Tag Archive: Relationships


fasten your seat belts, blah blah blah. Yep, things have been tough, feel free to send chocolate. 😉

Whenever I am so silly to believe that things are on the upswing, I’ve been duped again. I feel like Murky Dismal in Rainbow Brite, the dude who tries to take all the color out of the world. And … the best part, is that’s how I describe my father. I don’t even have time for daddy issues right now.

I don’t know how I still go to school. It requires every ounce of effort I can scrounge up to drag my ass here. I’m not sure where the extra effort comes from for studying, and the other things an adult needs to do every day. My brain feels like it’s going to explode. I feel like I’m going to vomit. Eh, I likely will. The vomiting thing, not the head exploding thing. I have stomach ulcers. There’s a shocker.

I seem to have lost the sparkle that was me. I go about every day and survive and get through it, but I lost the zest, the (ironically) joie de vivre. I gain more attachment to the planet, less times where my mind throws up bad crap at home, in public places, other things die down, and I am swimming in a pool of pessimism. I have been severely depressed before, this is no surprise, but the pessimism is astounding.

Things were going relatively well for a while, but then I got the decision back from the administration saying they’re not going to do shit about “the incident”. I knew regardless of the outcome, I would likely spiral at least a lil out of orbit, but I seem to have become consumed with foul, angry thoughts, and very little else. A few weeks of this and my non-trauma friends are still hanging in there. I talked to a few of them today about “the crap” and by crap, I mean how I’ve been feeling and behaving. I’ve tried my darndest to not spill all over the place and make my crap become theirs. But it’s more than hard to go through this alone. Especially since I’m fortunately or unfortunately feeling so much more every freaking day for the past year or two now. I must say, I’m not a fan. Feeling SUCKS!! But, if I want to engage with the rest of the planet who does not live in my inner solar system, I better get used to it. Learning to feel is an atrocious experience. I highly recommend children and anyone younger than me learn to feel your feelings while you can. Before it’s a few decades later and they smash you like a brick. But, really, our minds did what they could to protect us at the time. And being dissociative was just as normal as some kids playing outside, having sleepovers, swinging on swings without a care in the world…

So moral of my story, feelings hurt like hell. They cause me visceral body pain. It hurts to hurt like that.

Although I’m seeing almost every aspect of the world through grey goggles recently, my friends have graciously and without prompting reminded me that, I’m not always like this. And to me, if they can even see that, that’s even more evidence that this too will pass. It just sucks hardcore right now.

My stomach is having a blast at the moment and I’m in a lot of pain elsewhere. I’m gonna go take care of my stomach, and then attempt to eventually eat and take care of myself.

I hope you’re doing well. And if today’s not such a hot day for you either, you’re not alone. And… likely tomorrow, or soon, things will start to look up. Every time I think they won’t, they do. I think it’s just to prove me wrong. 😉

Peace n safety,

Joy

Ferocity In Me

~I am grateful for my ferocity.

I feel as though I am finding a glimmer of my former self (;} remove all ideas about dissociation from that statement). I am a feisty, persistent, tough cookie. I am doing great! I hit a low point a couple of times a week, but I’ve never felt this good. Nor have that many other acquaintances, friends, and people closest to my heart noticed quite like this before. I’m living my life. It’s actually a little odd and uncomfortable. But, hey, I’ll take it. This is the first time I’ve ever been remotely interested in my studies. I can take care of my adult responsibilities. I can make it through the day without falling apart. I would do a cartwheel and little dance, but I must admit that I fear nothing gold can stay…

I also believe I have to step up in a major way if I want any repercussions for the assailant who assaulted me during the first week of school. I certainly live with repercussions each and every day. If you make such an egregious error in boundaries, violating a person’s rights, etc.–you should experience consequences. I will not stop until that happens. I don’t care what other people think of me, or what occurs as a result. It can “always get worse”, but I’m presently the pariah at my med school to some, the situation has interfered with my academics, personal life, relationships, healing process.. I could go on and on. Some people have awful things to say to me (go on brush ya shoulders off), about me, behind my back, some people don’t know what to make of it, and one person told me it happened to her in college and she didn’t have the courage to report it then and is amazed that I’m still standing and grateful to know me. I’m good with all of that. And the fact that one woman told me she feels empowered by me standing up for myself is extremely moving. Everyone seems to have an opinion, everyone supposedly knows—and I don’t care. No matter how uncomfortable it is for me and my squeaky lil mouse self I will continue to stand up and keep elucidating it is NOT OK and I won’t let anyone sweep this under the carpet.

Continuing on what I am thankful for…

~I am grateful for my incredible friends.

~I am grateful that my roommates and I were able to come to a relative agreement and expect that our communication will make living together even better.

~I am grateful for all the therapy that I have underwent, and all the work I did on my own, because my roommate who is getting her Ph.D. in social work told me the other night that she felt like our conversation included an MFT (marriage and family therapist–me lol). She is very logical and not particularly warm and fuzzy–but she told me I was effective, well-spoken, practical, solution-focused, & amusing (considering her profession and mine) and that I’m going to make an amazing doctor.

~I am grateful for the hours/days/weeks where I feel well.

~I am grateful that the times that I feel crappy are continually and slowly decreasing.

~I am grateful for the other survivors I know both “in real life” and those whom I have connected with on here and other venues.

~I am grateful for sleep.

~I am grateful that even though I’ve been dealing with some physical health crap that I’m still ambulatory and keep it moving.

~I am grateful for my own personal healthcare needs being mostly met.

~I am grateful for the current time, which is the longest I have gone sans an ip stay in two and a half years.

~I am grateful that tomorrow is a trauma anniversary and I’m feeling relatively strong.

~I am grateful that I FEEL OK.

Hope you all are well and are on your path to healing, no matter how bumpy, winding, and/or smooth that road may be. ❤

Love and peace,

Joy

Don’t Want Your Hand This Time

“…I’ll save myself…”

If there is one thing I should have listened to that my father said when I was younger, it would have been, “You can’t trust anyone but yourself.” If my entire life hasn’t taught me that by now, I don’t know what will. Perhaps the last year has finally drilled that concept into my head?

People are supposed to earn trust. I’m supposed to discern whether or not people deserve to be trusted based on their actions over time. But, over time? How much time? Six months, six years? What about the people who were your family of choice? What about when they can no longer be trusted after 3 years, 5 years, 10 years? Nothing in this world is constant. The only things in the world that are constant are human suffering, and the insidious nature of human beings. That’s something you really wanna curl up with at night, isn’t it?

The people you think you know the best are in actuality a mirage. All of my human relationships are a charade. The friends you think will likely be your bridesmaids disappear. The person you thought you would marry is a monster you never saw in her worst moments of the 5 years you were together.

**Trigger Warning**

Classmates involve themselves in what happened as the school year started. And when I say, involved, I mean INVOLVED. What future physician goes before an administrative disciplinary hearing for someone who allegedly violated another classmate, and testifies against her? Particularly, who does that when they have spent less than an hour in the last six months with me? To vilify his behavior. Is that because it is too atrocious to believe the allegations are true? Would you like to see the description in my rape kit? How about the photographic evidence of the assault? My torn clothes?

I don’t need anything from any of you. Classmates, family, so-called friends. You will all rip the ground out from underneath me when I least expect it. I am no saint. I’m melodramatic, sometimes emotionally disregulated, always late, sometimes a lot of things. But, there are a few things that are consistently me, no matter how sick or well I am: I am loyal, I am loving, understanding, and supportive. I can be at my worst, and have been at my worst and have been able to shelf my insanity to be there for people I love, and for people I don’t particularly like, but who deserve love–just like everyone else. It’s not a question as to whether or not it is too much to ask that people are remotely considerate, loyal, loving, consistent, etc. There is no question. The people I’ve met in this world have repeatedly shown me over and over that no matter how sick or well I am, no matter how bad or well-behaved I am, no matter how malicious or kind I am–you will screw me, it’s just a matter of when.

I actually prefer the hurt from people like my classmate than from people I loved and trusted, whom I thought had earned it. At least then, I had no expectations of someone I just met to behave like half a human being. It is only a matter of time before the friends I’ve made who by anyone else’s standards have proven themselves beyond measure that they are true… will disappear, or stab me in the back. At least look me in the eye and stab me in the front.

As I lay in my bed with my mind wrestling with feelings about my Dad and stepmom, I came to a startling (to me), frightening, and wonderful realization: I’m the best parent I’m ever going to get.

I had an abusive childhood. This is not exactly a revelation. But, I’ve spent the last two years really trying to alter the negative messages and incorrect beliefs I was raised on. My perception of self (selves ;}) is much healthier and continues to go in that direction. I’ve really worked on self-care, especially since filling out a self-care survey a little over a year and a half ago and coming to realize that I took the least care of myself outside of showering and dressing in a room of trauma survivors. I try to be at least a decent to good leader of my internal system and take good care of all of us. I try to be a good “parts mom” (when I’m not denying that I have DID, I stopped denying the abuse this past fall, so — this is progress).

I am the healthiest parent I’m ever going to have nurture, discipline, and love me. So I better amp up my maternal skills and parent myself like no one else ever has (literally & figuratively). My mom definitely is a big part of my life, and despite past abuse, I do know she loves me very much. I don’t condone her behavior, but I forgive her. She’s at least TRYING. My father and my stepmother only care to peep into my life when it involves degrading me in some capacity. I can mindfully let it go now, but I still find it very hard to let go of the pain and other associated feelings about the fact that they are never going to be the healthy parents I want and deserve. I love them, at times I pity them, and most of the time, I don’t like them. Yet, I still live with this itty bitty glimmer of hope that they’re going to ::poof:: be somewhat healthy, non-toxic, loving influences in my life. Radical acceptance sucks and yet it is also one of the most healing things for me to employ skill-wise. I have to radically accept that in their entire 5 decades of life, they’ve developed into the people they are. And, I don’t like them. They are not people with whom I share values, beliefs, interests, or much of anything. I know it’s hackneyed, but many say “little apples don’t fall far from trees”. Well, this little apple seems to have rolled up and down a few hills and landed in a markedly different place to grow. I do share some characteristics with them. Some or most of which are actually positive! But, for the most part, I’m a totally different type of apple.

I am never going to win their approval. I do all these things and am all these things that other people’s parents and families (even my extended family) think make me a phenomenal person. I am much more accepted by just about anyone else’s family than I am by my own. My friends are wonderful, unique, so-special-to-me, and accept me for who I am (whoever that is at the moment). They give me a swift kick in the tush when I need it. They are the siblings I wish I had. I love my brother, but no matter what I do, we are not close. I can’t change that either. My point is that it is very evident that I am a loveable human being by the people who know me the best, and even by people who barely know me. It is sometimes really shocking to me that the people who truly know me love me so much. 😉

Evidence is something I really like. I’m going to be a physician. I’m a very scientific and mathematically oriented woman. It’s just in my nature to appreciate things more so if they are tangible and evidence-based. So, based on evidence, I am likeable and a pretty good person. I deserve love. In comparison to how I felt about myself two years ago when I began therapy, or even a year or six months ago, I have an enormous amount of self-esteem. I’m going to try and figure out where it came from and will gladly share that when I figure it out.

I have enough self-esteem, enough skills, enough innate maternal instinct to self-parent myself in a loving and healthy way. I better get to stepping because I really am the best I’m going to get.

Love yourself as much as you can today,

Joy

The Black Sheep, The Sick Child

In the olden days (for me), before I got incredibly symptomatic, I was a feisty little thing. I still am, but I feel like I have diverted my own fire to learned skills, coping, self-care, etc. I hated being told that I couldn’t do something. And, as many of us have likely experienced, we were told we couldn’t, or would never make it, in whatever capacity, quite often. I plowed through hs and college because I was told I’d never make it and would flip burgers for the rest of my life. I never worked in fast food, but good G-d did my father want me to fail miserably at everything. That’s what happens with sick parents, they want to kill the light within their children, starting from an early age–so hopefully by the time it’s time for their child to “fly on their own”, their wings are too broken and they remain “the sick child”.  It diverts ever-so-much attention from the sick, dysfunctional family. I choose not to be “the sick one”. I’ve been working for several years in therapy without my abusers, two years particularly on my trauma disorder and any associated issues. My entire life isn’t going to be like this. This has just been the ugly part. The undoing of my entire psychological and some of my personality sweater only to be re-knit in a healthier way without the same disgusting messages about who I am woven in between. I’m not by any means done “re-knitting”. I’ve got a long way to go. But, I’ve come a long way. And when I’m symptomatic, I know why and at least a good portion of the time, how to cope (sometimes alone, sometimes reaching out to my awesome supports). Bad things happened, but I am not to blame for them, and patient is not all that I am. I’m terrified, but I’m desperately trying to carve a life out for myself that includes all the good things I’m doing to get better, but also includes reclaiming my life, and altering the old one I was living. I just want to live, as frightening as that may be to me.

“I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” -Nelson Mandela

Wishing I was fearless, but at least I have courage (and a red cape… but that’s a whole ‘nother story). Have a great day if you so choose! =)

Love,

Joy… and some others 😉

**Although I’m pretty sure this is a pretty non-triggering post, it does mention trauma, parts, flashbacks and eating issues. So if you are particularly sensitive at this time, please do not read this until you are safe and supported enough to. Ty.**

Upon returning from my Mom’s a few weeks ago (no NEW triggers there, same old, dealt w them well, etc.)… I seem to have fallen off my recovery path a bit, or maybe found a new direction. I’m not sure. All I know is that since I’ve come home, I’ve gone to my psychiatric rehabilitation program increasingly as the two weeks have gone by, gone to every DBT session, and stayed s/h free. It has not been easy. Outside of PTSD stuff, there’s been a LOT going on for me in my personal life, be they interpersonal problems, financial difficulties, pending homelessness, and eating issues.

I have made a lot of mistakes the past few weeks, but nothing too detrimental. I may have said the wrong thing, even though I meant it to be so gentle, yet not so subtle that someone didn’t get the boundaries I asserted, I may have shared too much or too little at times… but, I am doing my best. I have also embarked on a little bit of late teenager silliness… and then the following does not include any mistakes I’ve made: but I’ve let my parts play. It’s been phenomenal for all of us, including me, as the host. However, what I’ve come to know for myself is, as I’ve learned how to better communicate w my internal system, and become more stable… now the traumatized parts are coming out more. And if I’m not going to care for them, they’ll be in the same boat they were when they fragmented off. So, I choose to be a good parts mom & nurture, love them, and keep them safe. I don’t have a DID nor a trauma therapist. I am essentially winging it, and doing what I know works in other situations, other safe skills, and I am riding the wave and seeing it through to the end of the pain. I am also consulting w two trauma tx’ists soon bc this is becoming much too much for me to manage on my own. I know when to reach out for help. And I’m pleased that my clinician at my program, though she is a very emotionally boundaried person, and truly barely knows me–knows that I REACH out (even from the pits in the past) when I need more help than what I can currently do by myself and with my current supports.

I also called Renfrew yesterday bc the not-eating thing was not something I was managing well. I have no idea why this is going on. I am a little chubby, but I am a curvy, cute lil thing according to most–so I am a teensy weensy bit insecure. And some of my more protective parts have eating issues (namely 15, she was ballsy and would eat in the middle of the night, not caring if she got caught bc we needed nourishment), but nothing like this. And it’s not just lack of appetite. I refuse to eat. I will eat socially. And not in a disordered manner w lots of rules, but I can only will myself to eat socially. I am a very strong-willed individual. I figured going to the supermarket and getting Carnation Instant Breakfasts, baby food in flavors I’d consider, and other similar things I could will myself to consume those. But, I couldn’t. All week. So I called Renfrew. But, I have decided, I don’t want to go back to the hospital. I WILL manage this on my own. And if it does become so incredibly unmanageable, I will go. But–I am willing to work my tush off so I don’t have to go back inpatient for any reason right now. I am safe, I am not suicidal, I am dealing w my symptoms as best as I can. And that’s THAT.

So that’s where I’ve been hiding these last two weeks. I even let my fb games peter off. I have been working on me. And experiencing the absolute joy and serenity, when I’ve gotten through the pain. It’s so oxymoronic. It has been such an ugly and yet beautiful, self-actualization, phenomenal time for me. And if you have any suggestions on the nurturing and keeping the traumatized, little (and sometimes a little older) ones safe and protected, please by ALL means share. I would be forever indebted to you bc I have no idea what I’m doing. I hope you are all doing well. ❤

Wishing you peace, safety, and serenity,

Joy

Today is Self Injury Awareness Day. Therefore, I’m using today as an impetus to share with you my own experience with self-injury (aka self-harm=s/h). Please do not read this if it will trigger you. Also, I want to make it explicitly clear that I do not condone self-harm as a coping skill, however do not judge myself or others for resorting to it when we feel as though nothing else will assuage our pain (or whatever other things trigger an urge to self-harm).

My first incident of s/h was when I was 7. I had no idea why I was doing what I was doing. All I recall is that I explained (and lied) to my step-mother and told her I was trying to shave just like she did. Needless to say, when it did come time to shave in my early adolescence I was not permitted to do so. I have no idea why. Especially since I was apparently very convincing when I told her it wasn’t on purpose.

I then began sneaking hard liquor (and refilling what I had consumed in the most brilliant way an elementary-aged child could) from the liquor cabinet until my parents gave up drinking quite as much. Then, since their liquor required less space, they relocated it to a cabinet that was well out of my reach (then and almost now).

As I look back on these experiences I can recognize that they were ways for me to drown out something, what? At the time I had NO idea.

I achieved my first degree black belt when I was 16. I used these skills to s/h in a way that I was pretty sure no one would know about and no one would question. I continued this from middle school through college. I was in an incredible amount of emotional pain; that I couldn’t get rid of. All I knew is that my parents didn’t love me and it made me feel like my heart was slowly dying. Nothing I did won their approval. No amount of good deeds at home, the meticulous attention to my chores (which included EVERYTHING while my brother, of course, had none), my excellent grades, my involvement in the community in various ways… nothing. So my Catholic school girl self abused herself in the only way I knew how without getting caught. I had such enormous pain, and severely repressed anger, hostility, shame; I could go all day with what I had stuffed in my “little box”. I was a breakdown waiting to happen. I believed I had to be perfect in every aspect of my life, stuff all the pain away, and put on my (apparently slightly scary) fake-smile.

The year before I started medical school I had an extremely abusive relationship with my first girlfriend. I had previously been treated like gold by my boyfriend of 5 years. We had some major PTSD-related issues in our relationship now that I can look at it in hindsight, but he was the least abusive partner I’ve dated.

I slowly descended into madness during and after this relationship. I ended it, I simply couldn’t take the tumultuousness of our relationship anymore–I knew I was about to snap. And I did. But, I apparently was still able to put on a fascade that I was “just fine”. I did well in medical school while the symptoms of complex-PTSD continued to ravage my life. I was finally diagnosed with C-PTSD in medical school after a litany of misdiagnoses. I continued in the s/h behaviors I had long used, and introduced more. These new ones I was terrified by, these new ones had to be so minor that no one could see them or “everyone would know”. Que dira de la gente… what will people say? That was my only concern and the only reason why I kept my s/h superficial.

I took three weeks after the summer of my first year to seek out trauma-specific treatment. Every summer since I was a sophomore in college I had spent doing research to bolster my resume. I took a little bit of time from this for my treatment. I figured three weeks was plenty of time to figure out what the hell was really wrong and how to quickly fix it. I was adept at most everything else I did, therefore I approached intensive trauma tx with the same tenacity.

Apparently, my PTSD didn’t give a crap about my timeframe. Beginning trauma tx was like ripping off a bandaid on my fullbodied wound. My flashbacks got worse, my s/h urges became totally unmanageable. I tried using some of the skills I had learned and they were ineffective. I resorted to the only thing I knew would help alleviate some of my pain.

I used to (and still do) restrict access to certain rooms in my apartment in order to avoid s/h and to see if I could tolerate the pain until it ended. Sometimes, some days I was successful. Others I was not. Going to the ER with a self-inflicted wound got me nowhere. I did a good enough job tending to my wound that it was not necessary for the ER to intervene medically. And since I was no longer suicidal, my psychiatrist who happened to be on call that night, told me to “step up the individual tx and step up the DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy)”; and I was sent home. That was the first time I had actually scared myself by what I had done to my body.

After almost two years of therapy programs, I have come to realize that I no longer need to physically abuse myself. However, that did not stop my s/h. I would do it in the same place so that no one would question it should they see. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t rock my skills which I knew and practiced like it was my job. As I explained to my mother yesterday, the pain of my flashbacks or other PTSD-related pain is about a million times worse than any physical pain I’ve ever had. The other day she saw me, and I was barely able to walk because of undiagnosed rheumatological problems (I have been to the doctor several times to try to pin down why one day I can run a mile and others I have to army crawl to the bathroom).

I have used s/h when I saw no other options to reduce my pain/suicidality, or when after going through the most effective coping skills (for me), several times, I was still in intolerable pain. I am in no way glorifying my s/h behaviors, but as I said before, nor do I judge them. It was all I had at times when I was emotionally grasping at straws and knew that I didn’t want to permanently terminate my existence (even if it hurt so bad that I obsessed about it). Everyone who s/h’s does it for their own personal reason. This was mine.

I have not purposely taken any action against my body in 50 days as of today. It has not been easy or pretty as I have said several times elsewhere today. Am I proud? Yes. Has it been hell not resorting to self-abusive behaviors? Absolutely. I will gladly share some of my favorite coping skills in the next few days. But for today, I wanted to share a part of my journey to recovering from child abuse. And I also want a keychain, coin, or gold star to recognize my efforts to end my addiction to s/h. 😉 I cannot for certain say I will be able to continue to abstain from s/h as I continue in my recovery. But, I never thought I’d be able to abstain for a significant amount of time any time in the near future, and the 50 day mark is a pretty damned promising start.

Wishing you peace and safety this evening,

Joy

Hello my loves

I just got out of inpatient gen. psych a few days ago. I couldn’t stand the lack of safety post flashbacks anymore. I waited 8 weeks. I don’t know how I maintained safety those weeks, sometimes. I made it through Christmas and then decided my health and safety was worth way more than New Year’s Eve. I’ve also had a rough couple of days following my ip stay. I did really well the first day, and then descended. I start the acute partial hospitalization program tomorrow. I have a lot to share with you (updated safety triangles, new plans for tx and life, in general) right now, but I wanted you to know I’m thinking of you, and will have to share later. Yesterday was also a trauma anniversary for me. And I made it through safely and feel very empowered. I will touch on that when I get a chance (I can’t really go there right now). Distraction and spending time with friends are my safety tools this evening. Gotta jet! But as always, wishing you safety and peace, Joy

Codependent Still

But alas, I’m working on it. If you don’t know what codependency is, you can look it up in the dictionary and find a lil picture of ME next to it. Ok, maybe not yet, but perhaps in the next edition of Merriam-Webster. In the meantime, codependency or codependence describes a pattern of detrimental set of behaviors within a dysfunctional relationship. This term originated in AA and Al-Anon meetings to describe the person enabling, covering up, excusing, etc. the alcoholics behavior. A codependent would try to control an out of control situation. Sometimes this would lead to resentment of the alcoholic, and often to the codependent’s focusing predominantly on the life of the alcoholic and not on their own life. This term of codependency has now broadened to include a person who behaves this way in any dysfunctional relationship, including an abusive relationship.

My name is Joy, and I’m a codependent.

I used to be a raging codependent. I read Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency by Melody Beattie. I went to Codependents Anonymous meetings. I have worked really hard at living my own life (since I have so much crap to sort through on my own nevermind adding anyone else’s unmaintained junk to it). I’ve not got this down perfectly, but I have made HUGE strides in the past few years at living my own life and not avoiding my problems by trying to fix/control someone else’s problems.

I tend to be in relationships, romantic and platonic with “wounded birds”. I don’t consider myself a wounded bird because I am in treatment, I actively help myself, I’m trying to get better. I consider a wounded bird a person who has major issues in their life and is not in any way trying to resolve them on their own. I last took in a wounded bird this past July. Before that, it was my previous girlfriend with C-PTSD. But my latest and hopefully last was my acquaintance I’ll call Lauren (and her son, I’ll call Andrew).

Lauren is a 23 y/o I met while in the wonderful shelter program I was in when I grew tired of living out of my car. [I had become homeless after I had decided to leave medical school & therefore no longer had loans for my housing & then also had to stop working because my flashbacks and dissociation were becoming more prevalent & unmanageable in a work environment] Her 4 y/o son, Andrew, and she were a giant cry for help. She was infinitely less proactive than I about acquiring housing, and other services available to people in our situation. I took her under my wing and acted as her big sister for the time I knew her. I also was a second mother to her son. At first I thought we had a reciprocal, healthy relationship. She would help me out with things I needed help doing and likewise, I did the same with her.

However, when Lauren finally found her own apartment, she returned to an unhealthy pattern of behaviors including drug use, manipulating people, stealing from friends and stores, being involved with unsafe people. When I was at her apartment one day cooking and eating dinner with her and Andrew, a drug dealer came over (supposedly 3 hours early). That put all three of us (especially her little boy) in a completely unsafe situation. He (the drug dealer) was very nice to me, and I stayed, primarily because I figured if I suddenly left he would think I was “a rat” and that may put me in an even worse situation. When he left, Lauren and I were sitting and discussing how she used people to get food, money, drugs, whatever she wanted or felt she needed. I asked her, “what do you use me for?”

Lauren started crying and said, “you’re my best friend, I don’t use you for anything.” Now granted the girl knew me for about a month or two. The next day she told me she was really hurt by what I asked, and I said I meant no harm, I was just participating in the conversation. I also told her that if she ever puts my safety at risk again, she will no longer exist to me and will never see/hear/speak to me again.

A few days later my paltry income check came through (it’s less than $100) and she took $50 of it from my zippered wallet in my zippered purse while I was showering. I gave her a grand leap of faith (note: NOT a second chance) for a few weeks, but would no longer allow her inside my home because I wasn’t sure if I could trust her. But I would continue to take her food shopping, etc. Three weeks later she knocks on my bedroom window (which she knows is very triggering for me) because her phone had been shut off. I opened it and told her I had a 102 degree fever, my asthma was bad, and I really needed to rest. She begged me to come sit outside while she had a cigarette since she hadn’t seen me in several days and “missed me”. So I went and sat outside with her until her son was thirsty and had to go to the bathroom. That was the only reason I let them in my apt. Then she told me some bleeding-heart story about how she wanted to quickly check facebook because her foster mom from when she was in middle school may have sent her her phone number. So I let her check fb and because of my fever, after about 20 mins, passed out. When I awoke she said, “ok my friend is about to pick us up.” I said goodbye to her and then realized I had been asleep for an hour and a half. I checked my purse and she had taken $8 I was going to use for cough medicine. I had actually just counted my money to make sure I had enough for the meds about 15 mins. before she arrived. So I picked up my purse and was about to get in my car because I had HAD it! when I saw her waiting across my street.

I confronted her and she said she would never steal from me, I was her friend, and I did everything to help her–why would she ever take from me? Then she got nasty and said, “what would I use $8 #$%% for?”. I said cigarettes, Lauren, that’s how much cigarettes cost now. Then she opened her bag (which I had given her because out of the shelter she had NOTHING), and then her son’s bag to “prove” she didn’t have it. Then her 4 y/o said, “why are you in my bag mommy, you took the money.” OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES…

Needless to say I terminated our friendship, gave her whatever she had left in my house, and have not gotten in a tizzy about her threats. She finally admitted she took it two weeks later. At 7pm she said she was my friend and would never take my money when I have so little. At a few minutes to midnight she said… I have something to tell you.

So… codependent still. A little. But I have a bs tolerance that has it’s maximum now (and it’s pretty low and preserves my dignity). I do not try to micromanage anyone else’s life, when I have so much to do on my own between living my life … and self-care. I finally have the self-respect to establish boundaries and limits, which I learned from a book! Certainly not my childhood. I’m glad to be able to say that while I’m not “Codependent no more”, and I am just “Codependent, a little.”

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“You can’t keep trouble from coming, but you don’t have to give it a chair to sit on.” — Proverb

I prayed earlier that God grant me the patience and strength to deal with my mother, my former abuser–now actual mommy. I think sharing with you all (and myself!) in print some of the feelings of my abuse by my mother really moved me emotionally. I am not going to gloss it over and say releasing my feelings led me to some happy place, or gave me some resolution. But, I did finally speak the truth, I said what I had never said “out loud” per say.

I spent most of yesterday dragging myself around, “acting opposite to emotion”. I brushed my teeth, showered, dressed in a cute outfit, and styled my hair fighting against my lack of will to do so. I finally did get a little enjoyment out of the day by dinnertime. One of my group therapists (tx’s) describes depression as “getting stuck”. I’d like to explore that more on another day, but I definitely felt stuck in the feelings that I couldn’t identify about my mother. Whatever feelings they are, they caused me to feel as though I could contentedly hide under a blanket and be a hermit for the rest of my days.

I started to feel a little better around the time of The Shower. But, after I showered and dressed, I was happily dying my mother’s hair when I brought up the subject of her lack of weight gain during her pregnancy. She denied everything about her lack of care for herself and for me while in utero. There’s a shocker ::rolls eyes::. I was mindfully able to let all of that go because she and I both know she’s a notorious, pathological liar. To be honest, sometimes I think she lies just to preserve her own sanity, especially about her own self-perception.

However, this morning, I was pensive and exploring the change in my mood and behaviors since I visited her and my stepdad in Vegas last. I realized how much more control I had over bad thoughts, unfair/explosive reactions; how much more self-aware I am. Despite the fact that I’m most certainly in a difficult place because of my depression and trauma symptoms, I have made huge strides from the passive, aggressive (notice I didn’t say passive-aggressive), emotionally dysregulated (and often emotionally dissociative), unaware woman I was two years ago. I started my laundry at around 6:30am, have been cleaning up after myself, have helped around the house–things that my 15 y/o persona would throw a fit about (bc I wouldn’t listen to her, mind you, she and I co-exist now lol and I am able to take care of my adult responsibilities now, most days). I wanted to be recognized for all that’s changed even if just via a brief comment at some point during my trip when my mother said, “Why do I always have to treat you like a child?”. I felt and still feel very invalidated by that. Should I tell her bc I have quite a few CHILD PARTS Mom?!? (You’re not sitting with me, but if you were, you’d realize I’m smirking. I’m poking fun, at myself, at this point because I realize that I’m letting hostility settle when I should be setting it free) Should I curse her out? I went through quite a few shoulds after she said that to me, and I’ve yet to find the “correct one”, and by that I mean the one that preserves my self-respect, while getting my point across. I am not a child (unless dissociated which is a whooooole different ball game). I simply wasn’t getting in the shower fast enough for her because I was doing my laundry and some other things. She has no idea the effect that question had on me, especially since during all the time I lived with her as a child, I had to “mother” her because she was totally incapable of being an adult, never mind mother. Her question brings up a lot of issues for me, as I’ve already shared, but it also brings out a little bit of unhealthy anger (that I’m scared of) because SHE never treated me like a child when I was one, and she is a slice in the pie chart of how I lost my childhood.