Tag Archives: dissociative identity disorder

Trapped

I think it’s the feeling trapped that’s worst for me.  Feeling like I can’t get out and I can’t say no.

My NP was not insensitive or ruthless.  I think my post yesterday made her sound that way, and she wasn’t.  It just felt that way to me, and my feelings do not always reflect reality.  In reality, she was kind and understanding.  I know she recognized that the discussion about an exam triggered me.  I mean, we went from joking about Star Trek and debating the merits of particular knitting patterns (seamless sweater patterns FTW) at the beginning of the appointment to me staring at the floor and giving one or two word answers.  She knows I have a history of sexual abuse, although she doesn’t know the severity.  (She may have guessed from the severity of my reactions that it was pretty bad, but we haven’t discussed any details.)

She tried to make me more comfortable with it.  She said she wouldn’t do an internal exam because she knew I couldn’t do that (yet).  She said I could bring someone with me, and they could stay with me but not see anything.  (I didn’t tell her I’m so pathetic I don’t have anyone to bring.)  She said some people take Valium or Ativan right before the appointment.  She even said that if I couldn’t do an exam, we could just talk about how things were going with the Nexplanon.  She said it was my choice.

But for me, it never feels like what happens to my body is my choice.  I lose the ability to say no to people in positions of power and authority.  It feels like they’re going to do whatever they want to me anyway, so it’s better to agree to it.  Then they don’t get mad, so they don’t hurt you as bad.  So I say yes and okay when what I mean is I’m so scared you’re going to hurt me, and I really need you to be kind and gentle with me, and I need you to make me feel safe.  Since I can’t say what I really need to say, it never feels safe.  It never feels like my choice.  No choice, no voice.

I felt trapped in that exam room yesterday.  I guess I could’ve said, “I’m sorry, I just can’t deal with this right now.  I need to go.”  Or I could’ve said, “I’m feeling really overwhelmed, and I’m starting to dissociate.”  Or I could’ve said, “I’m trying to work with you, but I need you to slow down even more with me.”  Someone could’ve said those things, but I don’t think I could’ve.  It was taking everything I had not to go into a total dissociative shutdown.  My vision kept going blank, and I kept blinking over and over to bring it back.  My ears were ringing.  I couldn’t be articulate; one or two words or a nod was all I could get out.  And then she wanted me to look at her when I said I’d come back in three months, and I don’t think she understood why I couldn’t make eye contact.

People who don’t live with the extreme shame can never quite understand it.  It doesn’t make sense to them.  They don’t understand the intensity and persistence of the shame of someone else abusing me, even once I’ve accepted and come to believe that it wasn’t my fault.  Then there’s the shame of having a body, which is impossible to explain since everyone has one, and I don’t find other people’s bodies shameful.  The shame of not having anyone close or trusted enough to bring with me for an appointment.  I couldn’t explain my shame that instead of being my normally intelligent, articulate, adult self, I couldn’t help shutting down and turning into a terrified, barely-verbal child.  None of that makes sense to normal people.

I was trapped.  In my reality, I couldn’t leave or say no.  I couldn’t even communicate the depth of my distress, so I was completely alone with it.  And now I’m alone with the aftermath.  The acute trigger has subsided, but I’m still feeling raw and vulnerable.  Body memories, phantom touches, intrusive thoughts and memories, severe anxiety about an appointment that’s not for three months.  A feeling that I was violated, even though I know I wasn’t.  And the incredible shame crushing my chest.

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I’m Still Here

For now, at least.  I’m just tired of talking.  It doesn’t seem to get me anywhere; it just leaves me feeling more alone and hopeless.

Everyone wants to tell me I should live, and honestly, I just can’t take hearing it anymore.  That probably makes me an asshole, but I guess that doesn’t really matter anymore.  Maybe you’re seeing who I really am now, when I can’t keep up appearances anymore.  Maybe you’ll hate me.  Maybe it’ll make you understand why I can’t live.

I’m tired of people trying to fix me and solve my problems.  I’m pretty damn smart, okay?  And I’m pretty damn resourceful.  If there were resources to be found, solutions to be invented, I would’ve figured them out already.  I’m tired of being polite when people suggest the same things over and over.  Yes, I’m on disability and food stamps and Medicare and Medicaid, I’ve applied for energy assistance, I’m on the waiting list for housing, I’ve been to the food banks, I’ve tried the buses, I can’t afford paratransit.  I’ve tried forums and self-help books and support groups and CBT and DBT and EMDR and psychoanalysis and ECT and the Department of Mental Health and Community-Based Flexible Support.  I’ve been to respite, the ER, more psych units than I can count, two trauma units.  I’ve gone to church and prayed and mediated and done yoga and changed my diet.  I’ve been on antidepressants, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, stimulants, and anti-psychotics.  I’ve taken 5-ASA’s and steroids and chemo and immunosuppressants and biologics.  I’ve consulted psychiatrists and chiropractors and reiki masters and neurosurgeons and physical therapists and acupuncturists and gastroenterologists.

Nothing helps enough to make my life survivable.

You can’t fix me because I’m too many problems to solve.  It’s depression and complex PTSD and DID.  It’s ulcerative colitis and hearing loss and brain surgery and mobility impairment.  It’s disability and isolation and poverty.

And you can’t solve just one because they’re just a big knotted mess.  You can’t untangle one thread from another; they’re all felted together now, and there’s no extricating them.  And nobody can fix the whole big mess.  Not even me.  I did everything I was supposed to do.  I tried so hard for so long, and things just get worse.  Now, I just can’t try anymore.

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Dis-integrated

C wants me to have a sit-down with my landlady and my roommate.  It makes perfect sense, except…well, I don’t know if I can.

I’m in PTSD hell, and I just can’t deal with anything else right now.  It’s too many triggers all at once–the bar thing last weekend and now this bullshit drama.  And I have nowhere to turn, no way to process any of it.

I know that if we have a meeting, one of two things will happen.  Possibility one: I will switch to a terrified child part who will just apologize and try to make nice or will freeze and shut down because she can’t handle conflict–it’ll all be about avoiding the abuse that comes with conflict.  (I know, the two aren’t always linked, but in this case, roommate has actually been verbally aggressive, even though it was indirect, so this fear is not invalid.)  The other possibility is that I’ll switch to the angry teenage part who will just want to verbally annihilate the roommate and is very well capable of it.  That would be the part who posted the gif post yesterday–the one who’s just like, “Bitch plz.  I am stronger and smarter and a whole lot goddamn scarier than you are, and if you wanna know what a REAL threat looks like, I’ll fucking show you.”

I know that, at this point, given my levels of stress, panic, and dissociation, I won’t be able to stay me without switching.  C asked me today which part of me could deal with the situation, and the truth is there’s nobody.  We’re triggered in different ways and by different aspects of the situation, but we’re all triggered.  That seems to be the way it usually works in my system–the boundaries between us are not rigid, so the responses to situations blur together too.  What affects one of us almost always affects all of us.

It’s times like these that I really need a therapist.  I need someone who can help me sort out the triggers and get all of us more grounded in the present.  I need to be able to integrate the child parts’ desire to be nice and not hurt roommate with the teenage part’s “I’m above this and you can’t hurt me with your stupid drama” sense of self-assurance.  I know they’re parts of me, and I can see them and feel their feelings, but I can’t integrate them into me, and I can’t manage to stay present when I even hear or think about the roommate, so I know I won’t be able to if we sit down face to face.

I know what I need to be able to do to manage this meeting, but I have no idea how to get there.  It feels really hopeless and terrifying right now.

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Triggers

Sorry I’ve been absent.  I have been/still am really triggered, and I haven’t been able to read–blogs or anything else longer than a few sentences.  Still really struggling and not sure I’ll be able to write coherently.

See, Thursday we went to Boston for a post-election party.  I thought it was just going to be the party, an overnight at someone’s place in Boston, and then home.  Instead it turned into bar-hopping with the campaign staff.  If you’re thinking that sounds like fun, you’re wrong.  See, alcohol is a trigger for me because my father was often drunk when he abused me.  Between the UC and the meds, I can’t drink.  Well, everybody else is getting fucking wasted, and they just leave me sitting in a corner by myself for hours, not even talking to me.  I told my RFD that I’m not physically capable of running all around Boston, and it was raining to boot.  Usually he’s really considerate about my limitations, but that night, he really didn’t seem to give a shit.  Maybe it was the alcohol, or maybe it was just that it was his last night with the rest of the campaign staff.  Whatever it was, he basically treated me like I didn’t matter–I got dragged to four different bars, and predictably, I eventually fell on a slick sidewalk at 1:30 in the morning and couldn’t get up for several minutes.  Oh, and for most of the time we were bar-hopping, our 20-year-old intern was just left sitting in his car because she couldn’t get into the bars.  I wanted to go sit with her instead, but my RFD made me stay because his phone was dead, and he needed my GPS to find our way back to where the car was parked.

In the second bar, while I was sitting alone in the corner, the only sober person, this drunk businessman in a nice suit comes over and starts hitting on me.  Then he grabbed my breast, and I just froze.  I just sat there and let him.  I have extensive martial arts experience, and even though I’m not physically capable of as much as I used to be, I could’ve gotten away from him.  If nothing else, I could’ve hit him with my cane.  But I didn’t do any of that.  I didn’t say no, I didn’t say stop.  I just sat there and let him do it.

Now I really hate myself.  It’s just like with my father.  I mean, okay, when I was a kid, there wasn’t really anything I could do about it.  Even as I got a little older, he had me believing that he’d kill me if I fought or if I told anyone, and I didn’t have the reasoning skills to realize he wouldn’t have gotten away with that–he’s really just not smart enough.  So back then, I had an excuse.  But I let it go on when I was old enough that I knew he wouldn’t kill me and I really could’ve stopped him.  I mean, I was 19 the last time he raped me.  There’s no excuse for that.  I just let him.  If I’d fought or said no, he probably would’ve stopped, but I never did.  So that’s on me.

Now I just want to tear myself to shreds.  I want to cut my breasts off–I never wanted them anyway, and if I did that, no one would want to touch me.  I’m also really struggling with sexual self-harm urges.  It’s something I used to do but haven’t in a long time.  But I can’t stop the flashbacks and the body memories, and it would put me back in control.  I know how fucked-up that is, but sometimes it’s the only thing that works.  If I do something worse that any of them ever did to me, then what they did can’t hurt me anymore.

And on top of everything else, my roommate is being horrible.  I came home to a gross apartment–mold in my microwave, a half-empty beer on the kitchen counter, an unflushed toilet, and sopping wet washcloths and a giant hairball in the bathtub.  I just pulled the washcloths and hairball out of the tub and dumped them on the bathroom floor, and this morning, she pitched a hissy fit over it, stomping around and slamming doors and shit.  (Another big trigger, on top of all the other triggers.)  I’m sorry, but you’re fucking 29 years old, and I’m not your goddamned maid.  I pay rent too.  I don’t mind messiness–books and papers and stuff sitting around is not a big deal, but I don’t want fucking mildew growing in my bathroom or mold growing in my kitchen.  In general, I don’t want things growing in my living space.  (Although right now growing some pot for myself sounds pretty ideal.)  How fucking hard is it to dump out the rest of your beer or to hang up your fucking washcloths?  But EVERY FUCKING DAY when I go to take a shower, there they are.  I don’t leave my shit for you to clean up, and you have the goddamn nerve to pitch a fit when I move your messes somewhere obvious as a reminder that maybe you should, you know, be a fucking adult and clean them the fuck up?  Bitch, get on the NOPE train to Fuckthatville.

My landlady is away for the weekend, but I’m thinking about talking to her about this when she gets back.  I’m hesitant to do that on the one hand, because I feel like we’re both adults and should handle our own problems.  But on the other hand, I’m so triggered by her screaming and slamming doors and stomping around that I literally CAN’T deal with it like an adult because I dissociate and switch, either to a terrified child or a really aggressive teenager (hence all the swearing in the last few paragraphs), neither of which is good for dealing with a tense situation.  Plus, if I do want to kick her out, I’m going to have to go through my landlady because Roommate is on the lease now.  I’m not even sure I legally CAN kick her out.  I just know I can’t deal with much more of this.  I’ve been taking photos of the grossness when it happens as documentation, but I’m not sure what the laws are.  I just know I can’t live like this.  I spend a lot of my time afraid to come out of my room when she’s home because I will snap if she starts yelling or bitching at me.  I just have so much other shit to deal with that I really cannot deal with hers on top of everything else.

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Hat tip to Schrodinger

Right now–not sure if I exist…or not.  Real or not?

Can anyone even see me?  Hear me?  I think I have spoken, I think I have been heard, but then…nothing.  Silence, absence, vacuum.   If the phone doesn’t ring, it’s me.  There’s a face in the mirror but it doesn’t look real.  Inexplicable–of course it is real, but no, it’s not, or the person behind it isn’t real, I don’t know.

You’re not making any sense.

There are so many names but none of them are mine.  None of them fit.  The voices too.  And there’s no air in my lungs.  I keep breathing but it doesn’t help.

Do I exist?

You can’t ask that question because you can’t define your terms.  Define “I.”  All you know is what you are not, or what you think you are not.  Creating negative space around something doesn’t create matter in the positive space.  Now define “exist.”  You don’t know that either.

What I know is something is wrong and I need it to stop but I don’t know how to make it stop.  How can you stop something if you don’t even know if it’s real?

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I did a stupid thing

Saturday night, I overdosed.  And here it is Tuesday morning, and I’m still barely able to function.  I can’t spell basic words without a lot of thought, and I nearly pass out when I get up to go to the bathroom.

I’m not sure if I wanted to kill myself or not.  I was at least half-dissociated, so I don’t even know how many pills I took.  (Or, for that matter, which one[s] of us took them.)

I think I wanted either to die or to make someone notice that something is very very wrong.  But I ended up not accomplishing either of those things.  So I feel like a failure in every possible way.

I feel like I NEED someone to take care of me.  To hug me and tell me it’s all going to be okay, to listen when I’m freaking out, to take care of all the everyday things like bills and food that overwhelm me.  I want to go back to a residential program like Sheppard Pratt, but I can’t afford it.  I have maybe three weeks left of my lifetime inpatient days still left.  I can’t use those up now–what if I need them more later?  Besides, Sheppard Pratt always has a waiting list, and I need help now.

Everything about real life is just too overwhelming.  Most of it, at this point, comes down to money, and I feel greedy for saying that.  Money can’t buy happiness, but the lack of it sure can fuck you up.  If I had a car, my life would be so much easier.  I could get to appointments, to the grocery store.  Hell, I might even be able to have a little bit of a social life.  But even if someone gave me a car for free, I wouldn’t be able to pay for insurance, gas, maintenance.

And if I had more money, I could get more psychological support.  I wouldn’t be stuck with these useless people from DMH.  I would even be able to travel if I found one who’s good but not on public transit lines.

And I just wouldn’t have to worry all the time about everything.  Right now, all it would take for my whole life to blow up in my face is for one little thing to go wrong.  Just one thing, and I’ll be sleeping under a bridge in winter.  One little thing, and I won’t be able to pay for the meds that keep me alive.  This is the reality of my life.  More money wouldn’t cure the underlying emotional injuries, but it would make them a hell of a lot easier to deal with.

But that money, that help, that support–none of it is going to come.  How do I keep dealing with the utter hopelessness of that?  My compulsion is to berate myself, to tell myself, “You don’t need any of that.  You’re just a pathetic attention-whore who wants everybody to pay attention to her all the time.  You don’t deserve to have needs.”  And with that comes the impulse to starve myself again.  It would be so much easier, and it dulls all the feelings.  And it seems easier than staring at the black hole in the center of myself and knowing that no one will fill it.  I mean, when my own government tells me I don’t deserve enough money to be able to meet my basic needs, who am I to argue?

And on top of the money issues, there’s the chronic illness.  It’s never going to get better.  It will continue to control my life for as long as I’m alive.  I’ll have to keep taking toxic medications that make me almost as sick as the UC does, albeit in different ways.  I’ll always be in pain.  I’ll always be so weak I have to use a cane to walk and still can hardly manage even with it.  I’ll always have to control my diet so strictly I’ve given up on eating out.  I’ll never not be sick.  In fact, I’ll probably just get sicker.  There is no relief, no remission.

And this is where I’m stuck, all day, every day.  I’ve done all the things they’ve told me will make me better, and none of it is working anymore.  So I have to choose between living like this for another 60 years or killing myself.  I want to feel like there’s some reason to live, but right now the pain is so bad nothing matters except how to make it stop.

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There are a lot of posts going around lately about how to help/not help someone who is depressed or suicidal.  Some of them are good, and some of them make me wonder what the writer was smoking.  Anyway, this isn’t one of those posts.

This one is about me.  Maybe it’ll resonate with other people, and if so, cool.  If not, whatever.  It’s only meant to be about my situation and my experience.  It might piss you off, but I’m not in a place right now where I can care about other people’s feelings.  I’m an asshole, I know.  I should probably apologize but I’m fucking sick of apologizing for having feelings.

I get suicidal fairly frequently, although much less frequently and much less seriously than in the past.  I have major depression secondary to complex PTSD and dissociative identity disorder (DID).  Basically, some shitty people did a lot of shitty things to me for a lot of years, which will mess anybody up.  But the trauma and the depression aren’t the primary causes of my suicidality these days, at least not directly.

The primary cause of my suicidality these days is that I’m trying to survive an impossible situation with no hope of getting out of it.  Hell, at this point there’s not really any hope that it will improve.

Because of the side effects of shitty people doing shitty things to me, I’m on disability.  Basically, I have zero ability to cope with stress.  When I get stressed, I dissociate, or I cut, or I starve myself, or I binge and purge.  Basically, I can’t function because I’m too busy being crazy and destroying myself.  So I get SSI and SSDI.  That’s designed to keep poor and disabled people out of poverty, but it doesn’t actually work that well for a lot of us disabled folks.  See, I’m supposed to live on $700 a month.

To put that in context, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in my state averages $925; average rent in my town is $820.  That doesn’t include utilities.  In the summer, electric is around $50 a month, and internet is $100.  When you add heating in the winter, it’s much more expensive because we have oil heat and a pellet stove.  Then there’s food costs, transportation costs, medical costs.  You can do the math: there just isn’t enough money.  It’s not like I’m spending money on outlandish things; I’m talking about basic necessities here.  There is no money.

I’ve done everything there is to do.  I’ve applied for subsidized housing in my town and several of the surrounding towns, but there are long wait lists.  I get food stamps, but it doesn’t cover enough because my illness requires an expensive diet; there are no special provisions for that.  I eat one meal a day, usually.  I get Medicare and Medicaid, but sometimes I still can’t afford to fill my prescriptions.  I get fuel assistance, but when I have to fill the oil tank, that’s a lump sum of around $600.  Buying pellets for the pellet stove is a similar lump expense.

I get every form of assistance offered to poor people, but it’s still not enough.  I still can’t survive.  I still can’t afford an apartment on my own, and I can’t find another roommate.  I still can’t reach public transit since they cut the stop near me and I’m too disabled to walk to the next stop.  I still can’t afford enough food to eat a healthy diet on a regular basis.  I still can’t afford to pay most of my bills every month.  No amount of budgeting is going to solve this, and although I shit a lot of stuff, money isn’t one of those things.

It’s enough, I think, to make almost anyone suicidal.  You do the best you can, but it’s not enough to survive.  You’re too sick, too disabled, too poor.  And the people in power, the people who could make it better, they don’t care.  They don’t even know you exist because they’ve made you invisible.

And yes, I’m getting mental health “services” too, but they’re laughably inadequate.  I have no therapist.  I have a psychiatrist, but I haven’t seen him in at least four months because I can’t get to his office.  I’m not even really sure I have a case manager anymore, since mine left and no one’s bothered to tell me who my new one is.  I’m pretty much on my own because my old case manager decided I was fine.  Yes, clearly I’m doing fucking great.

I don’t have friends or family I can borrow money from.  I can’t get a loan.  I can’t get a job.  Believe me, if there were an obvious solution, I would’ve found it by now.  No solutions exist, so fucking stop telling me what to do.  I’m not stupid.

And stop guilt-tripping me for being suicidal.  I think this situation would drive almost anyone to suicidality.  For me, it’s even harder because it triggers emotional flashbacks to all the times no one took care of me when I was a kid.  It feels like no one gives a shit whether I survive.  And no, I don’t need a lecture on how that’s not true, either.  I know people care, but honestly, that doesn’t do me a hell of a lot of good when the people who care can’t do anything to make my situation survivable.  I know that makes me an asshole, but there it is.

Don’t lecture me about how it will affect my friends and family if I kill myself.  For fuck’s sake, do you think I don’t know that already?  I’ve lost friends to suicide.  It hurts, but honestly, it hurts less than it did when I lost a friend in a car accident.  He didn’t want to die.  He liked being alive, and there was a lot more he wanted to do.  My friends who killed themselves were miserable, and they didn’t want to keep on living.  Now they don’t have to suffer anymore.  It’s a relief to know that they’re dead and not having to hurt anymore just to avoid hurting other people.

Again, to be clear, I’m not about to off myself right now, so don’t anybody freak out and call the cops on me.  But don’t fucking tell me to swear I won’t do it, either.  I won’t make that promise.  If I hit a point where I truly can’t survive, I’m not fucking going to force myself to live through hell just to keep other people from being uncomfortable.  And honestly, I’m not sorry for that.

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So far past done with this

In the ongoing saga of My Case Manager Is Fucking Incompetent…

Today I was supposed to meet with her and my new case manager at 1:00.  At 12:15, while I was in the basement doing laundry, she called to see if we could move the meeting to 2:00.  I called back, but no one picks up.  No one ever picks up in that office, so I don’t know what the hell you’re supposed to do if you’re having a crisis or something.  So I left her a voicemail.

She didn’t show up at 2:00.  Or 2:15.  Or 2:30.  Or 3:00.  Finally I wrote it off and took a nap instead, because fuck that shit.

She doesn’t work on Fridays, so she won’t get my voicemail tomorrow and reschedule.  I’m not convinced the woman even knows how to check her voicemail, judging from past experience.  She’ll probably call me in another week and ask why I never called her back.  She won’t give me her cell phone number because OMG BOUNDARIES, and no one picks up at the office.  So how the fuck am I supposed to get in touch with her?

I’m so sick of this bullshit.  This is supposed to be helpful?  I was bullied/threatened into getting services from DMH–I didn’t want to deal with them after the way they’d treated me when I was trying to apply for services.  But it was get services from DMH or go to the hospital.  But this shit doesn’t even qualify as services.  I see ICM maybe twice a month.  She doesn’t check voicemails or return phone calls.  She goes on vacation without telling me.  When she does actually contact me, she constantly changes appointment times, and she almost always shows up late for appointments and then laughs it off.  She insists my diagnosis is something other than what it actually is, and she has virtually no education on my diagnosis.  I’m not convinced she has education on much of anything; she doesn’t even have an associate’s degree, and I know much more about the DSM than she does.  She has no understanding of what it’s like to live in poverty.  She has no idea what it’s like to live with a severe, disabling, chronic illness.  She isn’t interested in learning what my life is like. 

Pretty much all she does is show up sporadically to take me grocery shopping.  And while I go grocery shopping, she goes clothes shopping, and I have to sit outside with my melting groceries and wait for her to show back up.  I have no crisis support.  She’s not helping me manage any of my problems.  She’s not helping connect me with resources in the community.  She’s not doing fucking anything to help me.  She doesn’t even ask how I’m doing beyond the cursory, “Hey, how’s it going?” when I first see her.  She has no idea that my depression is getting worse because she doesn’t fucking ask, and I’m not gonna blurt it out in the middle of fucking Whole Foods.

I think what really bothers me is I feel like no one there gives a fuck about me.  If I killed myself, they wouldn’t even realize for a month.  (Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill myself.)  No one would, really.  I don’t have friends anymore.  My roommates might notice once I started to smell, but that’s it.  There’s no one left in real life who gives a fuck about me.  That’s a really painful thing to realize.

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Fuck Off, Dawkins: An Emotional Response

Okay, I already wrote a rational response to Richard Dawkins’ inflammatory tweets about the relative badness of various types of rape and sexual abuse…but I have feelings, too.

Mainly rage.

Dr. Dawkins, have you ever sat in a room full of survivors of sexual abuse and rape and listened to them tell their stories?  Have you heard them disparage themselves, saying that they didn’t deserve to be there because their trauma wasn’t as bad as someone else’s?  I very much doubt that you have.

I have.  I’ve been in that room.  I’ve been the one saying I don’t deserve to acknowledge the devastation sexual abuse and assault caused me and don’t deserve to get help, and I’ve also been the one reassuring another woman that her feelings about being raped were legitimate even though she hadn’t been subjected to the same degree of violence that others were.  It rips your heart to shreds.

I was sexually abused by my father for 16 years and then repeatedly raped for several months by another person.  My father was occasionally violent and sometimes threatened to kill me, but most of his abuse was not violent.  The person who raped me as an adult wasn’t violent and never threatened me.  By your definition, my trauma is bad…but not bad bad.  But I have severe, debilitating complex PTSD and dissociative identity disorder, which are a direct result of those traumas.  DID is generally recognized as the most severe trauma-based disorder, but if my abuse and rape weren’t bad bad, then why is my life so devastated?

It’s incredibly offensive to use rape or sexual abuse just to make a point.  It’s like the movies and books where the writer needs something bad to happen to a female character to move the plot along, so he uses rape even though many other traumas would’ve worked just as well.  It trivializes rape.  You could’ve just as easily used theft as an example for your fucking syllogism.  Clearly you knew that, since you later tweeted about that as a cruel, sarcastic response to people who objected to your comments about rape and sexual abuse.  You’re not a stupid man; you clearly did this to be provocative and offensive, and you did it at the expense of all the people who have been traumatized by nonviolent rape and sexual abuse.

You know what?  I think “nonviolent rape” is a contradiction of terms.  Rape is an inherently violent act, even if it doesn’t leave visible injuries.  It is violence against a person’s soul–in many cases, the emotional equivalent of murder.  To suggest otherwise is incredibly offensive.

I hope you’re ashamed of yourself, but I’m pretty damn sure you’re too narcissistic to feel that.  I am disgusted by you.  I wouldn’t wish rape on anyone, but I wish you could live a day with the emotional aftermath of it.  Then you’d stop being so fucking insensitive about it. 

I want you to hurt the way I do.  I want you to feel the guilt and the shame and the self-hatred and the self-blame every day.  I want you to be afraid of almost everybody, especially anyone with a penis.  I want you to be completely isolated because you can’t trust anyone.  I want you to live on constant red alert because you can never feel safe again.  I want you to live with the flashbacks and the body memories and the nightmares.  I want you to live with the feeling of despair and hopelessness because you will never be able to undo what was done to you.  I want you to feel what it’s like to want to die because the pain is so constant and unbearable.  I want you to know what it’s like to realize the person abusing or raping you doesn’t even see you as a human being.  I want you to feel the utter helplessness when you realize there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.  I want you to fucking HURT.

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Trip Anxiety

I’m starting to get anxious about the trip.  I’m trying not to obsess over it, but it’s hard.

Mostly I’m stressing because B won’t be able to go with me.  When I thought about the trip, I’d planned it with him.  I’m afraid that without him, I’ll lapse back into the person I was seven years ago when I was last there instead of the person I am now.  He’s the only one who’s been around for that shift, and I’m afraid that being surrounded by people who haven’t really known me since then will drag me back.

The person I was when I left was miserable.  She hated herself and spent most of her time and energy trying to destroy herself.  She nearly killed herself so she wouldn’t have to feel anything but that self-hatred.  She couldn’t even consider that she might matter, that she might deserve to live and be safe and happy.  She was desperate for approval and love that only came if she was perfect, but she kept killing herself to try to win that love.  She was doing the best she could in that situation, but she was miserable.

Now, I’m so much better.  Yeah, I’m dealing with some pretty serious depression here lately, but not like it was before.  I don’t want to destroy myself anymore; I want to fix myself, even on the days that I don’t see any way of doing that.  When I imagined this trip, I imagined seeing all these relatives at the wedding.  Naturally, they’d ask what I’ve been up to.  I imagined telling my very Republican family, “Oh, I get Democrats elected.  My record is three for three, and I’m now working on getting a governor elected who defeated DOMA and defended buffer zones, and the first lesbian attorney general.  What have you been up to?”  (As I paraphrased it to my former therapist, “I work for the Democrats, so fuck all y’all.”)

Now, alone, I’m less certain I’ll be able to hang onto my present self.  I doubt I’ll slip all the way back into full-blown self-destruction, but it would be easy to start letting my family bully me and not stand up for myself.  That’s the pattern I’ve enacted with them my entire life, so it’s hard to pull the wheels out of those familiar ruts.

I’m worried people are going to be judgmental.  My bridesmaid dress is sleeveless, so a lot of my scars will be showing.  And I’m probably going to have to use my cane at the wedding, and I may even have to have a chair or something if I can’t stand up for long enough.  Certain family members have not been very understanding of my difficulties in the past.  One aunt called me up out of the blue about a year and a half after I moved to Massachusetts.  I hadn’t talked to her in 2 or 3 years, but she decided to call me and lecture me about how my problems were a choice and I was hurting the family.  And then there’s my grandfather, who I can easily imagine mocking me for needing to use the cane, or accusing me of faking it and being over-dramatic.

My youngest sister told me the other night that she’d already planned to run interference for me if people were being assholes.  I love that kid to death.  We also had a conversation about how I could just whack people across the shins with the cane to shut them up.  I mentioned wanting to find a way to electrify it so I could zap them if they were being assholes, but then I’m not sure the TSA would let me take it on the airplane.

And I don’t know what to expect when I go to Florida to help my mother.  Both my sisters say she’s a lot less crazy now that she’s remarried.  (Well, Middle Sister phrased it as “…now that she’s getting laid,” but you get the point.)  And most of the time I’m there, she’ll be at work, so I can knock out some chores and then go to the beach or kayak with the manatees.  So I think that should be manageable.

But I’m still afraid of losing myself when I go back to Birmingham.  I’m trying to calm myself down about it and convince myself that being aware of the potential for that problem will let me guard against it.  I’m trying not to let myself worry obsessively.  I’m trying to make plans to do fun stuff with people I like so I have an excuse not to spend much time with my extended family.  My sisters and I are getting matching tattoos, Little Sister and I are going to the zoo and the hands-on science museum where I used to work (possibly with Mother and Fake Stepdad, too), and Little Sister and I are going to hang out and smoke some pot.  (It’s medicinal!)  I’m going to get together with my best friend from high school, meet her daughter, cuddle with her kitties (she breeds and shows GORGEOUS Bengals), and do some yarn shopping.  I might get together with some other people, too.  So I have some good things going.  Hopefully it’ll make the trip okay.

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