My session with Lynn yesterday was the best I’ve ever had. I was open, vulnerable and felt safe being that way. I talked to her about moments when I disassociated in situations that involved my family over vacation. I only remember the events because I consciously wrote them down before my brain worked its magic to lose the memories. This is not a topic I’ve talked about much but it is common practice in my life. I especially “forget” fights that I have with my husband if he hurts my feelings (which can be often because he is gruff and controlling a lot of the time). The other times I disassociate are talking to my mother about my feelings and whenever I feel angry. I don’t like to carry anger. Forcing remembrance of negative feelings will allow me to handle them. Not “handle them better” because I currently just separate my head from my heart and forget.
Lynn gave praise for my efforts and said I should continue to write triggering moments down on paper because even if I lose them on a cognitive level she said I am pushing the feelings that were produced by the events deep down inside of me. I understand this. I need to learn to handle them better. The feelings are intimately a part of me, causing depression and a need to numb myself with alcohol. Lynn and I will work toward helping me find new ways to manage difficult situations.
I asked Lynn, “What do I do with the feelings if I’m not able to do my usual forgetting?”
Ironically I can’t remember what she said. Whatever it was is out of my grasp right now. Last night I ended up resorting to what I know. I drank too much wine to help myself feel calmer. When I drink I feel relaxed and easy-going. I don’t complain or yell. I get things done around the house and then say good night and go to bed. Drinking is my form of self-medication.
Last night my husband got pissed-off and went into one of his rants. He accused my therapist of not helping me and said he doesn’t see any improvement. Husband stated, “You said you are seeing her to help you with your drinking.” He yelled, “I’ll let her know that you are not better. You still drink. Let me come to your next meeting and I’ll tell her that.”
I tried to explain that change takes time but he was too angry to hear anything I said. A big argument ensued where I walked outside with the dog and my husband followed asking, “How much did you drink?” I didn’t answer and he nastily said, “Do you even know?”
I know it was too much but I felt I didn’t deserve his anger. I’m trying to heal and learn new skills but he is only seeing my bad behavior. I closed myself off from him and I don’t recall much else because I don’t want to. He was mean and hurtful. He said, “What do you need, an intervention?”
What does he think I’m doing in therapy? I am allowing Lynn to help me with my problem. He does not see it.
I admit I drink to cope. I have cut down to only drinking on the weekends and this weekend it was only last night. I’m not condoning my habit because I do want to stop. Drinking prevents me from being the best I can be. In order to change I need alternatives, strength and self-love. Dear God, how I would like to stop drinking because I care and think enough about myself to do it. I am working toward that goal.
I wanted to walk down our road during the heated argument but husband said if I stepped off our property he would call the police. He took out his cell phone to prove it. I work in the same small town where I live and I have a reputation to up-hold. Many people know me, including the police with whom I have a professional relationship. I cannot have the police called. Husband had the upper hand. I felt trapped and I began to sob and cry. I hated myself, my husband, my life.
Husband changed his attitude to be more caring and he wanted me to go inside. The last thing I wanted to do was go anywhere with him. I wanted to run away and be anywhere than with the man who hurt my feelings. I looked at our big house from the driveway and all I felt was dread at the idea of going into it. I cried and husband tried to console me but the fight moments beforehand broke me apart. He was hurtful and turned me into a mess of crying tears.
I eventually did go inside and my children hugged me; I kissed them goodnight and went to my bedroom with my dog and climbed into my bed. I cried as if I were 10 years old. My house felt void of love. One thought kept repeating in my head, Shelter and warmth is all I have. I had a flashback to my childhood home around the time I was sexually abused. I was overcome with the sensation of feeling completely alone and emotionally neglected. The roof over my head and the blankets around me was all I had. I felt self-pity and sadness. No one cares about me. I am not worthwhile.
I connected how my husband treated me to how I felt growing up in my own family. I’m always alone in my emotional struggles. No one who cares about me has ever known how badly I want to feel emotionally steadied by another human being. Even when my husband tried to calm me down outside all I felt was unloved and scared he would hurt me again. He told me I have so much good in me and he will stand by me forever; but his inability to understand the work I’m doing in therapy put a big wall between us.
I fell asleep by myself, literally sobbing into my pillow.
Here it is the next day and the tears are still perched on the edge of my eyes. My heart is heavy with self-hate. I feel even my blogging friends think less of me. You are probably sickened by my lack of resolve. How can I be such a failure?
Please don’t think that of me. I do not intend to harm anyone. I want most to be the peace keeper. When I fail I am my worst critic. I hate that about myself. Why can’t I care for myself enough to take care of my body and emotions as well as I try to take care of everyone else’s? I quit drinking for years at a time for my babies because I didn’t want to harm them. I quit drinking for months when an illness and surgery forced me to. Why oh why can’t I stop drinking and just cope with my feelings? I don’t like my husband to be upset with me. I don’t like it when I inflict self-abuse. I have no way out of this funk. Hence, the title of this blog post: retrogression. I am stuck in the past without a clue how to get out.
I work tomorrow and I will put on a happy face and act intelligent and professional even though inside I feel like a lost puppy who wants nothing more than for someone to love me who will not emotionally harm me.
The world does not feel like a friendly place right now.