Friday, October 9, 2015

After Thoughts

As I am prone to do, I analyze, and often over analyze, my PTSD reactions and relapses.  These are just some random thoughts I am putting to paper to help me sort out how I feel about this last trip down the rabbit hole.

  • First, thank you to everyone who commented so kindly on my last posts.  It never ceases to amaze me how therapeutic writing can be and to get such wonderful support and feedback is very humbling and very appreciated.

  • In response to those posts a friend sent me this:

  • But the reality is, life did break me.  I was broken for a very long time.  And sometimes it’s easier to go back to that place of brokenness than to keep trying to get up.  I think this was the case this time.  It was easier to withdraw than to do the work.
  • I am very aware of how easy it is to just withdraw and isolate myself, even when I know I need to do the opposite to get out the hole.  Like going to the gym - it always feels good to go and you know you are doing something good for yourself and maintaining your health, but then something temporarily keeps you from going.  And it becomes easier and easier just not to go. And then really hard to get back going.

  • When I fall down the hole and don’t bother to do the work, I always feel like a failure.  Mostly I feel that I’ve let Lauren (my former therapist) down.   She would never let me be that lazy.

  • The weird thing about my scars is that the one major scar I had from that assault was removed when I had a mastectomy. It used to be very triggering.  Now I miss it.  

  • For all my work, I know there is a place inside me that is still broken.  The screams still inhabit me. They remind me that I am still bruised and vulnerable. And I sometimes feel that I need to visit that place.

  • Somehow I need to reconcile my very strong desire to be healed and healthy with my equally strong desire not to forget, which I am often afraid I am doing . . . until something reminds me. Sometimes I wonder if my regressions aren’t self inflicted.

  • Even at my emotionally strongest, I continue to have issues with memory and control.  But they are a subject for a different post.

There is no neat and tidy way to wrap this train of thought up so I will end by asking a favor. A very dear friend of mine’s partner is having a double mastectomy today.  Any prayers, thoughts, healing energy or good mojo you could send up into the universe on her behalf would be greatly appreciated.


  1. I read this the other day and it struck a chord deep inside of me.

    'We are all broken - that's how the light gets in.'

  2. And another ~

    'It's a constant battle - the war between forgetting and remembering.'

    1. And this one really resonates with me. It is a theme I continue to struggle with.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  3. I have not been able to do much blog commenting lately but I have been reading along. I would like to learn more about trauma and how to care for and support those who live with its indelible imprint. Any suggestions?Till then, I pray for you everyday and will certainly include prayers for a healthy recovery for your friend's partner.

    1. Thank you and I will email you some resources in a few days.

  4. Prayers sent!

    Regarding forgetting... is tricky, isn't it? I have a bunch that the more we attend and heal out wound thru tenderness to not only our wounds but or energy humanity. .. the less we need ti specifically need to focus on the pain. That's my hunch bag on my own life. Akso, we always have to set a chair at the table of life fir pain and loss, tragedy and injustice. It's never good when we forget these things are post if the human experience. Whether we see or pain in that chair or someone else's. .. we need ti set the chair and remember it will be filled. Forgetting that is the worst mistake. It also remind us that our suffering is shared which can somewhat relieve the burden.

    Somewhat, anyway. ..

  5. Sorry. . Text probs with phone! ! That should be hunch! And to our entire humanity. And if we forget these things are part of the human experience.

  6. Hi again! Gosh, I should not try to write comments from my phone. I hope you could decipher those. Essentially, my idea is that we should set a place at the table to life for loss because loss is part of loss. Denying that brings on more pain. And allowing space for it allows space for us. Because to deny that truth is to deny parts of ourselves. I think this is part of what you are saying, yes?

    I know that I feel this way. I have had some losses and traumas in my life. If I am around too much rah-rah, old style new age just visualize whirled peas type stuff, I can feel my rebellious side rise up... ready to say, uh, friends, how about THIS CRAP that happened to me and that happens to zillions of people and last time I checked little children were not visualizing shit rain down on them. They weren't magnetizing hard crap. The Doctors Without Borders med folks - and their patients! - were not visualizing a bomb blowing up their hospital. Etc.

    Okay, I better get off that one, lol.

    My point is... we need to included woundedness in the mural of human experience BECAUSE IT IS THERE! and it is part of what informs and shapes our experience, perspective... and ultimately, possibly, wisdom and strength.

    Everyone who has suffered deep wounds... whether through personal injury and injustice or oppression or whatever... knows what it is like to be/feel shut out of the hall of humanity because we bring those painful reminders of hard times and hard shit with us. We stink of it.

    But that same stink is what fertilizes human growth... meaning not that we should seek out shit or promote it or get all into oh this happened to me... but... there is a truth that being willing to DEAL with it does bring on a certain kind of wisdom which then becomes a gift we can share with the larger community.

    And since shit is UNAVOIDABLE in this world... it is a mighty wonderful thing when folks such as yourself make the hard and courageous choice to get up and get up and get up and get up after falling back down or tunneling back down or being thrown back down and TRY to DEAL.

    As you can see, I, too, think a lot about my own experiences and others. I work as an ESL teacher and I am always urging my co-workers to remember the losses and traumas that some of our students bring with them into the classroom. The classroom is not a doctor's office. Teachers do not have to make today's lesson how to deal with being raped on the way to America. But...

    we can remember that happened.

    We can leave that chair for it.

    We can remember it affects the speed and capacity of students' ability to learn grammar and improve listening comprehension and pronunciation.

    More and more, with our new emphasis on "College and Career" and "accountability" and all that the other crap in current Public Ed, it's harder to keep that chair open.

    Testing often wants to sit down in it.

    Which... hahaha, might be a real truth.

    Because yeah.... testing.

    That's an effing loss for sure.

    With much support, feeling, and care,


    1. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I agree with you that sorrow and loss are a part of the human experience and we need to make room for them, even welcome them, because sorrow and loss are very powerful teachers.

      I do struggle with how much of "that part of me" should dictate my life. It is an odd balancing act and sometimes everything just falls apart. Which is apparently something else I just need to accept.

  7. First: Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your experiences. The motivation and energy you extend to others by doing so, is priceless.
    Second: positive, healing vibes and energy lofted for your friend's partner.
    Third: Peace.

  8. I guess I would say don't be so hard on yourself as we are all broken in one way or another. It is much easier to help others sometimes than ourselves - or wish that others were able to "let it go" and move on. Easier said than done.

    Lots of positive thoughts for your friend... Hope that goes well.

    1. I have often been told that I am harder on myself than anyone. But I am desperate to learn from my experiences and grow stronger with each.

      Thanks for the positive thoughts. She is doing well.

  9. I have so much to say to this, but my time on the internet is running out. (The cafe limits it.) So for now, just know I care a great deal about you. I am sending you all the good vibes I can. And I'll comment more when there isn't a clock ready to kick me off.



    1. No worries Em. Thanks for the good vibes and hugs. Both are always welcome.

  10. Dearest 8, I have a lot to say on this topic but not all of it will make it into this comment. You know I can be pretty wordy!

    As others have said, we are all broken. And the fortunate among us have put themselves back together. We have been in that pit of despair and pulled ourselves out. Inch by inch, sometimes, rather than in leaps and bounds. I often think of the Japanese Kintsugi -- pottery repaired with gold -- that doesn't seek to hide the break, but to acknowledge and honor it. We are kintsugi women.

    My self-defense teacher, herself a survivor of violent sexual assault, always says, 'We will forgive but never forget'. How can we forget something that changed us so profoundly? We can't. And, as you know, we shouldn't. Forgiveness... that's for ourselves, not for the beasts that committed the crimes.

    Don't be afraid to visit that vulnerable place. It's part of you. I say that as if it were easy, but I know it's not. I struggle with vulnerability. I hate it. I avoid it. I fear certain types of vulnerability. But, I know that there is a lot to learn from that place.

    And, finally, thanks for all the good wishes! Things are progressing!


    1. You honor me, kintsugi woman!