Thursday, April 18, 2013

Good to remember?

I have realized that it is really difficult for me to do anything ONLY for myself, when there is no 'useful' side-effect, or someone else's added joy, but only my own joy or happiness. It feels like going against everything I think is sane or healthy. It's like sticking your hand in fire, while all your body and mind is screaming inside at you, not to do it.

DB has been great at taking care of me while I was ill. The turning point came when I had to prepare medication and other things to help - for myself, on my own. I have somehow managed to do it, because I convinced myself that it is useful if I get better, because then I can continue my work, my projects, and moreover, help others better.

My therapist got me thinking about what would happen if I was to do something for me - that has no health benefits, or helping-others-benefits, that resulted in nothing else but me feeling happy for a moment or two.

To be honest, it feels repulsive. Or disgusting. I have the need, or the desire to feel good, to do things for myself, but I don't know how to forgive myself for that (if this makes any sense).

My therapist also asked me if I liked simple, easily available joys, like watching trees, or having a bubble bath. Now, the latter triggered the hell out of me. It brought back a memory when I tried to make a bubble bath for myself while I was still living with my FOO and was a teen. I put candles around the tub, made some tea and everything was really relaxing and cool. Until NM realized what I was doing. She told me it was like I was lying on my catafalque, and that it was not 'advisable' for me to do it ever again because I could have burned something anyway (note, it was a bathroom. The candles were next to the tub, the only thing they could burn was the water in the tub, or the tiles).

After this event (and also before it, anyway) my bath times were controlled and supervised, even when I was in my twenties. There was no lock on the door, and I had to call for her when I had a bath, to wash my back. If I didn't, she came anyway, but I could not predict when. Or whether she came at all. I had no chance to relax, or even to enjoy the water. I hated being touched. I had to listen to endless speeches about how ugly I looked, with detailed descriptions.

I feel disgusted of myself when I'm writing this.

My therapist referred to this invasion of my private space and my body as what any person would call it. I can't get myself to write down that word now. But that was when I felt the air freeze around me and I started sobbing, while pictures started to try to invade my conscious mind. Detached memory fragments that I can't really make anything out of, and I have tried my hardest not to let them surface. I feel panic and disgust.

Until now, I was confident that it was good for me to put together the bits and pieces. Now, I'm not so sure anymore. The last thing I want now is to remember anything in connection with those memory fragment flashes, I've experienced.


  1. I know it's hard to face the truth of a situation. I remember facing my own memories and truths and acknowledging that, yes, that person was that destructive to me. But once the shock, anger, or whatever emotion surfaces, it acts as a catalyst to get me on the road to healing and making healthy choices. The emotions take awhile to settle down, but it does get better. And I have learned to care for myself and move on and make a better life for myself and enjoy the healthy relationships that I now have. We can't control what others do, but we can decide what we do. And we can overcome those 'triggers' a little at a time and get back some semblance of normal. Best wishes.

  2. Oh ugh Scatha, the terror of remembering. Because we've been convinced (and convinced!) that our memories are faulty, or that we read too much into things, or we got our signals crossed - we're TOO SENSITIVE, too emotional.

    So finding out that uh, NO, our body's responses to triggers are due to exactly what anyone would think - that the puzzle pieces DO add up to create a horrible picture... it's mind boggling.

    I'm glad you have a therapist. I can't wait till you're on the other side.

  3. You are not alone. I wasn't allowed to lock the bathroom door. I was also in my 20s when my NM would walk in and watch while I dried off. Stomach turn. 25 years later, and I still get angry thinking about how she violated my space, my privacy. A complete lack of respect, and now she wonders why I have no respect for her... Why I hate to be touched by her... Why I hate to be in the same room as her. Never again. Never. Unfortunately, the promise to myself has made it difficult to allow anyone close. Keep fighting for you! You are doing amazing, awesome work and becoming healthy little by little. Good for you.

  4. Ugh! Similar memories! I think denying us the right to our personal time and space is another way to control us and when they start doing this to us at a young age it's a way to reinforce their "ownership" of even the most private aspects of our lives.

    Scatha, I don't need to see your picture to know you're beautiful and your NM is an ugly bitch, figuratively and literally!

  5. ((((((scatha)))).
    I also had no privacy. That's just so violating on every level...

  6. Boundary violations at every level...putting up boundaries does feel odd at first. Allowing yourself to take care of yourself and do things for yourself are hard at first. I started small. My counselor gave me a 5/50 challenge. Do something nice for someone that takes 5 minutes or less than 50 cents. I decided to include myself in the challenge. I started doing things that I enjoy for 5 minutes or don't cost very much money. A walk in the park cost the price of gas to get there. I enjoy walking at the park. Learning to take care of yourself is learned. You were taught the opposite. Relearning to set boundaries to protect yourself and care for yourself does feel odd at first. You are not alone in how you feel. I am sharing what I did not to compare but to say it is possible to over come the feelings a little at a time. Take care.

  7. I understand as well. It is terrifying to remember, and re-live those moments. I am finding that each one I do face, not squash back down and look away, but look straight at it, get angry - then allows me to to process, grieve, and put that one piece to rest. It is exhausting and a burden we share. You're doing great, and you are not alone. Keep taking care of yourself. xx


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