On Fighting And Survival

I received a letter tonight, containing diary entries and poems from my ex. “A goodbye letter”, she called it. We’ve been communicating almost every day, but now that’s over. She’s stopped all communication between us, and removed me from her social media. I understand why she had to do it. I just thought we could still be friends. Because I don’t understand how you can just “turn it off” after sharing almost 4 years together. But it was the right thing for her to do, for her to heal and be able to move on. I have so many emotions and thoughts. I don’t know what to do with them all. All I can think of to do is write this post in an attempt to survive. I’m not talking suicide. Rather feeling that my body is going to give up on me, and I won’t wake up in the morning. Maybe writing this will force it to just keep going. To hang on.

I was involved in combat sport for a few years. Mostly Muay Thai and MMA. MMA only lasted a few months, as I discovered I didn’t enjoy the ground work and having big, sweaty men in awkward positions between my legs. I still learned a lot from the experience though. In Muay Thai I found my home. And in that gym, I found my spark. It was as though something had come alive inside of me.

It helped me develop discipline, and enabled me to release all the pent up emotions that had built up over the years. It also gave me a boost to my self esteem when I became known as the small, innocent looking girl who’s strength didn’t match the outer package. The female coach, a former world championship title holder, took a particular interest in me. We became good friends outside the gym. But during training, we were just coach and student. I respected her as a coach, and because I’m extremely good at compartmentalizing certain things, I found it easy to forget we were friends outside the gym, while training. She would still “discipline” me if I was doing something stupid and unsafe. And I would still feel embarrassed and shy and like I just got crapped out by the coach. Ouch. She would always tell me I have that “thing”. That I could be a world champion. I never saw it. Which is why I turned down going to Thailand to train and fight (besides, I couldn’t afford the trip anyway). She kept encouraging me though. I had a few small light contact fights, but that’s as far as I ever got. I didn’t care about getting hurt. I just couldn’t bring myself to hurt another girl. If I were allowed to fight against a guy, it might have been a different story.

There’s a particular memory that brings a smile to my face whenever I remember it. A new guy had joined the gym and it was a Saturday morning sparring session. My coach/friend came over with the new guy. I was in a bad mood that day, so was taking it out on the punching bag instead of sparring. She asked me whether I’d spar with him. I’ll never forget her words to him: “Don’t let her appearance fool you, she’ll knock you out if you’re afraid to hit her. So make sure you get in there and fight.” She winked at me and walked off. My bad mood vanished.

My favourite though was sparring with the coaches. I felt I could go all out. I received a few beatings, but it was great. I relished the challenge and the laughs. I also met one of my closest friends in that gym. She actually reads this blog. The day I had to leave my Muay Thai home was awful. I was devastated. It felt like a part of me died. A couple years later I found another gym, and I started Muay Thai again, as well as starting in Krav Maga. But I hurt my shoulder during one training session. It wasn’t major, requiring a hospital visit, but it was bad enough that I couldn’t train for a few months and would have to go for “therapy” sessions with a physiotherapist. I still have pain in that shoulder from time to time if I bend my arm a certain way, but most of the time I don’t struggle with it. I wanted to go back, but unfortunately I couldn’t afford it anymore. Until today, I have this missing part of me that longs for my sport. I found an MMA/Muay Thai gym close by, so as soon as I get a job, I’m going to start training again. It’s perfect therapy.

During my training, I didn’t know that it would be years later where I would finally connect it with real life. Now I face the true fight. The fight for survival. The fight for life.

I haven’t had suicidal thoughts for a few weeks now, which has been refreshing. But I feel that all I have the strength for right now is to survive. That’s the focus of my day. Just surviving. I don’t feel I’m living, like I have the strength to live. What do we do when we don’t want to hurt ourselves anymore, and suicide isn’t an option? We survive.

It doesn’t seem to make sense that I’m fighting to survive, yet don’t have the strength to live. How do you explain something like that to someone?

Maybe an analogy will explain it better. Muay Thai and MMA taught me to fight. Krav Maga taught me to survive against attacks on my person, as well as against knives and guns. I’m not able to fight right now (as in MMA and Muay Thai), but I can most certainly survive (as in Krav Maga). Eventually I’ll start fighting Muay Thai again. All I know is that I’m still standing.

So even though I can’t fight to live right now, I can fight to survive. And that’s enough for now.

From The Deep: Why Can’t The Past Just Stay In The Past?

It’s been one of those days.

Where old hurts that I hadn’t even remembered in years came flooding back. Where people I had forgotten about, reappeared in my mind. Trying to push it aside. Trying to forget again. This pain is too much. I don’t want to feel it. Yet I do feel it. And I can do nothing about it, because once again for reasons beyond my understanding, I am unable to shed a tear. Oh, I know other ways to try stop the pain. But it doesn’t always help either. Or am I just doing it wrong? A rhetorical question, I guess.

Along with these memories, came this song. A song I never would have discovered or even liked, but which quickly became very special to me. Both a source of comfort at times, and of utter devastation at others. I was sent this song by one of those forgotten people. I hadn’t realized I had kept it all these years. I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want to remember it. The events that led to me receiving this song. The reason for it. The meaning behind the lyrics. What happened after. Yet it feels like a part of me and I can’t seem to let it go yet. Why do we hold onto things? Why can’t we just leave the past where it belongs?

From The Deep lyrics:

Your dreams
Your prayer
I can’t believe
Can’t be just pain
Your days your ways
In all these tears
In all these screams

From the deep my call
There is one reason for your life
One more reason for your life

Here I am
Please don’t cry
Till the end to say goodbye
Here I am
And here my prayer
I’m still here and in your days

From the deep my call
There is one reason for your life
One more reason for your life

This is the life
Too short to die
To hard to stay
We’ll meet again
These words for you to say goodbye

Perfect day for the rain
Hear my song to say goodbye
Till the end of this life
When the light goes away
Hear my song and hear my cry
It’s not the end of your life.

Here I am please don’t cry
Till the end to say goodbye
Here I am and hear my prayer
I’m still here and in your days

Dream: The Girl

I walk into the living room. It’s a mess. Broken plates and mugs scattered everywhere. The electronic equipment all but destroyed.

The room is filled with people. As they notice me standing there, they start shouting and laughing at me. Some whispering among themselves.

Shame and embarrassment settles over me.

Then, the anger comes. Surging through my body. Faster than a bullet leaving the barrel of a gun.

I see her.

A little girl in the corner. Watching me.

Barefoot, stepping on the broken plates and mugs, I walk up to her and grab her hard by the arm. She needs to be punished. She looks at me with big, scared eyes.

I am hurting her.

And I realize…

She is me.

Gone

I wish I could make myself disappear.

It’s all too much. I want to sleep and never wake up.

A darkness so thick and overwhelming I don’t know where I am.

I’ve been trusting these past few weeks. Far too trusting. Now wounds have been opened, and attempts to close them are not working. I want to say “fuck it all”, “fuck you world”, and climb back over that disintegrating wall in an attempt to fix it. Safe behind it. At least partly safe until it’s back to its full strength. Allowing myself to climb over the wall, and having people hammer away at it at the same time might just have been my biggest mistake.

I don’t know if I can be healed or “fixed”. I don’t even know if I’m broken. Maybe it’s all just an illusion. Maybe none of this is real anyway. Maybe I have lost my mind, and my body is lying motionless somewhere, with everything going on only in my head.

A choir of voices filling the oceans within me.
“You’re worthless.”
“I’ll give you something to cry about.”
“How can that possibly upset you?”
“You’re a piece of shit.”
“Children should be seen, not heard.”
“You’re just like them.”
“You’re stupid.”
“Why can’t you be more like … She’s perfect”
“I hate you.”
“Get over it.”
“Stop being a baby and just get up.”
“Your feelings don’t matter right now”
“Can’t you do anything right?”
“I wish you would just die.”

Who’s voices are those? I can’t even tell anymore. It doesn’t even matter. Nothing does.

She just wanted someone to sit with her awhile when she couldn’t get out of bed.
She just wanted to be heard.
She just wanted to be held when the tears were falling fast.
She just wanted to be protected.
She just wanted to be understood.
She just wanted to feel worthy.
She just wanted you to love her.

But she is not here right now.

She’s gone.

Refreshing The Soul

The threat of gale force winds looms
Ocean waves rising higher and higher
Rain battering against the windows
The glass doors shaking and rattling

Safe inside. But my soul is asleep.

Stepping out of the warmth and safety.

I stand in the rain, letting it pour over me. Oh so refreshing. Cleansing.

The wind now forcing me to hold onto the railing. It got worse so quick. Fear spreading through me. I used to be afraid of the wind. But then, the fear turns into exhilaration.

Ice cold. Shivering.

I stand there until I can’t feel my body anymore. Numb on the outside.

But deep down inside I feel alive again.

rain

The Age Game

My ex and I had this ‘game’.

Depending on how I was acting, she would assign an age to me. The oldest I got to was 60. The wise old lady. But that was always accompanied a few hours later or earlier by a downgrade to any age between 2-16 years old.

Well, today I was the toddler throwing a tantrum. So, I guess that makes me 2 or 3 years old. Take your pick.

They say a symptom of BPD is impulsive behaviour. Does posting something in the heat of an intense emotional meltdown count as being impulsive? What about sending your therapist an email while in that same emotional state? I did both. And once the storm had passed, I was left feeling like a complete idiot. Again. Why do I keep doing this to myself?

I had a therapy session today, and for the first time since we started seeing one another I just wasn’t feeling the connection. Something was off. In hindsight, I was feeling very exposed and vulnerable. I also felt a wall at times. One I had most probably constructed in my own mind.

Near the end of our session, I turned the conversation to a personal matter. And obviously I was approaching a boundary. Naturally, my therapist wouldn’t give me the information I wanted. Then, the whole one-sided relationship feeling washed over me. I might have pushed a little, knowing that boundary would be there. But pushing anyway. Wanting, needing to feel ‘special’. But of course, I’m not.

After the meltdown, but still in ‘danger zone’ I decided to take a drive down to the beach. I needed to get rid of all the energy coursing through my body, and get my mind to shut up. I chose the healthier and safer option of release, which I can hear my therapist say I should be proud of. So I’ll go with that.

ocean - Copy

There was no one else around. I walked, concentrating on listening to the sound of the waves breaking, the feel of the sand beneath my feet, the smells and sounds in the air. Things got calm. I felt utterly alone. Yet I basked in this sense of solitude. Just me and nature. I didn’t need anyone. I didn’t want anyone. Sitting on the soft, white sand, my mind started wandering.

I came to the conclusion that yes, I actually do need people in my life. We all do. And I already have a wonderful support group of two.

So why then, if I knew I had someone I really need in my life, did I just realize that I’d been trying to push her away? To distance myself from her? Is it because she’s going on holiday? But I’ve gone two weeks between sessions before. Besides, she needs the break. She deserves more than a week actually. It’s not like she’s leaving forever. Or is it the fear that our application for more sessions would be rejected and it would be longer than just a couple of weeks before we could resume our work together?

Is it because she’s getting too close? I’ve let her in on so many secrets already. She knows too much. No one can know so much about me and still choose to stay. Yes, she said she’s committed, but I thought the same about other people in the past, and they ended up leaving. Maybe I’m trying to see how far I can push. Maybe it’s easier to do the rejecting than being rejected.

Or perhaps, with my recent revelation in another post about the way I feel for her, did I subconsciously create the drama at the end of our session on purpose to find a reason to hate her?

I don’t have the answer. I won’t pretend to understand. Maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe it’s something else entirely.

As is the usual case with me, while I was trying to push her away, I was also panicking at other times that she would leave. I don’t want to lose her. I want her close. See, there’s that walking contradiction thing again. I’m still feeling a little insecure, but I need to deal with it.

I can now understand why some professionals don’t want to work with us. But I think it’s their loss… Because I’m sure once we’ve gone through the healing process and arrived on the other side, it’s the biggest compliment to the therapist who chose to commit.

The saying goes “one day at a time”. But that feels overwhelming sometimes, so I’ve broken it down even further. One hour at a time. Like a baby learning to walk. Little steps at a time. Slowly. We can do this.

Now to work myself up to my actual age.