Ever look deep inside and realize there is nothing there? A vast hollow vessel full of only echoes but nothing of substance?

I’ve graduated from my cpt group. So now I’ve completed two intensive group therapies, one with a dbt focus and this recent one was cognitive processing. I’ll think about sharing some of the exercises we completed but not today.

Cpt has taught me to feel the pain. It taught me exactly how much is excruciatingly wrong with me and allows me to feel it, and name it. The counselor calls this progress, and I suppose I’d see her point if it wasn’t me having to feel it. Honestly I’d rather return to the nice even numbness I had going for nearly four decades. It was more tolerable than this awareness. Of knowing what’s wrong with me so clearly now. Seeing the path ahead, I’m not afraid, but I’m not motivated. I see no point. I feel like a car totaled in a crash…best to junk it and get a new one. Or a condemned house needing demolished. I no longer think its possible to grow roots in this emptiness. I don’t dare dream any longer. I continue through this treatment program asking them to do the impossible. I’m asking them to help me to want to live, for me, for my own sake, not only clinging to a thread for my kids.

I’ve realized I have no sense of self. This is worse than no self esteem. I actually think I’m talented, smart, pretty, good at many things. But I have no value because I have no existence. You’ll either understand or you won’t so I won’t try to explain much more. Just to say it is apparently a parents job to instill a sense of self in a child. Mine wasn’t stolen by abuse, it was never instilled at all. I was never a separate, valuable human.

Like a slave, outcast, an untouchable, an invisible ghost only used and abused.

I’m starting the individual portion of my trauma recovery program now that the group work is completed. My counselor seems to actually understand a traumatized brain and has a structured program, saying I’m not a lifer, therapy will end one day, and one day I’ll have less PTSD symptoms and more living. I want to believe her.

We established some goals and metrics to get us started so our sessions stay on track. I feel like I wasted so much time and money on past counselors not trained in this traumatic stress program. But I didn’t know, no one knew. I’ve absorbed so much knowledge its going to be difficult to relay it all here.

I’m not who I was a few months ago, my brain is changing.


4 thoughts on “Empty

  1. I come from the point of view that you’re already doing the most important thing – the thing that matters most in this equation – in that you are seeking out help, so that you can move towards living a life that helps you put “then” and “now” in perspective.

    Your post reminds me of times in my life when I felt I was just going through the motions, but had no real hope for anything to ever be different. My counselor tried to tell me that there would be a day, even though I wasn’t capable of believing her at the time, where I would have actual days (plural) when my past didn’t collide with my present. It took continued healing measures, and lots of time and effort, but those days are here now. They really did exist, even though it was hard for me to envision such a thing. Keep doing the work, and keep holding on to whatever helps you get through the sticky parts. Just keep moving, and good luck. We deserve to find peace.

  2. You are amazing, but that’s not the who you are able to see, yet, and not really the answer you’re looking for. Your art and dancing and taking care of your children are incredible things you do. I wish I could help, but I know this is one journey only you can make. I will say that you have it within you to wade through the muck and the mire and find you. You’re there. You always have been. The abuse isn’t who you are; it’s what happened to you. Something I’m certain of: You possess a core of steal. You’ve been in the heat of the fire and had some melting, but you weren’t destroyed. You are powerful, but you’re tired. Survive one moment at a time. It sounds like you can trust your counselor. Allow her to lead you through the process. Praying for you.

  3. I called counseling changing your engine while you drive down the freeway. No easy task. You description fits what I call the void. It is nothingness. It does seem impossible at the moment. I was there. Hang on. This is when I learned I could do anything for 5 minutes. I am cheering for you from my computer.

  4. You are taking the necessary steps to find self inside of the void. It is hard work, scary work. Sometimes it is work you want to run from, hide from. Take your time. Take the steps you need.

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