My Life, Living With 2 O’clock. . .

One of the things that I had promised myself when starting this blog over a year ago was that I was going to open up as much as I could about what it is I go through in this journey called “healing”.

My main focus at first was to slowly introduce my thoughts on many different things in life, and then slowly open up about my past, and then move into talking about my healing in therapy, and through connection.

In the past month, I have been opening up more and more here in my blog. I have also been reading my blog entries with my therapist in sessions during the week. I read and speak it out to the room! It has truly moved me through a whole different direction in my healing, along with the great work that I do in working with the timeline.

I have found that the more and more I am writing, sharing and being with them, the more I am getting to the core of some really hard things that I deal with, and that I feel I can open up about, and being vulnerable and open towards healing.

It all started yesterday, I was on a website that I am a member of called “after the silence”, and some woman asked a question to everyone and said “does the pain ever end?”.

I saw that question and had an immediate reaction to it, it was sadness. Those are the moments I want to reach through the computer and just give this person a hug. Her question broke my heart, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I couldn’t sleep, because I hold something that I go through everyday, and I know what pain feels like.

I thought about it more, and more, and thought about it in church this morning, and decided that I was going to open up in this blog about something that is truly the hardest to talk about, and something I still deal with on a daily basis. This has truly been the hardest thing to over-come in my life, and I still struggle with it daily.

I am hoping that by sharing it, it may not only bring relief to me to open up about it, but to bring some light to others. I may not have an answer or a resolution to this, but by opening up about it, it may help others to know that “you are not alone”.

Since as far back as I can remember (age 5).. I go through this bout of emotions that we call 2 O’clock. We call it 2 O’clock because it’s around the time of the day that I was abused daily as a child (after school).

No matter what I am doing, what mood I am in, who I am with, where I am or what time of the day it is – I go through this chain of emotions that hijack me out of nowhere. There is no warning, no “bracing for it”,  it just shows up!

The emotions that take over me are – sadness, loneliness, a sense of worthlessness, and fear, feelings that I did something wrong, feelings of need and want but not knowing what I need or want. I even have a feeling of hate towards myself.

Sometimes the sadness will bring me to complete tears where I have to stop anything I am doing and go home and just be alone in it, or there are times when I just shut down and disconnect from anyone around me. When this happens it’s almost as if I am not present with anyone around me, it feels THAT bad.

There have been people in my life that have seen this happen to me on a daily basis since I was a child (my sister being one of the main people). My sister for the longest time could never understand why once a day, I would get in this “funk” she called it, to where she couldn’t even reach me. I was blank, and almost non responsive.

She would explain it as me being deaf and not being able to hear her no matter how many times she would try and talk to me. The feelings that I was going through in those moments were that powerful and that horrible, that I couldn’t even hear anyone around me. I guess you could pretty much say I checked out internally.

I have lost friends because of it in the past, because I couldn’t function when I was around them when this happened to me, and they thought it had something to do with them. When this happened I would want to go home and be alone with these feelings that would overcome me. It was truly hard to be around anyone when these feelings came on, and today I still struggle with being around people for a long amount of time in fear that it will happen.

It doesn’t last all day, and sometimes it’s very brief, but it’s never brief enough. It can last anywhere from 15 minutes to hours. Whatever the case may be, anytime with this, is too long, especially where I have lived in these feelings my whole life.

When 2 O’clock ends, it’s a feeling of relief – you can imagine that is how I felt as a child, when the sexual abuse was over for “that day”.

There was a time just a year ago that I tried to cover the feelings of 2 O’clock up by taking pain pills. (hydrocodone, oxycodone) getting them from my doctor; faking pain that I never had. As we all know, those are only temporary relievers, and no matter how many pain pills I took to cover it, the problem was still there. What I learned was, the pain medicine was fake feelings, and I needed to honor the real feelings to heal!

I manged to walk away from that short-term addiction (thank you God for that strength), and turned towards something more healing and that is – talking about it, and honoring it. I turned towards opening up about 2 O’clock, and facing it, rather than covering it or running from it.

Today, it’ a little easier to deal with, because I now know what it is. These feelings are the same feelings I would have as a child before the abuse would happen. For some reason it has carried inside of me all these years, and even now today, I still go through these chain of emotions.

I have learned to handle and work with them a lot easier than before, and I feel today I have more control over it. When I am going through 2 O’clock, I reach out. I reach out instead of going inward.

When I am going through 2 O’clock today, I write an email to my support, or, I will send just a simple text saying “2 o’clock”, or I will call any one of my support and leave a voicemail saying “going through 2, and I am reaching out”. I have actually gone through 2 O’clock in therapy, and we were able to work with it, and understand it more.

One day I was so frustrated with it, that I decided instead of letting it hijack me everyday, I was going to use it as “information”. I was going to talk to it and say “OK what are you trying to tell me, and how can I honor these emotions?”. Instead of letting it be a fear, I welcomed it as something I can work with, instead of against it.

Have you ever gone to the ocean and tried to walk against the current? it’s a lot harder to walk against it, than to turn around and walk with it. So when 2 O’clock comes, I try and walk with it, and honor the feelings it’s trying to tell me.

I have found that by walking with it, it’s less powerful, and I am finding that I am having more and more control over it each day. No, it’s not easy to honor something that makes you feel horrible inside, or feelings that bring back emotions you had as a child before and during the abuse, but I can either let it define me, or walk “with” it.

I dont have an answer as to what will make these feelings go away, but what I do know is that, I am healing through it, and I am not alone. I am trying to tell myself everyday that these feelings I feel, are just information; a piece of my past that I need to honor and understand instead of letting it take over me, and disconnect me.

I dont know why I had the childhood I had, I dont know why I went through all the torture I went through, I dont know why 2 O’clock shows up everyday in my life. I dont know alot of things, but what I do know is that, I am healing, I am walking towards my true self, I am talking about the story from me, and I have the most amazing, loving and caring support I could ever ask for!

My therapist told me a quote a long time ago that I have held onto, but didn’t quite find it in my heart to accept quite yet, and tonight as I write this, this quote finally found a place in my heart and that is “God is there for you in minimum protection, but maximum support”.

I have Gods strength everyday to help guide me to where I see light in my path. God could not control what happened to me, but he sure could give me strength to get through it!

Those are all powerful things that 2 O’clock can never overcome, and everyday I try and remind myself of those very things.

Continue Reading

Grieving The Past

One of the things that has been most confusing for me in this healing process, is being told “you are grieving your past” and “you need to grieve the past to heal”.

Why would I grieve something that was painful? Why would I grieve something that I wish never happened to me? Why would I grieve something that was so horrific?

I have lost someone very very special to me, my Nana. She was one of the only people in my life that truly loved me unconditionally. Losing her I knew what it felt like in that loss. It was sad and heart breaking, because I had that close bond with her, she was the only one I had a close bond with that was safe, and I loved her back just as much… but why would I grieve pain and suffering?

When we grieve our past it’s grieving what should have been, or could have been. For me right now I am grieving the mom I never had. I had a mom, but she was not a mom. My mother was always “sick” in bed, bed ridden, house bound for 16+ years, and when she wasn’t sick or in bed just sleeping, she neglected me; put her needs first.

I spent most of my childhood only knowing my mom as being in bed, always sleeping. I have this horrible memory of me when I was 8 years old, throwing up on the floor, and my mom handing me the towel telling me to clean it up, because she was in bed sleeping and didn’t want to get up to care for me, so I learned to take care of myself, comfort myself, love myself.

I today as an adult grieve the “want and need” to have a relationship with “a mom”. I am grieving that childhood I never had. I am grieving that trust, and the love that I should have had. I am grieving that a mom would sit with me while I was sick, throwing up, and rub my back, and put me to bed with hugs and kisses.

Through this process of healing and honoring that story of what happened, you start to open yourself up to allow the grieving to happen. Right now I am going through that in my timeline. I think one of the reason we decided to do the timeline was to honor what I should have felt, what I never could feel, or could never say.

Part of that work is talking about how I felt then, and how I feel now. A Lot of my feelings now are wishing I had what I never had – a moms love, support, comfort, and all the things a child should have had, and even today what an adult should have; loving parents who put their children before anyone else. When I was younger, I only knew to survive, I never had feelings about it, I wasn’t allowed to have feelings about it.

Some people may say “well if you never had it, why would you grieve something you never had?”. We are all humans in need of love, support, connection, care, and tenderness. We as humans all have that connection inside of us that needs personal relationships. God created us to be in relationship, and be love and be loved; it’s an internal gift given to us by God.

Me being a victim of abuse, I never trusted the love or support, but I still wanted it. I have had to learn how to accept any support and love I have today. It has taken me years to accept that. It has taken me years to allow my support to hug me – and now that I know what it feels like, I am grieving what I should have had in my life; a mom who loves and put’s her daughter first, a dad who loves and doesn’t use the belt to beat me, and brothers who protect their sister; not sexually abused her.

I am at a point in my life right now that having a mom is something I deeply need. I have sat in therapy many times over and over  saying, “I need a mom, I want a mom in my life” “WHERE IS SHE NOW? yeah I know, She’s STILL SLEEPING!”.  This breaks my heart! I have tears right now writing this.

My childhood was about surviving, and taking care of myself, I am tired and exhausted. When I am asked, “what do you need?”.. it’s always “I need a mom, I want more than anything to leave this room, and go meet a mom for lunch, or go cuddle on the couch with a mom who will hug me and ask me all about my joys or sadness”. When I am asked “what do you need” it hurts to be asked that question, because I cannot have what I need and want.

Me being a mom of 3 boys, I have nothing but unconditional love for them, it’s hard for me to understand how I never had that. My children are my life, they come first, I could never hurt them, how is it that I did not have the same? WHY? Why is it that my mom and dad had nice things, but yet I went to school with holes in my shoes, and clothes twice my size? Why is it that I feared coming home everyday from school, knowing sexual abuse was waiting for me, instead of going home to a safe and loving family with open arms? I dont get it, and I never will – so I grieve.

I really do understand what it means to grieve the past, because right now, I am going through it, and the reason I understand it now, is because I am feeling like I never have before. I just need to find a way to gain strength from it to move forward. There are days that it seems easier than others, and then days where I am heart broken in tears, like right now at 4am.

Yes I have support, I have so much support at my fingertips whenever I need it. I have a wonderful husband, I have wonderful kids, I have a church community, I have dear friends, I have a wonderful therapist who I can reach out to at anytime, but the one relationship that I truly need, has never been, nor will ever be.

Grieving? It’s a process, a very hard process in this healing, but it’s a needed process. So I sit here and I grieve; I grieve so that I can fully heal and be at peace in knowing that I am loved and supported, but also need to honor that I wont have the past, I wont have the childhood, or the mom or the family I need. It hurts, it sometimes hurts so much that I cannot breathe, but I guess that is why they call it grieving.

Continue Reading

Living Life with PTSD

My entire life, up to this point, I have always thought deep within that “this is the way that I am, this is the way that I have always been, and this is the way that I will always be.

For the first time in my life, I can actually say, “this is why I am the way that I am, this is not how it’s always going to be, and the most important part? – “this is not my fault”.

I am a victim of child sexual abuse! The first part of healing, is admitting what happened to you as real, and true. You cannot heal from something you do not accept as happened to you. It has taken me 5 years in this journey of healing (therapy) with someone I trust, to help me understand that “this was done TO me, and this is NOT who I am”. I took the step 5 years ago, to go to someone and talk about my story from ME, and release the silence within – and I am thankful that I have that support to go forward in my journey.

Living with PTSD and trying to overcome it, has been the hardest work I have ever had to endure! I am still to this day working hard through it! There is not a day that goes go by, that I do not live with the ramifications of the abuse I endured as a child. People may say that “it’s the past, you have to let it go” .. but if you haven’t lived with it, or lived IN it, you will never understand it, or understand the demons it casts upon you.

Yes the abuse may no longer be happening now, but you never forget! You never forget how it made you feel, how it destroyed your self worth, or what it has done to you inside. The memories, the smells, the triggers, the thoughts – that at any given time on any day, an image can pop into your head uninvited, and you are immediately brought back to the situation that traumatized you. When those moments happen, you feel you have no control; as if you are being abused all over again! You feel as if you are back in the very moment it happened, and you feel defeated, you feel lost, and you feel alone – Imagine going through this process for 35+ years? I do not wish this life on ANYONE!

I have finally reached a place in my journey of healing, and came to realization, that this is NOT the way I am going to live, and this is NOT who I am, and this is NOT who I am going to be. I am finding my way out of the abuse by honoring what has happened to me in the past, telling my story for ME, doing a timeline of my story of  the abuse I endured, and facing it head on. I am slowly welcoming the memories as “information” and not “triggers“. I have found that the more I honor the feelings and the memories, the more I have control over them, and when I say THEM, I not only mean the memories; but the people who hurt me in the past.

It’s not easy to honor something that hurts, it’s not easy to face the memories head on and invite them in.. it’s painful, sad and it makes you angry, but what I have realized is that, the more I fought the triggers and the feelings, the more they had control over me every single day, and that is giving it another day of my life that “they” already took from me!

I go through this daily ritual, and have for the past 35+ years – a ritual that sends me right back into the abuse that makes me feel isolated, and ashamed, guilty and sad, worthless, and full of fear. I have taken that ritual and I have welcomed it! I have come to terms that I am no longer letting it ruin my life, but welcoming it as information that I need to heal from it. It’s a lot easier to walk WITH the current, than it is to walk against it.

Honoring is hard work, it takes a lot of strength, courage, and support!! – But I am taking control over the story and no longer being the person that lived in “their” silence. Each day that you take that trigger and feel it, and walk with it, instead of against it, it will eventually get weaker; to the point of you walking ahead of it, instead of IT walking your path for you!

I am, and always will be a victim of abuse, but how I choose to let it empower over me is my choice.. and the one thing that I now know in telling the story from me is that  -“this is why I am the way that I am, this is not how it’s always going to be, and the most important part? – this is NOT my fault.

 

 

Continue Reading