I cried a while after I woke up. Not for long, but real from the heart grief type tears.  Later I felt angry. I found myself thinking things about my mother like how I can’t believe she used to have sex with men when me and my sister were in the same room. 

2 examples came to mind immediately. Both were in hotel rooms and so her bed was like a metre away from me and my little sister. I guess I would have been about 9 and 11. It also reminded me of being literally about 5 or 6 years old and waking up to what I now know are sex noises, loud banging and her screaming. I was so bloody scared. I thought she was being hurt and was dieing!! I sat on the toilet and she eventually came in and was shocked to see me there. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was scared of the noises. She told me they were playing a game where they pushed each other off the bed and that’s why she was screaming out. 

I know sex doesn’t stop when you have kids, but there are limits and things which are morally right and wrong aren’t there? She ramped the sex stuff up another level as I got older and took to having sex with men on the sofa, the stairs and with her bedroom door wide open. It was always pornstar loud and she would leave her clothes and underwear strewn across the hall or stairs. 

I confronted her about her loud sex and she told me to move out if I didn’t like it. The last time, a few months after I told her what her ex boyfriend done to me as a teen, she told me I was jealous of her and that she didn’t believe that even happened to me. I was utterly heartbroken. 

Fuck you. 

Now I think to myself “baggy fanny slut”. 

I told T the other day that my stepdad (aka: lapdog) knew for years before my mum did about that event, he had told me not to tell my mum as it would upset her too much. When I did tell her, she told him in front of me and he acted like he didn’t know. I’ve often fantasised of telling her that he knew, but I’ve now learnt that she needs him to worship her and agree with everything and anything she does and says – which he does well. She would see this as evidence of his love and NOT how shit it was for me that another, apparently trustworthy, adult had let me down. 

Interestingly, when I told my mum she said, and I quote, “don’t tell Nan as she would have a heart attack and die”. I now see that she was scared what my Nan may say about her parenting skills. It is after all, all about her. 

I tragically held onto the hope that when she found out what happened, she would become who I needed her to but that obviously didn’t happen. 

A while after I told her, I said in anger and sadness that she had never mentioned it again and she said in anger “do we all have to talk about it all day every day and feel sorry for you?!” OUCH. 

If only I understood then what I do now, that what he did was sick and wrong, but what she did was so much worse. But hey! We had “a nice house”! 

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Where does it go? 

As I was sat in the hairdressers this morning I reflected back on the events that unfolded since my session Thursday. I thought about the initial upset, then the anger, the missatunement, the confusion, more anger and then yesterday’s decision to tell T how I was feeling. 

LUCKILY for me, T responded quickly and said she heard I was angry with her (I bet she nearly fell off her chair!) and she asked me if I was able to come for another session that same day – only two hours later actually! 

Unfortunately I couldn’t go, as much as I would have loved to, because I was at work but I really love that she offered. 

I told her I couldn’t, but would have really loved to and she replied to say that as that wasn’t going to work she was “here” and thinking of me, that she understood the anger and confusion and acknowledged that her missatunement (is that an agreement?) had got me in touch with my anger and pain. 

She suggested that I kept writing and told me she would not retaliate and told me to “hang in there“. 

I felt instantly better. Like within moments and that hasn’t changed since. In fact today I feel happy and have been singing along to my tunes in the car. 

I dreamt of “her” last night. I say “her” like that because it was meant to be her but I’m not sure her face was right – I don’t actually recall a face but I knew it was T if that makes sense. [side question: does anyone struggle to call up an image of their T? I can’t picture her when I’m not in fromt of her at all. I would struggle to draw a picture of her or describe her to someone]

Anyway, the dream was that I was at her family home with her dream husband and daughter. Me and her daughter were playing together and I stayed over and had dinner the next day. We went outside to her garden which was absolutely beautiful and huge. It even had pink blossom trees and a stream! We sat and played games and it was heavenly. 

I remember in the dream that they had some suitcases out in a room on the floor and had started to pack for a skiing trip. I think I was sad about that but trying to push that out of my mind. 

My sister was with me too, she was very young in the dream and lost a tooth which I looked after for her. 

When we were leaving T gave me a melon, some yogurts and an open can of baked beans (how odd!!) I loved that she gave me those things and didn’t want to leave. I left and drove me and my little sister home. 

I woke up and shortly after I fell back to sleep, this time I dreamt of what I can only describe as a giant heart shape made of grass and hedges and I was pushing the centre of the heart desperately trying to get inside. 

To break through the heart. Symbolic much? 

Dreams aside, I’m just wondering, why I feel so much better just because T knows? I wonder psychologically speaking why that helps so much? How has it completely removed the anger? Why do I feel so adult and content today when I felt so desperate then? 

Not that I’m complaining of course, I just wonder why it’s made such a huge difference. 

Reaching Out Or Self-Soothing? 

Would reaching out to T actually help? 

I’m torn. Do I try and handle this by myself and prove to myself. and to T, that I am able to regulate myself and hold it in her absence? Will she be proud of me if I do? 

I want to give her a break – that’s what she needs. It’s why she’s taken time off. 

Yet at the same time I’m thinking that she’s always encouraged me to reach out when I need to and encouraged that I don’t go into self-sufficient mode as I always did as a child. 

I think she would rather help to regulate me than hear later that I struggled with it alone. Wouldn’t she? I don’t know. 

I don’t want to isolate myself through shame. I’m trying to fight that pattern. 

I’m okay. I’m surviving it. Like it’s painful and I’m sad and I was thrown into an emotional flashback for sure, BUT I’ve made sense of it now and I’m allowing the sad feelings to come. I’m allowing myself to cry and listen to the child part talking. I’m not falling apart. 

What could she say that would help? She would probably validate my feelings but I’ve already done that for myself (and so have some kind readers) so I don’t think I need that. 
Then there’s the issue that as I don’t know where she is, she may not read or reply to me for hours and hours and that could potentially throw me into abandonment stuff which I don’t need right now. 

She may even reply kindly but it may set off the feeling it’s “not enough” again and so perhaps I’m safer staying at a distance and handling it myself? 

Things have gone south: Emotional Flashback 

Things have gone south. 

I went to the quiz night last night with my boyfriend and his parents. The evening was pleasant until… 

3 women walk towards our table and as I look up, it’s my mother and two of her friends. 

Oh My God. 

I felt a weird panic. Shock, fear, awkwardness. I couldn’t believe she was here. This was my local and she knew I drank here sometimes and that we did this quiz with my boyfriends’s parents…. what was she doing here? And on a Wednesday night? She had never been here before my birthday. Childish I’m like “this is my place. Not your’s”. 

Everyone said hello to one another but the awkwardness was really obvious. My mother put her fake posh look and voice on and said “we came for supper”… supper??? Sorry who are you? Before I knew it, I was saying “Supper? Since when do you use that word?”. Looking back I guess that was a bit aggressive but the words had flown out of my mouth before I had processed them. She was trying to put on an act of some sort of poshness because she thinks my boyfriend’s parents are posh. 

The difference between my boyfriend’s parents and her (and her friends) was so obvious. I really wasn’t enjoying this one bit. I wasn’t prepared for it.

There were a few moments of small talk and then she and her friends left. Nothing more was said. I felt so weird… so uncomfortable…. and I’m not sure if everyone did, or if it was just me, but suddenly it felt as though there was an elephant in the room. Things weren’t being said that were being thought – I wonder if I’m wrong? 

I panicked because I’m scared (or the little me) is that she will tell them I’ve been bad – that I AM bad. Because that’s what she did to me when I was young. She always made stories up to my grandparents and told them in front of me so that they disapproved. She would phone them or my aunty or my sister’s dad or get her latest fling to tell me off. I think that young fear is still there. 

I’m a different person with her to with them. Please don’t ruin this for me…. please don’t tell them I’m bad!!  She always won the crowd – the audience, whoever was watching. How ashamed I was. 

Anyway we got on with our evening and she wasn’t mentioned again. Me and my boyfriend came home and I went straight to bed as it was late and as my head hit the pillows and I grabbed Frank, I cried. 

I didn’t know then what I was crying for and I’m not entirely sure now but I woke up for work this morning and (sorry for tmi) had a very upset tummy. I called in sick and am now in bed with a thumping headache. 

I know not everyone believes in the mind and body link, but I do and so I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this happened, that I cried and that I’m feeling crap. But I can’t put my finger on what upset me so much. 

I’ve had my mind and body book out and looked up my symptoms to see if that helped, diarrhoea mainly pointing towards not being able to hold on to something anymore, being scared shitless or feeling as though you’ve been hit in the guts. The headache points to too much time in the head and repressed feelings. 

The thing is I’ve been aware that I’ve been really overeating. I feel constantly hungry at the moment and I’ve not been caring what I’m eating or how much. And I haven’t been to the gym like I usually do. This is a huge change from previous months where I’ve been eating a certain amount of calories and exercising a lot. I put this down to the break but now I’m not so sure. It’s no surprise my stomach is chucking it all out, there’s too much!! It’s also made me think back to a time when I used to starve myself and hide my food in my bedroom bin and then get told off… no I’m doing the opposite. 

My boyfriend had to go to work and I really wanted him to stay and cuddle me. Problem is he’s scared of getting ill and so won’t come near me when I’m sick. 

I’m really in touch with this needy feeling of needing to be looked after. As I write this tears are dripping down my face. 

I wish I could expand on that a bit, but I don’t think I can. I just have this craving to be looked after and made better. I wish someone was here to give me a cuddle, let me cry on them, maybe cook me soup at lunch and make me feel loved. I need love.

I’m crying because I need love. I want love and affection and to feel looked after. Instead I’m eating food and that’s making me ill as my stomach tries to tell me “no, that’s not helping!”. Apparently the hole can’t be filled with food.

Maybe I’m a bit regressed and I’m feeling like a child that needs her mummy.

I had a dream earlier this morning that I had made my hamster a new cage up as he had wrecked his. His tube had broken and he was seconds away from escaping and his fur was matted. I bathed him, held him and fixed his cage and tubes. I mothered him. 

That’s why I’m crying isn’t it? This sucks so bad. I feel heartbroken. 

And today and I would normally see T but she’s gone and that makes it hurt even more. 

I need a mummy and she’s gone. Both in the sense that the mummy I wanted never was mine and my therapy mummy is away. I’m feeling alone and in need of being looked after like a child. That mother hole constantly getting bigger. 

I’ve just cried a whole river. Snotty, noisey crying. Wow that was horrible. 

Damn it. 

Letter to T during the break: Day 5

[This is a letter to my T as she is on a break right now. I don’t intend to send this to her although perhaps I will show her/read it to her when she is back. We will see. I’ve written it as a way of feeling some sort of connection with her.]

Hi T!

I have thought of you a bit today, I guess because it’s Tuesday and Tuesday is therapy day, it is “our day”. One of the two days that I get to see you.

But obviously you are on a break at the moment and I won’t be seeing you today so I thought I would write to you instead as a way of feeling as though somehow I’ve had some connection with you.

I hope you are having a nice break whatever you are doing. Are you on holiday or just taking a week off of your busy schedule? It’s so weird that I don’t know what you are doing. I often try to guess but obviously I have absolutely no way to know whether I am right or not. Probably not I imagine.

Where do I think you are now? Hmm…. I think you are at home this week maybe seeing friends and taking your dogs for long walks in the country.  I think this because you have 2 weeks off in September and I think that is when you will go away on holiday – maybe to Portugal or Italy.

I often wonder if I should ask you if you are going away or not, but I don’t know if I would prefer knowing or not knowing and it’s too late once I know isn’t it? Also I feel like I don’t really have the right to ask you… like I’m not really entitled to that information.

Anyway, I’m doing okay at the moment. I feel quite good really, rather relaxed and fairly content. I haven’t felt any real sadness or anger since I last saw you, although I have had some “revelations” over the weekend concerning my Dad thanks to a really helpful chat with [my boyfriend].

I saw my mum on Saturday night. It was the same as usual really… although my Dad was brought up and I fell into my old ways of giving her what she wants – telling her about the holiday, the birthday card and my brother’s texts (this happened Friday). Obviously she totally invalidated my feelings about him and said a few hurtful things along the lines of “aren’t you over this yet?”.  I held my own in the sense that I told her I can’t help how I feel and that I wished I could.

She told me that she cut her Dad out for being useless and has never cared about him since.. I thought of you as she said this and that you wold probably have a field day with that comment!!

She made a few comments aimed at my lack of intelligence – but I managed to prove her wrong which was quite enjoyable. Still, it is impossible to not notice that she does these things now which are obviously unnecessary and hurtful. I now understand that isn’t “normal” and see it isn’t something that you or [my boyfriend’s] parents would do to me. To anyone.

She told me some stories which I think you will find quite shocking about how she can now see dead people…………. No joke. She is apparently taking psychic classes and has a real gift. Apparently my sister got so scared by my mother saying that she sees dead people around the house that she couldn’t get to sleep and had to get my stepdad to check the house and sleep with her bedroom door wide open. My mother found this hugely insulting and that caused an argument between them.  I just pacified her really, there seems little point in anything else so she then invited me to attend the classes with her!! Hahaha. Needless to say, that won’t be happening.

I kept myself safe enough though, I took myself off to bed and left her up chatting to my step-brother’s girlfriend because it was late, I was bored and because the conversation (inevitably) made its way to my sister and how spiteful she is to my mother. She said that when I was around, my sister was nasty to her and how she keeps writing shitty comments on my mother’s Facebook statuses. I listened to her and suggested she blocked my sister so that it prevented them arguing and prevented my mother feeling hurt by my sister’s comments and my sister feeling embarassed of my mother’s facebook antics and then I went to bed. (I don’t think she was very pleased but hey!).

Mother/Father stuff aside, I’ve been enjoying myself by reading some new books and watching some old classics. Over the weekend I watched Wuthering Heights, Sense & Sensibility and Emma and enjoyed them all. Last night I finished a book by Nick Hornby called High Fidelity which was funny and thought-provoking too (an avoidantly attached man trying to stick out a relationship basically). Today I’ve started a new book called Hotel Du Lac which is about a novelist who has escaped on her own to Switzerland after some sort of relationship crisis to restore her senses.. however apparently that isn’t quite what happens. I think perhaps the break is givinig me the mental space to enjoy these things with few therapy-related thougths flying around.

Frank is doing well and me and [my boyfriend] have been having a giggle with him. We have decided that he has a look of confusion about him which amuses us and [my boyfriend] has been calling him “Frannnnn………K” just to annoy me haha! He is lovely to have around and not for soothing me when upset (as yet) but just as a reminder of you really. I think he keeps you more “alive” in my mind.

I think that’s pretty much it for now.. if I were seeing you tonight I would speak to you about the Dad revelation that I had on Sunday but it wouldn’t surprise you because it’s probably what you’ve told me/thought and said a hundred times.  Still, you have to be in the right place to truly hear and believe things I guess. I hope you would be pleased for me though – maybe even proud?

Anyway, I will think of you at our session time tonight. Bye for now X – (ooh I’ve never put a kiss before! Is that allowed?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts: Sense of Self

I hate Mondays. Doesn’t everyone hate Mondays?

They are made even worse at the moment due to the fact that I have no work to do – at work and so my days consist of sitting at a desk trying to keep myself occupied whilst not making it too obvious that I have nothing to do! Clock-watching is painful. The days feel like they will never end.

On the bright side, I feel happy today – contented I guess. Not hyper. I am still quite shocked by yesterday’s revelation and keep replaying the whole conversation over and over in my head to try to set it there in stone. I woke up this morning with a sense of contentedness – a feeling that I usually wake up with on therapy days. As I had only been awake for a second or two I thought that was what it was so that was a shame, but then I realised what that happy feeling was (the revelation) and felt it was a decent trade-off.

The Break So Far

Today is day 4 of not seeing T, although it seems unfair to be counting already because my first session wouldn’t usually take place until tomorrow and as it is Monday, perhaps it should be day 1… but for me, I’m 4 days into a 12 day break. I’m doing alright which is nice, although I have questioned whether I really am doing alright or whether I’m in “self-sufficient repressing all my feelings mode” – that does happen.

But no, I think I am okay actually. How do you really know?

 

Books/Films

I’ve been getting a lot of enjoyment from reading, writing on here, watching film adaptations after reading novels, watching my new fur baby run around and of course seeing Frank sitting on my bed reminding me of T.

This weekend I watched Wuthering Heights, Sense & Sensibility and Emma and I enjoyed them all (although Gwyneth Paltrow was quite irritating in Emma it I have to say). I’ve been reading a book by Nick Hornby and called High Fidelity which is very funny and I only have about 40 pages left so I will finish that tonight and start the next book I’ve brought which is called Hotel Du Lac.

I have this new passion for things like this and I’m not sure where its come from. I read my first classic novel only a year ago, Jane Eyre and I loved it. Since then I’ve read Pride and Prejudice and a book called I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith which isn’t quite so well-known, they have got me a bit addicted I guess. Today I’ve decided to order Shakespeare in Love, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream – all stories that I should know, but don’t. I’m playing catch up which leads me to my next thought…

jane eyre quote

 

Intelligence

T has been really trying lately to make me believe that I am clever. I don’t believe this and I never have and actually if the truth be known, I don’t really like her doing it. It makes me feel very uncomfortable. I don’t like to sit there disagreeing with her because it just looks like I am fishing for compliments and she just tells me I am wrong, yet I can’t agree with her because that doesn’t sit well with me.

I told my boyfriend this last night and he said, very diplomatically, that I might not know as much “general knowledge” as you might expect, but that he puts this down to the fact that I didn’t have parents around to teach me. He said that the things I don’t know tend to be things that parents teach their kids rather than things you learn at school. I am not sure I agree with him, although obviously I don’t doubt the benefit people have if they have intelligent parents trying to encourage their child’s learning.

This weekend at my mother’s house, we were playing some games and she said “TT won’t get this you may as well take it”.  Well I did get it.  I wasn’t the first to get it, but I wasn’t the last either and my step-brother didn’t get it at all and he genuinely IS very bright. I felt rather smug. We then went on to do answer some riddles and I managed to answer about 6 in a row correctly and she said “blimey, what’s got into you?” so it doesn’t take a genius to work out where that lack of intelligence or that belief has come from.

T means well, obviously – but I don’t want smoke blown up my arse. I don’t want to be lied to, but I DO want to improve my intelligence and so I think that in a way reading these classic novels, watching these film adaptations – the Bronte’s and the Jane Austen’s and now dipping my toe into some Shakespeare I am trying to improve my knowledge(?).  I can’t say I’m ever going to be very good at maths, history or geography or perhaps the things that are more useful in life, but hey – every little helps, right?

On the build up to the most recent election I did study the manifestos to get a basic understanding of who I wanted to vote for rather than just going with the majority or voting for whoever my boyfriend voted for (I actually went against most people’s preference in the end!). These things weren’t encouraged when I was growing up (mainly because my mother isn’t intelligent either and has no understanding of politics at all) and so I hadn’t even voted until 2015. I did however thoroughly enjoy sitting at my mother’s house a few months back reeling off all my new knowledge where I felt smug and as though I was passively saying to her “Haha, I know things and you don’t!”. I know, I am very mature. I have to get my kicks where I can as far as she is concerned.

My mother is a chameleon and tries to fake interest in everything and anything. Whatever people are currently discussing. For example during the world cup she became a sudden fan of football and she basically copies whatever she’s heard other people say and tries to make out she is knowledgeable on the subject and it is rather cringe worthy.  Anyway, less about her, how did she make it here? Go away mother.

 

Sense of Self

I think what I am doing is trying to find a sense of who I am. The real me and not the person that I thought I was, or the person I was told I was. It is quite exciting really. I feel like the world is suddenly offering lots of things which I could have a go at, get involved in.. try….I’ve not felt that before.  I even tried badminton recently on holiday and assumed I would be terrible at it but I was actually okay! Not great, but not bad either and more importantly I guess, I enjoyed it. I’ve never been one to try things for fear of failure I guess.

I’ve just been sitting on Amazon (not literally) and found a “Listography”. Google it, there are loads of different types and as the name suggests, you make lists about whatever subject it is.  There are listography’s for music, films, books etc. I’ve just ordered one called “My Inner Self In Lists” – what better way to get to know myself and watch the transformation as it happens?

listography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revelation?

It’s Sunday afternoon. 4.11pm as I start to type this and I feel good. I feel good because I saw my mother last night and have got that out of the way. I survived it. I came home this morning feeling sick (which seems to be happening a lot at the moment when I am in touch with my feelings about her or/and my Dad). But my wonderful boyfriend gave me a hug, we had a huge chat and I cried a little and now I feel good.

My boyfriend said some amazing things and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I might just be believing some of the things he said.

We spoke about my Dad. I have written a lot about him recently and the whole holiday situation so I won’t go over it again here.  My mother brought him up last night as expected (she hates him, he hates her – it’s been 28 years, get over it). Anyway, I got sucked into talking about him which I shouldn’t have done because I had been drinking and it’s a very sore subject for me and because, and I hate to say it, for some reason I still fall into the trap of telling her what she wants to hear about him – which is that he’s still being shit.

She loves to hear he is still being shit despite the impact that obviously has on me and I fell for it and launched into a speech about the holiday, about my brother’s texts Friday night, about how he signed my birthday card with his name instead of Dad. Obviously she loved all of this because, I guess, it makes her feel less threatened and makes her feel less of a shitty mother (if only she knew).

But then she said “I don’t understand why you are still upset by this? Why do you still care? Aren’t you used to it by now? When are you going to get over it? I don’t know why you allow it to bother you? Why don’t you just stop begging for his love?”

OUCHHHH.

Ouch because it’s true, isn’t it?

Why aren’t I “over it” yet? I’ve had my entire life of being dissapointed, let down and rejected by him. He’s been vacant for huge amounts of it… he has never changed despite many promises to try… why does it still hurt me so much?

I told her that I didn’t know why but that I can’t help the way I feel. That if I could stop feeling like this then I would, but that I can’t.  She went on to say that he is only my father in terms of biology and that she doesn’t understand why I feel it so important to be loved by him just because his title is Dad.  She said she doesn’t get it and said how she told her Dad to f.off when she was my age and has never thought about him since.  [Obviously I have a VERY different idea about that – her lack of caring about her dad could very easily have contributed to her extreme narcissism, but she’s too defended against her feelings to feel that]. And because she is narcissistic, she wants me to have the same life experiences as her, not better and so me having a decent dad or me having a decent relationship with him is NOT what she wants for me. Oh so lovely.

Back to today, my boyfriend mentioned this and said she is wrong. That of course it still hurts and that he understands that completely. I told him that when my mother said that if I hadn’t contacted my dad 2 years ago (after 3 years of no contact) that we still wouldn’t be talking… I said that really hurt me because it was true. I knew it was and I HATED that fact.

My boyfriend said that I didn’t actually know for a fact that was true. I said I did. I said that I had asked my Dad at the time whether he had intended to contact me, whether he would have done at some stage and he didn’t literally say no, but he meant no. He said he would have left me to it.. so that’s pretty much evidence isn’t it?

He said that it truly is my Dad’s issue and that it isn’t a fault in me. Cue me breaking down in tears because I truly believe it is me that is the problem. My poor boyfriend must have the patience of a saint because we’ve had this conversation soooooooooo many times. But then my boyfriend said this…

“Okay, give me 2 examples of why you are such a bad person your Dad doesn’t want to love you?”

And I froze. I thought and thought and I thought to myself for the very first time ever “I’m a decent human. I am a NICE person. I truly am”. I thought about different character flaws that I have, I don’t think for a second I’m anywhere near perfect, but even they didn’t seem to be applicable in this situation because we all have flaws and besides, my dad wouldn’t even know those flaws because he doesn’t know me enough!!! I did offer one suggestion:

“I remind him of my mother” but my boyfriend said, quite rightly “is that your fault that you remind HIM of someone?” and no, of course it isn’t.

Bloody Nora. In the words of Jamie Lawson… I wasn’t expecting that.

My boyfriend was laughing at the fact that for the first time in my entire life, I really believed this. I AM a nice girl. I DO deserve to be loved and treated well. That I genuinely do not “make” my father unable to love me. That it ISN’T my fault. It isn’t about me.

Jesus… it isn’t about me. Wow.  This dude should be a therapist LOL.

I’ve replayed this conversation over and over in my head since he said it this morning. He is so right isn’t he?

We then spoke about this fantasy I have of him being a great dad to his 3 boys and my boyfriend said:

“What makes you think he is such a great Dad to the boys? Does he take them out? Does he go to football matches with them? Do they go down the pub for beers? Do they go out on Sundays together?”

You may have guessed that the answer to all of those things is No.  He asked me what it was that he does that made him such a great dad in my head.  I said

He’s there.

And my boyfriend said he is there yes, because he lives there – and so do they…. it isn’t that they’ve all moved out and he is regularly contacting them, popping to their houses or having dinner with them on Sundays. They share a house so they just happen to be together.  He also told me that my fantasy of them all chilling together every evening watching tele probably wasn’t accurate either. He pointed out that the boys are all in their early twenties and have girlfriends so probably weren’t at home much! And as I write this, I am thinking that they hadn’t been on a family holiday in 14 years before this one and that says a lot, doesn’t it? I’m sure they could have done if they had wanted family time enough, even camping if finances were tight. This holiday happened because my brothers suggested it and probably pushed my dad into booking it.

I said he was right. Of course he was/is. I’ve distorted it all so much in my head all of these years. It has always been me that made him a shit dad to me. This was backed up and evidenced by the fact he was such a wonderful dad to the boys when the truth is, he probably isn’t! My boyfriend said when the boys all move out, it will probably be them or their mother doing the contact and he is probably right. Admittedly there is still a voice in my head that is thinking “nah, he will be great” but even I can see that the history speaks for itself, how likely is it that he will be great at keeping in contact with them when he’s allowed literally years to pass between us?

I cried again after this conversation. I think out of relief? Some strange feeling of ease has been in me since this. I wish this was something I had felt all of my life. It could have saved me from so many sleepless nights, so many tears and so much pain!

I also cried a few tears about how if I had a decent mother she might have been able to have helped me internalise a solid sense of self, some self-esteem and she might have been able to make me feel lovable growing up (like my boyfriend makes me feel now as an adult). It strikes me as very sad that she didn’t do those things for me (whatever her reasons) and that I’ve never felt this way before and I did cry a bit for myself in that I will admit.

My boyfriend asked me how old my inner child was right now. I told him she was 6. She’s always 6 (just as my 25 year old teddy has always been 2! LOL).  He asked me what I would say to her if she were here in the room with us and I said I didn’t know and so he started to talk “to her” which I literally cannot handle so told him to stop. But he said that he would tell her she was amazing. That she was not only what he wanted in a girlfriend, but in any person in his life. That he loved me and that I was a fantastic, kind, loving person and that no decent Dad would have missed the chance to parent me. (More tears!!!).

I then said to him that I had got choked up during Cars 3 at the cinema yesterday because someone said “the best thing in his life wasn’t racing… it was you.  He saw things in you that you don’t even see yourself” and my inner child cried a little at how she has never had even one parent think that way about her. To be the best thing in a parent’s life. To be the apple of someone’s eye. That someone had so much faith in you, they “saw things” that you didn’t… wahhh.

I don’t mean to sound like I am feeling sorry for myself from every angle here, but the true force of all this shit is suddenly very obvious. The mum and dad wounds are very prominent right now and I am not going to repress it any longer. This shit has to come out.

Could today have been a breakthrough moment? I hope so. I hope it doesn’t fade into the background and get overtaken by my critical inner voice.  We will see.

Sudden Bad Mood

I wrote this yesterday but didn’t have time to type it up, for the sake of keeping track of my feelings and my journey to heal in general, I am posting it now and will then post today’s entry, which follows on from this. 

 

Saturday 16th July 

I’d like to curl up on the sofa and write with a blanket and a cup of tea but the kids are here and naturally noisy and nosy and so I can’t do that. So consider yourself being “spoken to” from the loo! Don’t worry, no toileting is going on, but it’s the only room with a lock!

I am writing because I’m trying to catch my mood. Very quickly I’ve gone from relaxed and happy to moody. The change was so fast and I want to see if I can figure out what has happened.

As I came out of the shower my boyfriend said “I know you hate it when I ask this, but how long will you be?” Aggh. I DO hate that. Like ffs, it’s literally my only little bit of peace of the weekend so maybe that is a tiny bit of it, but no, it isn’t that…

I went to my room to get dressed and chucked on a pair of jeans. I then hunted for a top. I found one and put it on, it reminded me of mother’s day. I wore it that day when I saw her. I’m seeing her tonight. Would she approve of that top? She said she liked it that day (which amused me because she actually gave me that top years ago and had forgotten so effectively she approved of herself!) LOL.

I decided it was too creased and then went a found a different top, a pink one. I went and ironed that (I know right??) and as I ironed it I realised it was the top I had brought to wear the day we went on holiday. The same location my dad and his family have just returned from yesterday. The holiday I wasn’t able to go on because of him saying they were no longer going and telling me to book my own… and then booking it. AGH.

I laughed in my head that I’d reminded myself of this all from a top. Perhaps I had chosen it because of this. I’m not too sure.

And now I’m in the loo in a mood… I guess there is a few reasons there.

Last night one of my brother’s text me, quite late saying “Hi sis, what are you up to this weekend?“.  I wasn’t particularly pleased that he had text me because I was hoping to delay the “how great was your family holiday” chat that I inevitably had to suffer…. so now I was forced into it.  So I asked as I had to and he said how amazing it was and listed out everything they all did…. (the photos all over social media helped this too).  He then said maybe next year we could all go together. …..

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGGGHHHHH ANGER, ANGER, ANGER, RAGE………..

BREATHE… BREATHE… BREATHEEEEEEE 

Yep, that would be good. I was gutted that i couldn’t come this time. I felt left behind :o(

Well we did offer

MORE ANGER, MORE ANGER, MORE ANGER…………………… AGGHHHHHHHHHH. BREATHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. 

Well Dad said you wasn’t going anymore when I asked whether we should hold off, or book a holiday for ourselves, so we booked our’s and then you all booked”.

Yeah, it took us a while to get dates for everyone sorted”

Anyway, never mind. I’m glad you had fun” 

SO ANGRY.

Angry that it’s coming from him and not my dad. Angry that my dad still hasn’t acknowledged anything at all – that he hasn’t mentioned the holiday stuff AT ALL.  Wondering why brother felt the need to text me the same day they’ve got back (when he doesn’t ever text me).  Angry because I always feel like the bad guy. The “troublemaker” the one that kicks off all the time if I feel rejected or left out – which happens A LOT. It is always ME with the problem – not them.

Their a close unit and I imagine they all chat about me, about how they offered for me to come but that I didn’t want to (not true) and so what right did I have to feel left out….  I am always the fucking ugly ducking. The black swan. It was the same last month when they all went out for my brother’s birthday meal and didn’t invite me. Again.

I know I’m jealous. I get that. I know it’s my dad’s issue and that it’s never been any different – that perhaps I should be used to it or over it. But nope. Apparently it still hurts despite this and all the ways I try not to let it get to me, it still does.

***

I’m going to my mum’s tonight – that won’t be helping matters. I’ll be worried (consciously or not) about how I look. Fat? Bad clothes? Bad hair? Ugly? I’ll be worried about seeing “that face”, the look she pulls of “god this is boring”… hearing/seeing her fake laugh, of hearing her say “how’s work?” to my boyfriend who she “secretly” hates and thinks we don’t know……..

I worry about conversation drying up – of having nothing to say….

Then there’s the whole debacle of staying over or not. If we stay then nine out of ten times I get left alone with her because my boyfriend and her husband take themselves off to bed earlier. This is when she decides to tell me stuff that she shouldn’t. Stuff like the fact she hasn’t had sex with her husband for weeks and how he wants it a lot and she doesn’t anymore… that she is having an affair… or it’s where she tries to pick holes in my life, attack my boyfriend and ask why I am not pregnant or engaged yet.

If we don’t stay, my boyfriend calls the shots because he hates being there and he will want to leave before I do and I feel like I have no control over anything…

It’s all wank. (sorry).

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not Fair

Today is a bad day
Today is a bad day. I knew this at 6.20am the second my alarm went off but it’s now 11am and I still feel the same. I have made it to work though which is an improvement, although I haven’t bothered to do my hair so I look pretty crap. I just don’t care enough, I don’t have the energy.

I posted yesterday about the photos of my mother and sister and how they had angered me. I still feel so pissed off about them which feels a bit drawn out really, I just can’t shake it off. On top of that today my Dad, stepmum, 3 brothers and their girlfriends have all gone on a family holiday –without me and I feel excluded. I’m not sure which one of these are causing me the most pain, but the two things together have really got under my skin.

The child part of me feels like screaming “THIS ISN’T FAIIIIRRRRRR!!!!”. No it isn’t bloody fair. Having one bad parent would be crap enough, but having two just seems like punishment. What did I do to deserve this?

How can they both be so thoroughly shit? How is that even possible? In such different ways too.

There they are both enjoying their lives, care-free. Happy. Meanwhile I’m struggling through all the stuff therapy throws up, constantly battling my way through it all. Feeling the pain of it. It is bloody hard work and it’s because of them. How is that fair?

“Dad”
My Dad signed my birthday card last month with his name (instead of Dad)…. Says a lot really doesn’t it. He didn’t even notice! It isn’t like he accidentally wrote his name and then crossed it out, he sealed the card and gave it to me without noticing. I know people make mistakes, but that felt symbolic of everything. Perhaps that makes me oversensitive but I don’t care. It’s how I feel.  He had written how glad he was that we are “back in each other’s lives” and that makes it feel like just words because surely if he meant those words, he would have his Dad head on, and sign the fucking card with Dad and not his name. Just to make matters worse, it was also Father’s Day and I had just given him a card with Dad on. Arsehole.

“Mother”
My mother blames my boyfriend for how I’ve “changed”. She tells all and sundry that my boyfriend is controlling and manipulative (which is a projection of the things she is). She feels sorry for herself and tells everyone how much she loves and misses me which seriously is a giant head-fuck because she’s never loved or missed me my entire life and although I understand intellectually that she doesn’t love or miss me really, not in the usual sense that a mother would love her child, she just misses her ability to control me – it makes me feel jealous. Left out. Excluded. Even though I don’t want to be close to her or enmeshed with her (obviously).  I just can’t shake that feeling of being constantly rejected, never good enough. I know deep down that it isn’t me, I know that.. but that is the adult bit and this is the child bit and the child is standing there saying “What is wrong with me? Why don’t you love me?!” and how sad is that? Nobody should ever make a child feel like that. Nobody. Ever. I don’t know how to make it better for her.

She just wants me to be dependent on her so she can then take the piss out of me, she loves it when things go badly for me. Seriously, it would make my mother’s YEAR if I were to go round there upset and tell her I was arguing with my boyfriend or that we were breaking up or something – she can’t even hide her excitement. What kind of mother gets happiness from her daughter’s unhappiness? How sick is that?

Sister
On top of that, my sister (who is 22) has struggled on and off throughout her life with depression and she goes through phases where she can’t stop crying and she feels desperate and says things like she doesn’t want to wake up in the mornings. Every time she comes to me and me and my boyfriend try to help her, we are there for her and I’ve spent years trying my hardest to convince her to start therapy but she doesn’t want to and it is infuriating because she just circles round and around in these depressive phases. 2 weeks ago whilst she was abroad with her boyfriend I received texts from my mother who said she was worried sick and crying because my sister had text her saying she felt depressed and was now not responding to her texts or answering the phone. For 2 hours I sat up worried, trying to contact my sister just for her to reply to us all hours later saying she lost signal.. I was furious.  Every time she gets this depression it seems to be triggered by my mother.  My mother will randomly turn on her and they will start to fight. My mother will throw my sister back into it – it’s so clear for me to see and yet she continues to refuse getting counselling, she continues to turn to my mother who is completely incapable of sympathising or anything remotely like that – she makes her worse and worse until she comes to me and I pick up the pieces just like I have done since she was a kid because I was the one who brought her up whilst my mother was off with blokes or getting drunk in clubs. And then I see their fucking selfies together at the festival… are you kidding me????

There is a hugely dysfunctional situation with the 3 of us (my mum, sister and me) in that someone always has to be the bad guy. My mother has taught us this dynamic since we were kids and now that I can see it and understand it, it makes me sick. It’s the whole golden child/scapegoat thing. Enmeshment. Jealousy making and it pains me to say it, but it works. It keeps someone constantly fighting for her affection. I am fighting it, but look – its pissed me off so it is still partly successful. Bitch.  Those two partying together makes me the “bad guy” and that shouldn’t phase me I know. But deep down it does or at least it does today.

I do feel sorry for my sister behind this anger. I get it, I’ve been there. She is just desperate for my mother’s love and affection and approval like I have always been – so I truly have no right to feel this annoyed but now I am in therapy and understand these things a little more, I want to shake her and make her see sense… but I can’t. Perhaps the anger is at myself and not her. Maybe it is both. I don’t know.

I’m The Bad Guy
Everyone in my family now think I’m the bad guy (because my poor mother misses me so much) and I know I shouldn’t care – I know that… BUT it’s so hard not to. It is so unjust. I have spent my entire life under her spell, feeling less than, feeling shit and now I am trying to heal and that feels shit too.  I just live in hope that every day and every tear is a little bit closer to feeling a little bit less shit. To finally feeling genuine happiness and ease and some days, most days even, I can do that. I can keep on keeping on.. but today, today I feel like screaming until my lungs burst. I shouldn’t even have to do this once yet alone twice. How is it fair that you have to experience all this childhood pain and trauma and then you have to relive it all in therapy to get over it – torturous. Truly it is torturous.

I am so angry and I am so hurt and I feel like the power of it all is so monumentally huge today. I feel like if I let it come properly, I would fall to the ground sobbing. But I can’t, I’m at work and having to be an adult and that is something I am so fed up of doing. I have been acting like an adult since I was a child and today I feel the anger about that too. Now I feel like I want to fix that, and obviously I can’t.

Therapy Break
At the back of my mind I know I only have 2 sessions this week before T goes on holiday. One is tomorrow so it’s coming quickly. I am dreading it. Admittedly it might be fine, I never know how I am going to feel until the time comes because one day I feel fine and the next like this… but regardless, it’s there in my head. Another thing that “isn’t fair”. None of it is fair. None of it.

“Normal” Family
I spent the weekend with my boyfriend’s kids and then his mum and dad all day yesterday who are all so normal. There is no dysfunction and I’m not saying they are perfect, of course no family is, but you know what I mean. Normal. I enjoy time with them all of course, I try to get from them the things I didn’t/don’t have but I think that by the time I got home last night I just felt like I’d had enough of having that rubbed in my face. They are wonderful but they are not mine. I had a lovely time, until I got home and had to face my reality again. Does that make sense?

WTF
My mother is sitting on my 65-year-old stepdad’s shoulders at a fucking festival pissed off her face as usual, smiling for selfies with my sister and my dad and his “family” are on their way to their holiday whilst my brother’s uploading photos of them all with the slogan “#MYFAMILYAREEVERYTHINGTOME #LOVETHEMALL” and I am at work, feeling the unfairness of it all and trying to stay adult enough to function and not lose my shit.

Seriously what the actual fuck is wrong with them? Why did I get so unlucky???

When will this stop? When will life stop feeling like this? I’m exhausted.

Winnicott: Fear of Breakdown

Have you ever read about Winnicott’s fear of breakdown? If you haven’t, I highly recommend that you Google it and have a read. I just found a paper written by Claire Winnicott (psychoanalyst and wife of Donald Winnicott called, “Fear of breakdown: A clinical example” and I found it utterly fascinating and extremely comforting.

Below I have picked out a few of the most relevant quotes for me personally within that paper and I think that some of my fellow bloggers may find this as interesting as I have.

According to D. Winnicott, the fear of breakdown is described as “a previous early breakdown occurred at a time when the ego cannot organize against environmental failure, when dependence is a living fact. At the dependence stage environmental failure disrupts the ego defence organization and exposes the individual again to the primitive anxieties which he had, with the help of the facilitating environment, organised himself to deal with. This leads to an unthinkable state of affairs”.

 

Clare Winnicott says in her paper “In fact the word anxieties is not a strong enough word, and Winnicott lists what he calls the primitive agonies against which new defences must be constructed. This early trauma will continue to be a threat until and unless the patient is able to experience the original event now with the help of the ego supporting analyst (mother)”.  Winnicott concludes “there is no end [to the analysis] unless the bottom of the trough has been reached, unless the thing feared has been experienced”.

Clare Winnicott discusses one of her patient’s story which, in my opinion, is well worth the read. In that story she talks about the patient working through her “negative feelings with regard to dependence” – something that I struggle with in my therapy and something that I know fellow bloggers also struggle with.  I am hoping this may normalise it for you as it has for me.  She also talks about the “broken-down child” and how that part of her patient was “split off and defended against”.  Claire Winnicott says “In other words, she developed a successful false-self to deal with the situation”.  This is one of the “primitive agonies” that Winnicott described in his theory.  My thoughts as I read this section were that this explains why my T used to press me to not only consider the “self-sufficient adult” and to think about the non-logical, non-rational parts of me.  When she used to ask me where my feelings were. My false-self was certainly centre-stage.

She explains that her patient began to see her as “a mother therapist who could feed her” albeit via the power of a dream. Claire suggested to the patient that the patient saw her as having “special powers”.  I know this is something that I can relate to. My T has been placed on a pedestal and I certainly view her as being some sort of “golden healer”.  Irrationally thinking that if only I could get more access to her, that I would be healed when deep down I know that is untrue. At least it appears to be a normal part of the process.

The example discusses the patient’s use of a transitional object which is something that a lot of us going through trauma therapy have spoken about before. Another reassuring thing to read.

The patient later has a dream where she literally picks up her child self. Clare Winnicott suggested that this represented the fact that the patient “felt strong enough with my help to go back and pick up and carry that distressed child part of herself from which she had been cut off for so long. I also said it seemed that the child was now no longer frozen, but was ready to move and come alive and to be part of her grown up self”.   This was of particular interest to me at the moment because I was telling T on Tuesday that all of a sudden the “voice” of my inner child is clear, that suddenly it is very obvious that I have an adult voice and a child voice and that although they are in constant conflict, it is very much there and it didn’t used to be.  Reading this has reassured me that perhaps this is a sign I am getting stronger and am more able to “move and come alive” as Clare describes about her patient.

 

In summary of her patient Claire says “as the transference became established the patient was able to reveal to the analyst in a concrete way the nature of the early trauma which had caused the original breakdown at a time when the patient’s immature ego was not strong enough to encompass the experience. The traumatized child part of herself therefore became split off and defended against. The work of the analysis has been concerned with the gradual experiencing for the first time, with the support of the analyst, the pain and terror of the early breakdown. Over a period of years this has led to the re-discovery and reintegration of the lost child in to the patient’s present ego organization”.

 

Perhaps this may offer some explanation to anyone who is feeling frustration and anger at not being able to cry in therapy yet? Maybe the tears only follow once the psyche starts to acknowledge that lost child and lets it speak out. Some lost children will take longer than others to come out of hiding due to their own personal trauma. For me, this took over 2 years. I guess it depends on quite how long and how strong that defence was, how strong the “false-self” has become and how safe it feels now. I relate this to all of us who have longings that we are too scared to act on: I hope that we learn to push past each of our uncomfortable limits a little bit more each time our therapists respond in a caring, understanding, attuned and non-punishing or judgmental way.

The therapeutic journey seems to be more clear-cut to me having read these papers. Obviously as with any theory you will have your own opinion on it, but for me this is encouraging. It has helped to explain away and normalise the fears I have with dependency, the depth and strength of the feelings of grief and sadness (the primitive agonies), the need for a strong mother like attachment with my therapist, the use of transitional objects, the need to “hear” the child within, or the “lost child” as it is described here.  It explains that gradually over a period of potentially more years, I will re-experience the initial breakdown in small more manageable chunks and that is how I will heal.  I have even read that “This fear is characterized by feelings of falling forever” and that sums up very well the feelings I get when I am in what I call an emotional flashback, where I am triggered and regressed. Those times I have written about where I feel utterly desperate and unable to function as an adult, unable to go to work and just want to stay in bed and hide from life.

I hope this helps others the way it has helped me.