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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.

♥ Daylily

10 responses to “Retrogression

  1. hugs, warmth, and love

  2. I’m so sorry that you are in so much pain, I know it hurts when you are struggling so much and no ones recognizes it, I doubt anyone here will think less of you, many have a fight for survival with invisible pain and feel abandoned, there is no way to judge you when you are trying to get better, there is no right way to heal, we just have to try at our own pace and it’s not easy.

    • Thanks. I am struggling. I also feel stupid for putting such vulnerable stuff on my blog and having someone respond. But, since I do care what my followers think I will take your kindness to heart and try to believe it’s true.

  3. I’m so sorry you are hurting and feeling alone and uncared for. But I’m proud of you for doing the hard work you are doing in therapy. I pray it will continue to be productive for you and that you will find deep healing. And that you will be able to love yourself and see your worth.

  4. I have to wonder whether your husband is emotionally abusive. The mean/nice cycle struck me. Then again, it could be my perspective. I’ve been involved with controlling abusive men and so perhaps I’m overly sensitive.

    My best to you while you’re working through things. You’re so right, it does take time. Be gentle with yourself. As you keep working, you’re bound to find healing. Big hugs to you.

    • I have wondered that, too. But I see it more as he is not emotionally tuned in. Period.

      The time has come for me to explore the emotional issues in my marriage and that scares me a bit. I told Lynn I’ve wanted to write down what my husband says to me and my reactions to it but I am afraid of what I might find. She tried to tell me he is a great father, etc but I wonder if she is thinking what you are brave enough to say. No doubt, my husband can go between being the most loving kind man and a real asshole that could care less about who he hurts during one of his rants.

      I hope you can atleast laugh a little with me on this one. The night I drank too much I babbled more than usual because I didn’t have my “filter.” I told my husband he’s “dead weight” and I feel like I’m dragging around a “bag of rocks.” 🙂 But, on a serious side, during the fight he admitted to a lot of anxiety and fears such as work issues and health concerns — he has high blood pressure and high cholesterol and thinks he’s diabetic now but he hasn’t been to the doctor in 4 years. He is the age when my dad died of a massive heart attack so I told him I worry. He said he is trying to be sure we would be taken care of. WTF? I told him to get himself better and go to the doctor. He knows I’m right and promised he would.

      Relationships are confusing with a CSA survivor. I have always felt that no matter who I am with I still have to work through my own inner issues. But, if I was with a more emotionally sensitive guy my opportunities for growth would happen more quickly. However, I was afraid of my emotions and kept them locked inside so I married a intelligent geek who has no clue about feelings.

      Ultimately, I think he is the man for me because I had to grow for myself. I don’t know if this makes sense.

      Thanks for your sensitive reply. You are right on with your thoughts!

  5. If anything we love you more not less. Wish I could give you a hug. You’re doing the hardest work a person will ever do. Healing from sexual abuse is so tiring. You’re growing yourself up. You were never taught how to handle your emotions, so you kept them inside so you could survive. I can relate to your struggle so much, and I have incredible compassion for the lessons you’re learning. It will pass. You are growing. Keep going. Let it out – all out – and you’ll see you’re ok. The feelings won’t kill us even though we don’t know what to do with them. It’s a wave. It will rise and then it will crest (major pain) but then it will come down. It always comes down.
    You are precious…

  6. I’m so sorry, but I did laugh about what you said to him. I’m a bad, bad person. 😉 growing for yourself makes perfect sense!

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