[This post is emotionally intense]
I have changed so much in the past few months that I barely recognize myself. The main difference – the lack of fear. When you start each day knowing you are a valuable human being, everything else falls into place. I am so pleased, and even more hopeful for my future.
I have just returned from another business trip, full of meetings with some of the most powerful and brilliant people all in the same room as I have ever encountered. The air was electric with enthusiasm and ideas. I have to admit I agree with our sharky CEO and her vision for our company. I feel badly for the hundreds (not exaggerating, it was over 600) of employees terminated last week, but not so badly that I can’t function. The remaining core (which includes me!) were hand picked as the best and most likely to bring the company to a profitable standing. For years we’ve had unstable sources of revenue and no stable sources of profit, basically the corporate equivalent of living paycheck to paycheck. Not a good business model.
The problem with terminating so many people, is that I am now doing what 12 people used to do! I know, poor me, I get extra hours while those let go get to scramble for interviews and new jobs. Yes, well, umm, not much to say about that. I have to keep moving.
I do have to laugh a bit, because they told me I am valued for my positive energy, my willingness to work 24/7 as needed, my sense of the bottom line and prioritizing, and most of all – my ability to generate ideas. It turns out that being a PTSD brain damaged artistic person is actually an asset in my company. This cracks me up. See, the PTSD and insomnia and nightmares over the years allowed me to work all hours of the night for them, as it was better to work than stare at a wall and wish for peaceful sleep.
I do hope the people that were fired can still feel like valuable human beings. I know I would struggle with that. Losing my job 10 years ago was the final straw that lead to my suicide attempts, as I felt I had no worth and was only a bother to the planet. Everything was pointless and hopeless. I can still recall those endless days of despair, but it does not feel like my own memories any longer. I simply can not believe I used to hate myself so much.
Connecting with my husband these past few months have brought about the most healing ever in my life. I can not thank him enough for helping me find my shattered pieces of self and put them back in place. He has offered me love, and I have accepted it. Slowly at first, not completely trusting, still a frightened little girl inside of me. Afraid he will use that love against me.
I found a new way to share things with him that has been really helpful to me. Many events in my past, I have unable to speak or write about directly. It is one thing to say my dad sexually abused me, it is another to describe even one evening out of the thousands. I figured out one time, that if my dad only touched me once a day for the first 16 years of my life, that is over 5000 events. And most days it was more than once. No wonder I have such trouble seeing around these memories! Some people have trouble getting past a single night. It allows me to be more gentle on myself to put this into perspective. It allows me to own the PTSD as part of me and not feel shame. (not so much anyway)
So I was reading some books to try and find some that may help hubby understand me. Another blogger recommended Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman. I highly recommend this book to any survivor or anyone living with a survivor. It so readily compares how I grew up to living in a warzone, and explains so much of my fear-based survival method of living. I feel like I understand myself better after reading this. It was also scientifically interesting, starting in psych history pre-Freud with some fascinating details.
I also found and read several autobiographical accounts from other abuse survivors. I have read so many psych and self help books, but have never been brave enough to read the words from other hurt little girls. Well, it hurt me. It put me in a vulnerable place. But I took it one step further. I picked out pages from that book and asked hubby to read it – the ones that could have have been written by me. The ones in Daddy’s Girl by Cheri Lane, and the ones in Don’t Cry, Daddy’s Here by Brinda Carey. The second one detailed a night where the girl had an asthma attack and looked for help from her parents, but was treated harshly by mom, given no meds, and told to get comfort from dad, and then molested by dad in the parent’s bed while mom was still in it too. I had some very similar nights and feelings to this author. I was terrified to have hubby read this, feeling it may be too disgusting and he would leave me. Instead, he cried, and hugged me, and put his hand on my heart and said he was so sorry for that little girl in me, and he loved her now even if no one loved her back then. I had the most powerful cry of my life, releasing so many pent up demons and fears. He didn’t think I was disgusting and he did not throw me away. He pulled me closer and wrapped his love around me.
That night, he was already over it and obviously wanted to make love. I told him I didn’t feel like he could want me after what I shared with him, and he said he felt a bit guilty for wanting me. So we went and watched a movie in each other’s arms until my brain and body got back together in the current moment and we enjoyed another beautiful night together. He said something about wanting to be inside my heart AND inside my body. That may sound strange out here in type, but in that magical intimate moment it was the most amazing thing to have whispered in my ear. He is so gentle with me. I have to give him so much credit at saying anything, and for trying. He is a good man, and I love him. I can finally let him love me.
- PTSD or Just a Bad Memory, Who Cares What You Call It (roots2blossom.wordpress.com)
- I Feel, it Hurts… (buckwheatsrisk.com)
- Invisibility/PTSD part 1 (meandmyrandombrain.wordpress.com)