September 28, 2015

If You Can't Remember, Does It Mean The Abuse Wasn't Real? - Part 5

IMAGE CREDIT:  https://pixabay.com/en/pretty-woman-flowing-dress-spring-739209/


FIVE | molar abuse
 
I don’t like living life in the grey… why can’t things just be black or white?

Recently, I was talking to my therapist about how conflicted, anxious and full of guilt I was.  I told her I felt like I am going to lose it.  (Although I have said that to therapists before and they’ve told me that feeling like I’m going “to lose it” is a pretty good indication that I haven’t.  Insert “yet” here.)  Over this past year, every time I’ve gone to counseling and we would talk about abuse, I shut down emotionally and physically for days and weeks.  It has been eleven years and I still can’t say “I was abused” with certainty.

I don’t want to live life as a victim.  I don’t want to live life in self-pity.  However, I don’t ever want to pretend that I am “healed” and I don’t want to pretend that everything is “OK”.  I do want knowing to be for certain — for real!!  But, I’m tired and worn out.  I am filled with guilt.  I can write words for others to read, but are these words coming from myself?  For me, I can’t help!  I don’t want to move on with life, only to realize later that I didn’t really go through the steps of recovery and healing I needed to – that I could be better if I only just would have…..

I want to be full of life and confident … not “just” abused, wounded, lonely, uncompassionate, unsocial or depressed.  People do it… some do!  Some recover from sins committed against them, flourish and find victorious lives aver the storm of turmoil, shame and disgust.  I just want it to be not done or done – not in between!!  Abused or not abused – not in between!!  I still really can’t admit that I was abused.  I can type about it… it just flows out my fingers to the keyboard – I can’t say it!!  I can say it – but, not really.  I can say it, but I separate myself from the words “I was abused”… that happened to another person.  Everyone else has memories.  I have several “snapshots” of things I couldn’t make up.  It makes me believe that I’m making everything up or that something else has happened to make me this way.

I can become very emotional about other people’s abuse.  I can be very unemotional, almost scientific about myself.  To be transparent with you, here is my evidence:  I have the personality characteristics of a “typical” abused child.  I forget almost everything, especially my childhood.  (Well, and numbers… I’m am awful with numbers, but that really doesn’t matter.)  I have spent years disassociating to the point of not being able to move a muscle in my body, blink or whisper a word.  I have panic attacks.   I listen for sounds at night.  I watch for dark shapes.  I hate being under water and am terrified of heights.  I have been diagnosed with Clinical Depression.  I’m have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  I have been labeled with an “environmental” learning disability… a learning disability that should have been so debilitating, that I shouldn’t have made it through high school – let alone earning two bachelor degrees.  I am socially detached – well, I was much more-so as a child.  I have had five therapists treat me for abuse.  I have been in a support group with other sexually abused women and related to everything they said.  I have a few memories, but not like a rickety old movie real – just one second snapshots that come and go… things that no one would ever make up and things that put me in bed for days.  I’m not a good wife and I am emotionally detached from my children. (Please know!! As much as I am being honest– I love my kids more than myself and I feel I am a good mom, just not the one I wish I were.  Many “normal” women probably feel that way too.)  I have been on anti-depressants for seven years.  I have screamed so loud, no one could hear.

To function on a daily basis, that’s a lot to hide inside… and it takes years of practice!!   Is it a surprise that I have taught years of acting, without ever being trained to act myself?  Well, now that I think about it… no it isn’t!  However, the surprise I had, was that people can see through my smile and my frowns, especially trained therapists and other abuse victims.  Eventually, abuse pulls the curtain from the stage and rehearsal is over.

So, this remains my storm!  Thinking about all the puzzle pieces I have picked up or allowed myself safe enough to find, this is the picture of my journey that I’ve put together so far…

Thirteen years ago, I had a molar pregnancy when my oldest daughter was just a year old.  (I told you pregnancy was ironic to my journey.)  I never saw my baby, she was just days old when I miscarried.  But, even though I didn’t see my baby, hold or have memories of her, I knew I was pregnant — because the doctor’s told me. The 20-week maternity clothes told me.  The blood tests told me.  The surgery told me.  Not having a baby didn’t mean I didn’t have “proof” of being pregnant. 

Well, I don’t have “proof” that I was abused, because I can’t remember, I can’t see it or know it is there.  But!!   Even though I don’t like to say it and my family doesn’t accept it as true, all the doctors have told me I was abused.  The medicines, the learning disabilities, the depression… tests that prove something did happen for me to function the way I do as an adult!!  I believe that God has allowed me to not see the memories because I wouldn’t be able to handle them.  He has protected me, even though He couldn’t control the free will and horrific choices of others – He has protected me despite what any man could do.

In short, that’s my story.  It’s the best explanation I have for my journey… I call it Molar Abuse!

On this stormy journey, I am hoping to leave a mark that trauma and abuse recovery isn’t easy, comfortable or a short-term event – it is a process and you are not alone!!  I’m hoping that by sharing [to the best of my capabilities] throughout my journey, I can reach someone where they are – because no one ever reaches the end of this journey.  

Every day is a product of your commitment and effort to make yourself more important than what happened to you.  Finding someone who is at the same place as you is difficult.  So, I truly pray that readers who find my journal and find a familiar place in their journey will know they are not alone in this lonely place.


--
I am a Mid-West girl turned Southern wife and a mother of four.  I currently work in marketing, web and social media content.  I have degrees, have taught and professionally performed as a professional musician, an artist and in stagecraft.  If I were to describe myself, I would say I am creative, impractical, organized, imaginative, honest, frugal, and like being in control.  I have always dreamed of being a published writer or professional speaker - then I realized, I really didn’t have a story to share... well, several years ago life presented me with journey!  My name is Rayne... I don’t yet have a story to tell, but I have a journey to share.




BLOGS
www.myjourneyjournal.org
www.molarabuse.com

SOCIAL MEDIA
www.facebook.com/myjourneyjournal
www.twitter.com/raynewhispers
www.twitter.com/molarabuse

CONTACT
whenraynewhispers@gmail.com

September 20, 2015

If You Can't Remember, Does It Mean The Abuse Wasn't Real? - Part 4

IMAGE CREDIT:  https://pixabay.com/en/sundress-summer-dress-girl-woman-336590/

FOUR | my journey journal

Over the last four years, I have kept record of my storms of trauma recovery, marriage counseling, personal therapy, disassociation, depression, an abuse support group, EMDR therapy, missing stages of development, neurological tests, brain scans, personality tests, learning disability tests, anti-depressants, ADHD and bi-polar diagnosis on When Rayne Whispers, my first blog… yet, few new memories of abuse and continued distance from my family, remained pieces that I just couldn’t seem to put together.

It has been important to me to continue to find my voice as an abuse survivor and a writer, despite the pieces of distorted, lost and repressed memories that I continued to put together.  Repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse as an adult is like being handed life in a puzzle box, having it shaken up and dropped all over the floor like a hail storm… all for you to pick up and put back together.  And, I’m not convinced you’ll ever find every piece - if every piece is in there.  However, if this is the life I was handed, I am so thankful for the bravery and intuition to start picking up one piece at a time and begin writing when I did. 

Recently I went back to the beginning of my blog… I was amazed when I reread the words typed by my hands.  Looking back at the beginning of my blog is like reading another person’s words.  Even now, I can see that I wrote in very detached sentences and thoughts.  Then I thought that I was being poetic and figurative with word-play, ironies and analogies as often as I could.  But now, I think I was searching for a way to say what I couldn’t say. 

Yes… that is why I felt called to journal! 

Writing when I had no story and when I only had whispers of words, even if for no one else but me… made a difference!  Even if I am the only difference it makes!  Looking back, I was on a journey and I was going somewhere… maybe not fast or in the right direction always, but I was going somewhere other than where I had been and that had to be!!  I continued to pray and write - soon my whispers started to become my journey.  I called it my “My Journey Journal”. 

I still yearn for a story… my story.  But as guilt and shame follow me, they also keep me mindful of my writing for others – it has to be part of my story!  I still try to not always seem depressed when I write and I don’t want to seem continually chipper.  Neither would adequately represent my journey.  However, it isn’t easy writing when you are depressed without a smile in sight and it feels like bragging when you aren’t.  I’ll say this, every day is a product of my commitment and effort to make myself more important than what happened to me. 

I struggle with the trap of generational cycles, only having moments now and then that I can actually remember without taking a picture and having to take naps every afternoon in avoidance what I’m not able to accomplish.  I struggle with guilt that I get frustrated if I am around other people for long periods of time, shame for what I don’t know happened and guilt for not being present for my family that doesn’t believe that this happened to me.  I have to admit that I have selective hearing and control issues.  I have unexplained phobias and intensified sensitivities to sounds and smells.  Co-dependence, triggers, narcissism and repressed memories are still terms that I am getting acquainted with.  Not feeling that I have “proof” that struggling through this storm is real is exhausting and it torments me.

I wish I could share some things that are OK with me… I know I sound like I am a mess.  I suppose I am, it’s just easier to share to obvious things in question.  Because, the thing I struggle with the most with who I am… is not knowing.


--
I am a Mid-West girl turned Southern wife and a mother of four.  I currently work in marketing, web and social media content.  I have degrees, have taught and professionally performed as a professional musician, an artist and in stagecraft.  If I were to describe myself, I would say I am creative, impractical, organized, imaginative, honest, frugal, and like being in control.  I have always dreamed of being a published writer or professional speaker - then I realized, I really didn’t have a story to share... well, several years ago life presented me with journey!  My name is Rayne... I don’t yet have a story to tell, but I have a journey to share.




BLOGS
www.myjourneyjournal.org
www.molarabuse.com

SOCIAL MEDIA
www.facebook.com/myjourneyjournal
www.twitter.com/raynewhispers
www.twitter.com/molarabuse

CONTACT
whenraynewhispers@gmail.com

September 14, 2015

If You Can't Remember, Does It Mean The Abuse Wasn't Real? - Part 3

IMAGE CREDIT:  https://pixabay.com/en/guess-attic-girl-woman-pretty-hair-837156/

THREE | when rayne whispers

Ironically, even as an adult I never wanted to get pregnant.  Well, it just seemed creepy to me, to have something moving inside me and not be in control of it.  I’m so melancholy, even not knowing when I’d go into labor frightened me.  And then, you have to actually parent… messing up someone else’s life was the ultimate reason for abstaining from parenthood.

But, don’t you know that God has a sense of humor?  (Or, maybe that is how we are supposed to look at it… a great plan of protection is probably more accurate.)  During my first pregnancy, I was working at a Crisis Pregnancy Center!!!  Let me tell you, I was an office assistant in crisis!!  (In years to come, all four of my babies were born by C-section.  I knew what day and what time I would go to the hospital and I did not a labor pain in between.)  And, I’m OK… I made it!

So…. what’s pregnancy have to do with who I am in my journey? 

The women in my support group for sexually abused women, new-found mentors I was blessed to have on my journey and the inspirational speakers that I adored and aspired to be weren’t “there”.  By “there”, I mean they were not where I was mentally, spiritually and generally.  I admired all of these women so much, but the place where I was getting stuck [in my journey] began to resemble what I had experienced [at this point] twice already – in pregnancy.  If you don’t already know, pregnancy is uncomfortable, painful, exhausting, and full of unknowns --- yet, never companionless!!  It became more apparent to me as time passed, that although you may be able to relate to someone pregnant [after you’ve been pregnant], after you have gone through labor something happens and you don’t really remember how it [pregnancy] felt to live through anymore.  The freedom of labor brings a much bigger gift than the experience of being pregnant.

With this realization, my journaling became more intentional.  Not only had I disassociated so much of my life and knew that someday I wouldn’t be able to remember the struggles that haunted me, I was already mindful that there had to be others who felt like I did.  ---  There had to be other women who weren’t ready yet or couldn’t be freed from the bondage of abuse, yet watched it displayed to them that they could be free.  It felt like another lie of life, a discouraging piece of the puzzle called recovery from childhood sexual abuse.

I knew that if I didn’t start writing then, if I waited until I found freedom from the trauma and abuse, I would be skipping the whole process that I felt others were missing!  I thought, if I am going to go through all the pain and hard work of recovery, I should use the steps of this journey (not just the destination and a new life) to help others.  I hoped that someday, I would find a renewed life and be free from the suffocation and pain of abuse - but, at the same time, it scared me that I wouldn’t remember either (maybe it was just an excuse to stay comfortably where I was, I had lived there my whole life, after all).

I knew I didn’t have a voice… all I had was a whisper.  I wasn’t “healed” from this secret disease.  I wasn’t the most educated, informed or experience writer.  But, I had a reason to write and I wrote as often as I was able.  I found strength in thinking about being rescued from Childhood Sexual Abuse.  Abuse became my storm of recovery.  Victory over my healing was allowing the rain of emotion to fall on me, knowing that the thunder will pass, allowing myself to embrace the times of hibernation and letting my senses being refreshed. 

With this I say, it was four years ago that I began to find my voice and share my journey.  My name is Rayne... I don’t yet have a story to tell, but I have a journey to share, even if with only a whisper, even only being able to hear the whisper of God’s presence, sometimes a whisper is all you have… sometimes it is all of have the strength to hear.

--
I am a Mid-West girl turned Southern wife and a mother of four.  I currently work in marketing, web and social media content.  I have degrees, have taught and professionally performed as a professional musician, an artist and in stagecraft.  If I were to describe myself, I would say I am creative, impractical, organized, imaginative, honest, frugal, and like being in control.  I have always dreamed of being a published writer or professional speaker - then I realized, I really didn’t have a story to share... well, several years ago life presented me with journey!  My name is Rayne... I don’t yet have a story to tell, but I have a journey to share.




BLOGS
www.myjourneyjournal.org
www.molarabuse.com

SOCIAL MEDIA
www.facebook.com/myjourneyjournal
www.twitter.com/raynewhispers
www.twitter.com/molarabuse

CONTACT
whenraynewhispers@gmail.com

September 6, 2015

If You Can't Remember, Does It Mean The Abuse Wasn't Real? - Part 2

IMAGE CREDIT:  https://pixabay.com/en/maid-maiden-fence-countryside-498254/


TWO | on the other side of the fence

As I sit at my computer with freshly brewed coffee and a brightly lit grass-scented candle and look back at the last ten years of my life… they are undeniably much different than the thirty before.

After leaving the women’s conference near the Shenandoah Valley, I stayed in touch with the speaker from the retreat.  It wasn’t soon after attending that conference, that my husband and I visited her office for an intense 3-day counseling session.  There, I found a safe room, someone who could ask the right questions and answer questions.  I found support on this new, lonely and scary journey.  There, my journey became real.

Over the next several years, I saw a therapist in my town.  She didn’t really talk about the repressed memories that surfaced with the first therapist, but I began to learn about disassociation (coping with trauma by not living in the presence) and co-dependency (emotionally relying on others for stability and decision-making).  Through those years in therapy, I became much more aware of who I never knew I had become.  I realized that I had become highly dependent and easily controlled by my husband, my kids, my surroundings and my circumstances over the years.  She would ask, but I couldn’t answer the question of who I was.  Week after week she would ask, “Who are you?” and I had no answer!  Slowly, I was able to begin to develop the ability to think for myself and the courage to rediscover who I was. 

Since I was not working during this time in my therapy, I began to read books.  Because of a sever learning disability, it was one of the first times in my life that I was able to comprehend and remember what I read – so, I kept reading.  I watched and listened to inspirational speakers, who themselves had been abused as girls.  I joined a group of women who had been abused at varying times in life. 

I was so thankful for a support group of women who would trust me with being a part of their stories.  They were accepting and loving to me.  But, despite being in blessed company, the “me abused” and “me not abused” where still two different girls.  Despite the support I was experiencing from my mentors, I was very alone.   I wasn’t on the same journey as the other women… well, maybe a similar journey, just different paths.  They had years of memories of abuse and I only had a hand-full of snapshots.  In many ways, honestly, I felt like a baby.  Although I was able to relate to their personality traits, the specific circumstances they endured and similar life-long struggles, I felt that they weren’t where I was anymore… they had passed me by in their stories and a connection had been broken.

Let me tell you, how this realization affected me…

I have always loved storms… the serenity of fresh rain on a window screen is my favorite.  I love the smell of rain (and grass scented candles – although, you already know that).  Anyway, I am sure I would have never guessed (or planned) what journey would be brewing as my life’s byline.   Ironically, during this time of my life, I began finding comfort in storms – more so than before… but, for a different reason.  Not just because of the intrigue of their abrasive behaviors or their moments of calm, but the symbolism that storms bring life to the deserted and that would allow me strength in fighting to find a voice.  Rain… the thought of it released loneliness and relaxed my fears.

Because of the level of abuse and repressed memories I was experiencing during that time in therapy, I didn’t have words to say.  I was often in bed for days unable to move with disassociation (separating the mind from the body, in protection of a threat or trauma) that would take over my body.  I couldn’t attend church for a period of time, fearing that I would freeze and everyone would see me, as I was seeing life from inside (which had happened several times).  (It was extremely embarrassing…. like having a mental health seizure.)  But, during this voiceless period, I began to find healing through typing. (Or, maybe is it called keyboarding now).  For years it hasn’t been easy for me to write by hand, ever since sixth grade.  Not only did an undiagnosed learning disability exasperate my ability to communicate, socially interact, comprehend and test verbal and written word, but my handwriting was illegible and was (is) as inconsistent as my circumstances.  But… typing!!!  When I type, things I never have thought to think float from my soul to the tips of my fingers.  

It was in journaling at the computer that I began to find a voice – in the midst of a raging storm for my sanity, safety, healing, freedom and soul.


--
I am a Mid-West girl turned Southern wife and a mother of four.  I currently work in marketing, web and social media content.  I have degrees, have taught and professionally performed as a professional musician, an artist and in stagecraft.  If I were to describe myself, I would say I am creative, impractical, organized, imaginative, honest, frugal, and like being in control.  I have always dreamed of being a published writer or professional speaker - then I realized, I really didn’t have a story to share... well, several years ago life presented me with journey!  My name is Rayne... I don’t yet have a story to tell, but I have a journey to share.




BLOGS
www.myjourneyjournal.org
www.molarabuse.com

SOCIAL MEDIA
www.facebook.com/myjourneyjournal
www.twitter.com/raynewhispers
www.twitter.com/molarabuse

CONTACT
whenraynewhispers@gmail.com

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