GO! Smell the Flower Blossom Out of Abuse!

Posted on January 12th, 2009 by Clinically Clueless

Hey there, flower smellers!! Do you have running thoughts or dialogue in your head sometimes especially with making a decision?  Well, that is exactly what this Southern Californian has regarding this post. “How much do I tell about myself?  Will it turn people off?  Is it appropriate?  What if it makes people stop reading my posts?  Is it necessary?  What if I say too much?  Will people be repulsed?” “Will I be taken seriously?”  And, on and on…what a headache.

I knew the day would come when I would actually divulge a little more of myself and not just refer to things or write them in the comment sections.  It is scary for me to be honest even though my blog is all about my past, healing and recovery.  The reason I remain anonymous is because I do not want my family to know what has happened or what is currently going on with me.

Girl, just get on with it….

Okay, here goes….

I have worked in the mental health field more than 20 years and have been a patient in psychotherapy for more than 17 years (not including a five year break) with the same therapist.  I currently have the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (recurrent, moderate), Chronic Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder (which I almost don’t fit the criteria anymore…hard, hard work), Eating Disorder NOS, and Dissociative Disorder NOS due a childhood filled with trauma and abuse which include neglect, verbal, emotional physical, sadistic sexual abuse.

I’ve also struggled with self-injury, suicide and issues with my body/weight since I can remember.  I cannot remember not feeling depressed.  I have had two psychiatric hospitalizations and a suicide attempt.  I have had two periods of time where I required medication including now.  The long term plan is that I will not need to have medications once therapy is not as emotionally intense.

My first memory of having a suicidal type thought was when I was two. From what I’ve been able to piece together, I stopped crying as an infant because I would get smothered, hit or pinched. My father slowly drifted out of my life and he was verbally and physically abusive to my mother and I. They divorced when I was 3 or younger.  Basically, I was unwanted as they “had to get married” because my mother was pregnant with me.

At about 4-5 years old, my mother got involved with a man who would become my step-father. He and his father and friends were sadistically sexually abusive to me. Between the ages of 4 to 9, my sadistic narcissistic step-father and his father at first forced me to have sex with them.  Then, progressed into sodomy, oral sex, genital beatings, bondage, insertions, and asphyxiation.  (There is some evidence that points to a “cult-like” involvement with the sexual abuse and the number of unknown men.)

At six years old, I remember my step-father putting a knife up to my neck and reminding me that he could kill me whenever he wanted to and no one would know or care. He continued the verbal abuse, humiliation and then subtle sexual abuse until he moved out when I was 21.  I have no idea of his whereabouts now, so there was no legal action.  Nor, do I want to pursue it.

My mother, who wouldn’t get out of the abusive relationship used to constantly warn me to “watch what I do and say because he could kill me.” She was also extremely emotional volatile and verbally, emotionally and physically abusive. I was 23 the last time that she slugged me. There is also evidence that she probably left me home alone as an infant to go party. Because of the things that she said to me, I grew up thinking that I was evil, bad and deserved to die. Or, I wanted to die to escape the pain. 

To this day, she interacts with me on a superficial level unable to go deeper, is ignoring, directly hostile, passive-aggressive or tries to get me to take care of her.  I have tried to set boundaries and speaking with her directly, but then it either makes her worse or “I’m too sensitive.”   She cannot handle it if I am not doing well.  When I told her that I am no longer working, she paused then talked about the Nordstrom sale.  I told her ahead of time that I was admitting myself to a psychiatric hospital and she responded, “You’ve always had such a good head on your shoulders, make good decisions, I’ve never had to worry about you.”  In order to have a relationship with her, I need to be her fantasy or projection.

I’ve been a Christian since 1981, which has saved my life.  Currently, I am trying to come to terms with my abuse and feel feelings that I did not feel then, but to me God held my tears for me.  In the Bible, it says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8). It feels like He is giving them back to me and I don’t want to hold them.  Anyway, either, He has a very huge bottle or a case for me.

This is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about mental health issues and will be writing awareness posts related to my personal life and mental illness.  Statistically, I should have killed myself by now and should have married someone abusive, but I married a fairytale husband who is a gift.  I feel like God has been present in my whole life and is in control of my healing.  My faith, my husband, my therapist, my church, support system, my resilience and courage have brought me through to where I am today. 

Despite all of what I have been through and am dealing with, I am satisfied with my life (I know that doesn’t make sense to some people) and my garden has continued to grow.  I have lots of weeds and roots to dig up, but my personal garden is becoming beautiful.  Sometimes, that is necessary for a healthy garden.

About three years ago, I became unable to work or do anything, but go to therapy.  This is quite different from being an over-achieving workaholic.  I have good days and bad days.  I am getting better and am resolute in my desire to heal and want to continue to help others.  I am extremely grateful for God providing the financial means and support throughout this process.  I feel really blessed.  However, I don’t know where this road leads.  I feel that I am continuing to do what our best man who said at our wedding, “He has watched me blossom.”

*Meaning of daisies ~ unfettered love, innocence and purity.

If you are interested there is a YouTube video in the Forum under “understanding mental illness.”  It explains what mental illness is and has some startling statistics.  Please take a look.

What things in your life are you resolute about facing?

Help the Garden to grow…all comments welcome!


14 Responses to “GO! Smell the Flower Blossom Out of Abuse!”

  1. Svasti says:

    CC, its so brave of you to write this here on a blog that’s not your own personal space. And all in one hit.

    I think the thing that’s so interesting about where you’re at, is that you’ve made it despite odds stacked incredibly against you. You’ve made choices that have brought you towards the light and healing, instead of a continuing spiral of self-destruction.

    For those who’ve never experienced any form of mental illness, I think its really hard to understand what it can be like to live with chronic depression and the host of other issues you face.

    Until I was assaulted and suffered depression and PTSD, I had no idea. Not just of what its like to be in those shoes, but just how debilitating such things can be. And I haven’t suffered anywhere near as badly as you have!!

    Before that horrible event in my life, I was carefree, a bit of a risk-taker and a dare-devil. Now, I’m just trying to get back to neutral.

    Something I’ve recently realised is that people who ‘live with’ mental illness are strong. Super-strong. To be able to live with it, survive, get by (even if it doesn’t look like they’re getting by very well) – that’s something.

    Like you, I’m up and down at the moment. It makes contributing here much harder, because in one of the ‘down’ phases, there’s barely enough energy for anything. Even getting dressed.

    We can use as many words as we like to try and describe what this experience of life is like, but its as impossible for someone to understand as it is trying to imagine life as a child in a war zone. We don’t know the feelings, the stress, the impact on everything in that person’s life because we aren’t in their shoes.

    Sometimes I can’t get out of bed. Sometimes I’ll stay in doors all day. Other times I’m great – I work in a very busy and responsible job and I manage to do that just fine (most of the time). But sometimes, I’m definitely not okay. Like you, I’m in therapy and I’m damned determined to heal, get better.

    I know the one thing I crave (and don’t get from many people in my life) is just a bit of acceptance. People would rather look away, talk about anything else but what they can see right in front of them. I know that people only do this because they’re scared, but acceptance goes a long way towards helping people like you and I feel supported.

  2. Jim says:

    Thanks for this CC and for sharing the vid in foums.

    Likewise to you Svasti – welcome back.

    Once we get the profile features up and running at flowers they’ll be more space for self expression for sure – something that you’d led the way with here at GSTF.

  3. A/C says:

    Hey CC

    Wow thats one hell of a story…. and so very brave ofyou to come out and share it with us…

    To still have a relationship with your Mum is an immense credit to you..
    How you have come to this point in your life is a truely amazing and an inspiration to everyone..
    I said it to before and I will say it again
    you are an amazing and wondedrful person
    So glad you are here in the garden…..
    Blessing to you girl….

    So much stigma surrounds Mental Illness, although many celebrities are coming out and speaking about theres.
    society on a whole is slowly breaking down those barriers and the stigma I feel is slowly shifting as more understanding and patiences comes around….
    One day no one will bat an eyelid, and Just say OK!…

    • I would love to see that day come!! I really like that the celebrities are coming out…that helps tremendously.

      Reading this post myself, I keep thinking that is my life? Yes, it is. My relationship with my mother is so difficult and being with her on Christmas has really thrown me. But, I know I will figure it out, but it won’t be easy.

      Thank you for the compliments!

  4. Sarah says:

    (((clap))) bravo CC..

  5. Emma says:

    Hi CC,

    Wow!

    I read your story with tears rolling down my face. Tears of sorrow and tears of joy. For what you went through and that you are now coming through this.

    May you continue to blossom as the beautiful flower you are.

    Thank you for you honesty, vulnerability and courage in sharing this with us.

    xo

    • Emma,

      Thank you. I feel your compassion. It just felt like it was time to explain myself a little bit and why somethings affect me so much. The honesty, vulnerability and courage was fine until this post published!!! :-)

      CC
      xo

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