Realizing Life Was Not Normal

After the rape of 1999, I was in a state of constant fear, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and PTSD. The effects of the rape were also showing up in my physical body. I started having daily migraines, fibromyalgia, and intestinal issues. I still struggle with those today, in fact I deal with chronic migraines everyday. I went to the Mayo Clinic to try and figure out what was causing all my pain and chronic conditions. They did not have any answers for me. I was devastated by that news.

I worked with a therapist for 10 years to help me deal with my depression, anxiety, fear, and PTSD. This helped me deal with some of the flashbacks, panic attacks, and anxiety. I learned a lot about myself during those sessions. Eventually, I came to realize during the last year of therapy we were talking more about her trauma than mine and I had to say goodbye. I also have been seeing a psychiatrist since 1999. I have been on many medications; some helped and some didn’t. I felt like I was a guinea pig for trying out medications because most of them did not work. It was very frustrating. I am still struggling with finding the right mix of medications.

In 2016 after my shift as a wellness nurse I was raped in the parking lot of my work. It was pouring rain outside, so much so that there were flash flood warnings throughout the state. In the area I was raped was the slope down in to the drainage of the parking lot. He held my head under the water. I was in shock that this was happening to me again. I froze and was unable to move as he assaulted me. He almost killed me by drowning me and I almost let him because I felt so much shame about letting this happen to me again. Something in me snapped and I decided I wanted to live so I fought to pull my head up out of the water and try to breathe.

After he was done I was soaked and in shock. I got up and drove home. When I got home I showered and went to bed even tough my husband was asking what was wrong. That night was when I had my first memory of what happened to me from ages 18 months to 24. I’m going to stop for today because I’m getting really triggered.

Normal Upbringing

I thought my family and upbringing were pretty normal when I was growing up. My mom and dad were divorced and I knew there was some dysfunction there. My mom married my stepdad when I was around 5-6. My father remarried many times, one of them producing my half sister. On my mom’s side, it was my older sister and older brother and me. When my mom remarried I gained 1 stepbrother, 2 stepsisters, and a new half-brother. Sure there were rough times and I didn’t remember most of my childhood, but I assumed everything was normal, except for a tiny thought in my head something bad had happened to me. I used to ask my mom if anything ever happened to me, especially sexually, when I was younger. Her answer was always no, “You had a normal childhood.”

It wasn’t until I got married, at age 20, I realized I lived in a very dysfunctional family. My mom was very controlling and manipulative. She wanted to control me even though I was married and a mother. I started to remember the times she would scream at me and slap me across the face right before we had a function. I was supposed to smile and act like nothing had just happened with a big red hand mark on my face because we were the “perfect” family. I realized she put a lot of pressure on me to be the hero of the family by getting the best grades and getting in to college and medical school. I did get into Harvard’s early admittance program into the pre-med department, but before I could tell anyone, I found out I was pregnant. I tore up the acceptance letter and never told anyone until I was 44.

I married at 20, as I said, and had 3 children by the age of 24. I was a stay-at-home mom for 18 years. After my daughter was born, she was about 3 months old, I was raped in my home by a stranger because my husband forgot to lock the door when he left for work. After that day, I have not been the same person. I developed chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, and intestinal issues. I was depressed and not the mother I used to be. In fact, my oldest son told me, “You were a great mom until one day you weren’t.” How heartbreaking to hear this come out of my son’s mouth. I was a devastated person who could only live in fear of what was going to come at me next. This is where I am going to leave it for today. Believe me when I say, this is just the tip of the iceberg of my trauma.

Self Care

Before I start to really get into the traumas of my past I need to remind myself of the importance of self care. When I first heard the term self care I thought it was some kind of selfish thing to do. Why take time for yourself when there are so many other things to take care of and personally I was too depressed and tired to even think too hard about the topic.

I was reminded last night about the importance of self care or radical self love. Last night was a very emotional night for me and at this particular zoom meeting I shared some of the things that were on my mind, specifically the new memories, which have been coming forward more and more. I was saying I had not been able to perform any type of self care last night. I received a ton of support saying going to the meeting was a form of self care.

I read this meditation today:

Let The Universe Help You

“Let the universe help you. You are not in this world alone. You never have been, although your belief may have created that illusion.

Tell the universe what you want. Tell a friend. Tell God, too. Tell yourself. Write it down on a list. Be clear and forthright about what you need and want. Talk as if you are talking a friend. That is not control. That is learning to own your creative power–your power to help create your life. Then let go. Do not stand tapping your foot, impatiently waiting. Simply let go, the way you would if you trusted your friend to respond positively, in a way that was best for you.

Go naturally about the course of your life. Listen to your heart. Listen to your inner voice. What you are guided to do, where you are guided to go, where your attention is directed, the people you meet, the phone calls you receive, the experiences you have–even the problems that arise–these are some ways the universe can respond to you.

Open your eyes. Look around. See how the universe responds. Watch how it dances for you, with you. You are connected to a magical loving universe, one that will come alive for you, dance for you, in ways you cannot imagine–but in ways you will come to know as true

Look within , too. Sometimes the most gentle, quiet, flickering thought–that glimmer of an idea, that awareness of a need or desire, or that small bit of inspiration or intuition–is how the universe prepares us for what it wants is to do or receive. Our inner voice, the one in our heart, is an important part of the way we’re guided and led down our path.”

Journey To The Heart, by Melody Beattie

It went so well with another form of meditation I use. This one was about letting the universe powerfully respond the instant I realign with love. This reminded me of last night’s meeting. Radical self love. When we are able to love ourselves, even just a small part, the universe will respond.

Memories

Memories are something that can be good or they can be bad. I have a lot of great memories from my time as a wife and mother. I really don’t have many good memories about my childhood. I can recall some memories of going on some great vacations but that’s about it.

My memories from my childhood are extremely traumatic. I know everyone says that and I agree to not compare trauma stories. My trauma was being born into a satanic cult. This led to many types of traumatic events. Today I have been having a ton of new memories (my mind created an amnesia wall). So having those memories come into my consciousness is so overwhelming and exhausting. I’m trying to be patient with myself. I want to just be done with all this crap. I guess that’s why it’s called a recovery in process.

Having such a hard few days

Yesterday and today have been awful for me. I’ve been doing all this self care but nothing has been working. Today my son, who I had to give my beautiful cat when my husband had a stroke and we had to move to an apartment, told me my cat is about to die. I cried so hard. She was my buddy and made my family system so happy. So let me tell you my family system is very disordered right now. These are the days I want to give into the pain and not keep on my journey of recovery. I want to sit in a cave and just be alone. But I’m still keeping going and will wake up tomorrow. I will probably still have a migraine and life will go on. I’m just really heartbroken.

Being Part Of A Community

I am learning about being a part of a community. I have lived my life as a lonely introvert. Yeah I was that girl who sat in the corner reading. I am currently involved in a group I never thought I would be a part of. They are so supportive and loving. It is so hard to be vulnerable to people who are spread out across the globe. I have to share though because every time I do there is so much love and support. It is unbelievable. Even if I do not share, I hold space for others to share and I find it super helpful. In our journey of recovery we need others to walk along side us to let us know we are not alone. Tonight I want to tell you that you are not alone. If you are suffering in silence and do not have a group of people let me know. I could be the start to your tribe. Do not sit in silence. Please let others help you along your way.

Community concept word cloud background

Letter to My Selves

While I was at a trauma treatment facility there were assignments we were given to complete. It was extremely hard work. The first one I am going to share with you is the first letter I work, which was the letter to my future selves and a letter from my future selves. I say, “selves” because I have dissociative identity disorder. I have had this disorder my entire life. It is a disorder in which the brain splits and creates different versions of yourself at different ages. Some people have different names for each alter or part of them, but I do not. All my alters or parts have names which are variations of my own name. The brain splits like this during times of trauma. For me it was extreme trauma brought on by being birthed into a satanic cult (more about that in future posts).

Here are the letters I wrote

A Letter To My Future Selves:

I’m so tired. I feel like I’m getting lost in all these memories. I’m afraid to die but I’m more afraid live. Everyday and night you guys give me more memories and I have horrendous flashbacks. These new memories are so evil. I really don’t know how we lived through all of it.

How were you able to cope with it? Why didn’t you tell anyone? Doctors have told me I am beyond help and will never heal from all of this trauma. I’m trying not to give up on us, but it is hard and tiring.

I feel dirty, cheap, unworthy, disgusting, and unloveable. I’m really scared. I’m in this dark pit that is really deep. It’s pitch black with no light. I’ve been waiting for someone to throw a rope down and say they will help me. Or I’m standing on a bridge. My feet are on the edge getting ready to jump and be done with this life. I’m waiting for someone to hold out their hand and tell me they will be there for me and that I can make it through this nightmare. Nobody is coming.

I’m going to give us one more chance. I’m going to try and protect all of us. Please be patient with me.

A Letter From My Future Selves:

We are so proud of you, of all of us. We did it! We finished our book and now we are doing what we only dared to dream before. We are helping others through our pain.

We want to thank you for protecting us and listening to us even to your own detriment. We know it’s not easy living with all of us and you have done it all with grace. We all want you to know you are stronger than you thought and braver than you believe.

We are so sorry for what our memories did to you. We watched you suffer wishing we could help you. Thank you for getting help for yourself and for us. It was extremely hard and made you uncomfortable because you had to be vulnerable and not in control. It was all worth it because we are all healing. Remember, it’s a process and probably a lifelong journey for us. We will have to fight everyday for our healing. We are all worth the time it takes us to heal. Thank you so much for helping us.

Having a really bad week

I have been struggling with level 10 migraines for the past week. I finally was able to talk to a sympathetic doctor today. I hope relief is coming. I know my chronic pain issues all are a result of the trauma I suffered. I promise as soon as I feel better I will explain my trauma and my recovery process in more detail. Talk to you soon…

This is how I feel right now.

Hello Fellow Travelers

I am in the process of recovery from very severe trauma. I would like you to join me in this amazing and incredibly hard journey. My journey began 21 years ago and I am just starting to come out of the fog of PTSD. I am now 45 years old and it has been a hard process filled with ups and downs. I will be writing about my journey through letters I have written to my abusers, myself, and my relatives. I will also be sharing how I came about my recovery process. So please join my on this journey…

Welcome

How do you handle your trauma, PTSD, CPTSD, anxiety, depression, or panic disorder? I am one of those people who have taken a very long time to come to a discovery healing is possible. I use a ton of resources some of them apps, some of them in books, and through connections I have made with fellow travelers on this journey. Leave a comment below on how you handle your various issues.