Protection And Running Away

This is a follow up from my previous post.

After I had written it, and gone to sleep, I had a nightmare.

Before I get into the dream, it needs to be said that most of my dreams over the years have followed a similar theme. They all involve me protecting others (or myself and even baby animals). Running away from someone, a group of people, or something (like a natural disaster).

In this dream, that person was my step-father. He was hurting my youngest little sister, and throwing her around the room. She was so tiny. Just a little toddler. It broke me seeing what he was doing to her. So I picked her up and ran. Suddenly there were other people with us who I was also trying to lead to safety. We climbed and jumped over walls and roofs, and crawled through barbed wire fences. Trying to stay out of sight of the monster who was hunting us. There were security camera’s, so it was even more important for us to avoid being seen. There were wide open spaces, which made us especially vulnerable. Other spaces were difficult to get through, as there were plants and trees surrounding us. We came across a house here and there, but I knew they weren’t safe to run into. That the people who lived there were in on it with my step-father. Every time I thought we were in the clear, I’d find that it wasn’t over, and he was catching up to us.

Suddenly a SWAT team appeared. They were helping us escape. But then we understood that they weren’t there to help us at all. They had their own agenda. Now there were more people after us. One of the guys running with us, picked up a dead snake, and told us that the SWAT team had been fooling us. Why a dead snake, and what that has to do with anything, I have no idea (some of my dreams have featured snakes- I don’t know what that represents). At the end of the dream, when I finally thought we were really safe this time, as there were normal people walking around, I realized that we were still in danger. I felt trapped.

I woke up crying. And I realized just how much my past has affected me, and shaped my life. For the first time, I can acknowledge that I haven’t yet fully dealt with it. I always tried to run away from my past. Pretending that it didn’t affect me. But now I realize just how much it actually did.

Once I was fully awake, I felt a combination of anger and deep hurt. I’ve always tried to be the protector to everyone. To take care of others. I took on that role. But who protects me? Who protected that little girl? The people who were supposed to protect her, didn’t, or couldn’t. And for the first time, I’m feeling the extent of that pain.

I could never truly connect to that part of myself until now. I’m grieving for that sad, lonely, and scared little girl. For the teen who had to deal with so much.

Those uncried tears, are finally being released. The hurt with nowhere to go, is being experienced and channeled. The secrets with no one to tell, are now being told.

It’s too painful to feel all at once. But the door has been opened, so I can begin to walk through it.

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Attachment: Here We Go Again

I’ve gone and done it again.

I got attached to someone else. My psychiatrist.

When I first met her, that Friday that I booked myself into the clinic, I can’t remember most of our interaction. I saw her four more times after that, and didn’t know what to make of her. So there wasn’t an instant attachment, like I had with my therapist the first day I met her.

Then, yesterday, everything changed. I went to a DBT program that the clinic organizes for previous inpatients. As I was signing myself in, I felt a presence behind me, and heard a voice. I turned around and saw my psychiatrist. She smiled warmly at me, greeted me and asked whether I had an appointment with someone. I told her that I was there for the DBT group. She smiled again, and told me that she’s proud of me, which caught me unawares. She asked me to walk with her, and started asking how I’ve been, what’s been going on in my life, etc. I was surprised when she asked me about something I had told her in one of our sessions a few weeks ago. Surprised because I didn’t think she’d remember that so clearly. Especially since she sees a lot of patients.

Eventually we got to her office, and she announced me to her assistant (who I really like- she’s awesome), with a “look who I found”. It’s nice to be remembered. The instant my psychiatrist touched my hand, that was it. I became attached to this woman, right then and there. My vulnerable child self emerged, and I could feel her hunger for love and care. Psychiatrist had just done something that made her feel warm inside and cared for, and she wanted more.

The three of us spoke for a few more minutes and then Psychiatrist had to leave to go see patients. But before she left, she told her assistant “take good care of her”. She left with a gentle touch on my arm. I didn’t want her to go, and the vulnerable child felt so sad watching her leave, thinking that she might never come back.

The group was really good, but near the end we had to lay on the ground for some meditation. After a few minutes of that, I suddenly felt this overwhelming sadness. I felt my vulnerable child self becoming activated again. I started crying (I’m glad no one would see me), and just kept thinking over and over again “I want Psychiatrist and Therapist”.

Why do I find myself getting attached to someone because of a simple, caring touch? It’s not like that with just anyone though. And never with men. I can feel when it’s genuine and there’s a measure of care. And that’s when it happens. It’s an amazing feeling, but at the same time it’s terrifying. It’s just one more person to worry about being abandoned by. But I can’t stop it from happening.

My therapist is still my favourite and most powerful attachment. I’ve got a session with her tomorrow, and I can’t wait. She sent me a voice note last night, just as I was getting out of the car to go to group, telling me that she’s proud of me. I had reached out to her and told her that I’ve been struggling with abandonment issues a lot this past week or so, and I was in a young and vulnerable place. I told her I was forcing myself to go to the group, even though I didn’t really want to (I’m glad I went). It was so nice hearing her voice again, and I always love hearing her say that she’s proud of me. So I got two “I’m proud of you” messages yesterday. It felt good.

I’m seeing my psychiatrist next week Friday for an hour. But I don’t want to see her only then. It feels like a lifetime away.

What the hell is wrong with me?!

“Daddy, Please Just Stop, And Notice Me.”

Right now I feel like a fragile little girl. A frightened, lost and heartbroken little girl.

I quit my job yesterday. I decided to stay until the end of the day though. I wanted to finish everything up and tie up loose ends, so that the manager wouldn’t have to do it the next day.

I didn’t tell my dad, because I was afraid of his reaction. I knew he wouldn’t take it well. I wanted to clear my head and organize my thoughts first, because the state of mind I was in wouldn’t allow me to communicate coherently.

True to form (he’s always felt like a stalker to me), he caught me and asked me why I wasn’t at work. He had also sent me a message earlier today asking whether I was at work, which he has never done since I started the job. When he caught me at home, I was thinking of lying, but decided to tell him the truth instead. That I quit. That I couldn’t stay until Friday. That I had had enough. I was drained. I am drained. He didn’t say much, but what he did say, and his tone of voice, told me that he was pissed off. I knew he would ask me about it later in the evening.

And he did. He didn’t shout (at first), but he wasn’t very nice either. He made me feel small. The more I tried to explain things to him, the more he went on, as if he wasn’t hearing anything I was saying. Lecturing me. Growing more and more agitated. At some point I just stopped trying to explain. I can’t remember some of the things he said, I just kept disassociating and being transported back to my childhood experiences with him. Not once did he ask me how I was feeling. He just kept telling me, over and over, how he felt. I was already feeling so depressed and overwhelmed. The emotions that had plagued me for most of the day. I really wasn’t in the mood for this. I told him that I want to talk about this some more, but could we rather please talk about it tomorrow because I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I told him that. Yet he carried on, repeating the same things over and over, everytime getting more and more angry. I started feeling so sick, that I thought I was going to throw up. I held my head in my hands, but he didn’t stop, just kept going on and on. Like he couldn’t see my distress. Or he just didn’t care. I wanted to yell “Please, just stop! Please, please, please!”

I tried to just get him to understand me. To really hear me. I eventually got so desperate that I mentioned that I feel like just giving up on life. In that moment, I was hoping that he would see just how serious this is. How bad I’m feeling. Bad enough to be considering suicide, and actually telling him that. Being that vulnerable with him. But he just yelled at me and said that’s stupid. That I know I’m just being stupid. I wanted to say “daddy, notice me. Please help me.” But most of all, “Daddy, please listen to me. I need you to be my hero right now. I need you. I was a hero for you when you were in that dark place. You should know how dark that place can be. Please be my hero now. Please just love me.” But instead he just said that, and told me to get over it. How do I get him to just understand a little bit at least? But how can he understand when I try to tell him and he doesn’t want hear it?

I don’t want to get into everything he said, but I’ll mention this… He told me that I do one thing for a year, and then drop it like a hot potato. That’s true. He mentioned a few other things. I wanted to laugh and tell him that he’s mentioning some of the symptoms of BPD that I struggle with. I’ve tried to explain BPD to him, but it’s like he’s on some other planet and I can’t reach him. If he had really listened to me when I tried to tell him what BPD is, he would have known. But he didn’t.

He also told me that everytime he tries to talk to me, I shut down. What he doesn’t realize is that me shutting down is a protective bubble that keeps me ‘safe’ from him and his words. Because they hurt. They rip my heart out. And those times when I really need to talk to him, he just wants to watch TV and says he doesn’t have time. But he has time to watch two series a night? I’ve tried talking to him so many times throughout my life, but it was always a lost cause. I told him tonight that I’ve tried to talk to him so often about things that are bothering me, how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking, but he either gets angry (he hates it when I express emotions – it seems I never learn), or turns everything around and the conversation turns to his feelings and life. I told him that I understand that, but sometimes I also just need him to listen to me. He then kept defending himself, and once again it was all about him. So I shut down.

I felt like that child and teenager again who just wanted his love. Even with all he’s done, and how I hate him so much most of the time, he’s still my dad. And I don’t know how to let go. Why I keep expecting things to be different. I guess I’m still looking for him to give me the kind of affection I’ve always wanted from him. The affection a child needs. Not the kind of ‘affection’ that only hurts and confuses a young child.

I just want my therapist right now. I feel like that little girl who desperately wants her mommy after a stressful event. Who needs her mom to comfort her and calm her down. Like you see in movies. Where the child has that one parent they can turn to when they’ve been hurt by their other parent. I don’t feel capable of soothing myself right now, but I know I have no other choice. It’s not the same though, and it’s so hard. Especially when you feel so young and fragile.

I never thought of my therapist as a mother figure before, but right now, I’m not sure how true that is anymore. Maybe subconsciously, I have been. Is this even possible? Or maybe it’s just now, tonight, that she’s taken the ‘mommy’ role in my mind. Because as far as I remember, this is the first time since I’ve started seeing her that I’ve felt this way. Maybe the little girl inside feels like she needs another parental figure to step in and tell her it’s okay. That she’s loved. And right now, Therapist seems like that person.

My heart is hurting so much.

Warrior

When I heard this song for the first time, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. It felt like all the pain I had been holding deep inside me, just came pouring out. The most agonizing pain. The kind of pain that feels so raw. And like it will never end. This is one of those songs that seems as though it were written for me, or even by me.

You’re a warrior. We’re warriors.

Feeling The Heart Of The Little One

Little lost girl…
Stranded on an island, with no one in sight
Abandoned…
And no hope of ever being rescued

I am her
And she is me
But I don’t know how to save her