She Endured

she-endured

Abuse took her breath away
her memories disappeared
without tears
without screams
without even a reason why

She endured

Held captive by familiar hands
that should have protected

“Only strangers are monsters”
is what everybody said
but still

She endured

Abuse laid scars too deep
hidden underneath
her small frame

She endured

Loss came too soon…
abandonment followed
to take away her last hope for safety
but still

She endured

It never ended
the cycle of abuse continued on
abuse
loss
betrayal

Behind closed doors
love came with secret violence
her body grew
but abuse
was never through

It all took her by surprise
there was a ceremony
a ring and a promise
she dared to hope
but again
familiar hands
choked what life was left
until her soul withered
and just begged to die

With each threat of her life
more memories were forced to disappear…
to the place wherever lost dreams go

Her tears flowed inward
forced to hide
to cover all her fears

Until she was reduced to nothing
life hung only by a small thin thread
and yet

She endured

Silent and still in the face of cruelty
her spirit was crushed

No more room to place the pain
and soon she completely disappeared
her anguish overflowed
but against all odds

She endured

What should never have been
became the norm
and still yet

She endured

Now it is too hard
to even see it all as abuse
or wrong
it was her life
the way things always were
but somehow

She endured

You don’t need to deny her pain
she now does that all on her own

The minimizing
the cruelty
the dismissal
seems like cruel and unusual punishment
that after all she has already survived

It seems she must now still endure!

Against My Will

against-my-will

I am very frustrated!

After going through all that I did with Lucy, I didn’t want to confront her. I didn’t have any intention of reporting her. I just wanted to find a therapist who would be present and do right by me. That is all I wanted.

I have trusted “the system” on several occasions and have only been harmed further. I have ALWAYS regretted it. The system, as it is today, is set up to protect those who abuse. They may get slapped on the wrist, at the most, but only at the expense of the abused. And I don’t think fighting the system should be left for victims to do on their own. Especially when the rest of society is silent. We are fighting a losing battle until the rest of you join the fight and protect us from this further victimization.

I have had way too many things go wrong in my life. I am embarrassed of my life, of my story. For every one thing I say, there are ten I don’t. It is unbearable to see as a whole. This is why I need a trained and skilled professional. Someone who can connect the dots and understand why everything that happened to me was linked to the abuse and loss before it. I was not set up to succeed in life. I have been forced to wear a perfectly put together exterior to hide behind. I cannot risk being hurt further. And now the armor built to protect me, harms me. My pain is easily missed and overlooked. Am I strong, yes. Have I endured, yes. I am intelligent and articulate and calm and cool and collected… and perfectly broken! And alone inside with all the unspoken and unknown broken pieces!

I spoke to four therapists and met with two of them. I just wanted to find a new therapist, that was it.

I wrote a post about trying to find a new therapist. Because I have been in therapy for the past few months, each one I talked to wanted to know why I was leaving my current therapist. The first therapist I spoke to, I protected Lucy. I didn’t want to say what happened. I just wanted help. After hanging up the phone, she called me back with some names of other therapists I could talk to as well and said a few other things to me. By the time I got off the phone with her, I felt like I was keeping some secret. It reflected the rest of my life. I felt as though this therapist possibly was left with the impression that I was a difficult client and maybe didn’t even want to meet with me. All because I was protecting Lucy. I felt awful and it all felt unjust. So I called her back and told her what Lucy did that caused me to leave. Her demeanor absolutely changed with me. She had compassion for my situation. She understood me. So I chose to speak the truth, my truth. It wasn’t to hurt anyone, it was to find help.

In order not to experience these awful feelings again, I clearly stated what happened and left it at that with each of them I talked to.

Well one of the therapists I met with (the one I didn’t choose), has what my husband and I would call “a lifeguard” mentality. We have all seen that one lifeguard who blows their whistle and tells you to “cut that out” simply because they can. The position of authority has gone to their head. Everything is about rules and regulations! She was more concerned about rules and regulations than my past abuse or my feelings. Don’t get me wrong, she was kind. But I was emotionally exhausted when I met with her.

She is telling me that she HAS to report Lucy whether I cooperate or not. I am not making a judgment call about that. But this all happened to me. And now she is going to contact Lucy by email and potentially report her. However, in doing all of this she is also potentially going to have to give the board her notes from my meeting with her. I feel as though I walked into a trap.

I didn’t ask for this and I don’t want it! This all happened to me. I know what happens when you trust the system. I have had enough. Having all of this done, pretending it is for me, makes me frustrated. I feel as though this is something that is being done to me. And certainly is being done against my will. I was naive in the past when it comes to dealing with the system, but not anymore.

I wanted help and protection and instead I got this. What good are rules and regulations if they don’t protect individuals? Shouldn’t rules serve us, rather than us serving them?

I am frustrated when someone pretends to be doing something for me, when I don’t want it and didn’t ask for it in the first place. None of the other therapists felt the need to do this. What she is doing feels worse than what Lucy did. Part of me wants to file a complaint against her for filing a complaint against my will! But, of course, I am not going to do that.

Starting Over, Again

starting-over-again

These past few weeks have been very stressful for us, for many reasons.

My husband had his surgery and things ended with Lucy within just a few days of each other. I ended up having episodes of panic and experienced a nightmare that was revealing of some painful things from my past I have not faced. The stress was palpable and I found myself withdrawing.

My husband did a search for therapists who specialize in trauma and PTSD and then sent me a link. I looked through seven pages of therapists and finally narrowed it down to four. I made a list of questions and did a phone interview with each of them. From these conversations, I narrowed it down to two. I made an appointment with both of them last week hoping something would make the decision clear. It ended up not being as easy as I had hoped. I struggled for a while, but as time passed I was able to process each appointment and make a decision. This process was very emotionally exhausting.

I am hoping for the best, once again. The woman I chose has her PhD. and is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years of experience. She certainly has displayed more knowledge, presence, and compassion than I have ever received from a therapist thus far. Her name is Sandy. I have only met with her once, but I do believe this will be a much better experience than the last. From our initial phone conversation and this first visit, she quickly was able to grasp and perceive what I am struggling with.

My husband is recovering slowly but surely and I am grateful for that. It has been nice having him here during this time.

It Wouldn’t Change A Thing!

Looking for certainty
in a world of uncertainty

It makes the bottom
of my heart sink

The rug pulled out
from under my feet

Sometimes it is enough
to steal the joy of life away

Sometimes it makes everything
seem lonely and sad

I could cry a thousand tears
and it wouldn’t change a thing!

No wonder we hide
and conclude
there is no safety to be found
in this life

Not really!

Everything is fleeting!

There are only moments
of fading joy to be found

It is enough to steal hope
to snuff out joy

Do we live and exist
for mere moments
that quickly pass away?

For me safety equals surety
but nothing is sure
nothing
and so I am afraid!

Nothing is sure!

Nothing!

But I want it
I want it to be so!

In Hindsight

Today I sit quietly numbed by the loss. The red flags were there, but instead I questioned my own feelings. The distractions and lack of presence that took her attention away were such familiar circumstances I have lived a million times before.

I have not been to therapy for years. Quite frankly, I didn’t think I would ever attempt therapy again. And I haven’t considered it up until recently when I felt as though I had hit a brick wall and realized that, while I have a lot of insight, I don’t really know how to help myself through some of the most difficult struggles I have.

Many of you who have been following my blog know that I started therapy a few months ago. My husband went with me for the first few sessions. He went long enough for both of us to feel safe.

A series of events began to take place that caused me to feel uncomfortable. Alone, several of them seemed benign. Eventually they began to add up, and to be honest with you, it took me a long while to understand why I didn’t completely feel safe and why I was struggling so much.

What I am about to share with you is now in hindsight.

It is probably important to note that when we talked briefly on the phone to schedule my first appointment, she asked me several questions. I was emotional at the time because just making the appointment was very hard. During this conversation, I told her that I had been harmed by a previous therapist and she did know some brief details of why I was coming. Enough to take extra care.

Our very first visit was the first red flag. When we arrived for my first appointment, she was not there. We waited a long time and then I eventually called her. She had completely forgotten. She asked me if we could do some shopping and come back in about an hour. When we came back, she stated why she forgot but was not overly apologetic. We decided that we would give her a pass on this one. My husband did say to me that this is one strike against her and for me to continue to keep my eyes open. I think him saying this to me, did help me to take note of things I might not have otherwise.

The next thing that seemed odd was that while she knew I had been harmed by a previous therapist, she didn’t seem to have any awareness of the harm this caused me. I couldn’t really gauge her understanding of the gravity of this violation. So awhile ago, I sent her an email with a link to an article that explained in detail the effects of such abuse by a therapist. I never received a response or any comment regarding this email or the link.

During one session while I was sharing with her something that had happened to me by another trained professional during the previous week, she never even acknowledged how painful this circumstance could have been for me. Instead she focused more on the professional and that the situation wasn’t about me, but about them. While she was correct, acknowledging my feelings regarding the situation was the least I expected from her. And when she said this to me, I looked at her and said back, “Has anything that has ever happened to me ever been about me?” Her mind started spinning for a few seconds and she stumbled and said, “Well, that is a good point!” And then just continued on talking.

I think she may have missed my point. If this situation wasn’t about me, but about them, it doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt me or have an effect on me. If we are not going to even acknowledge my feelings, how can I be expected to accept her words or process this experience? After leaving, I realized how much this situation was a disappointment to me. It would have been hard enough to deal with someone else’s similar comments, but I expected more from her.

Every time I showed up to see her, she was checking her phone for emails and text messages as she was greeting me. And then her cell phone was always sitting right by her side with her glancing down at it whenever she received a message. It is hard to feel as though someone is really with you when their attention is on their phone.

This all caused me to question myself and I became too afraid to return. At this time I didn’t have all that I just shared consciously worked out. I spent too much time questioning myself and feeling as though I should not feel the way I did. You have to understand, to be ignored and made to feel as though I am not important enough is a very familiar place for me to be. So working this all out emotionally was not easy. I ended up taking a month off in order to try and figure out what I was feeling and why.

My husband dropped me off for my next appointment and saw her checking her cell phone while greeting me. During this session I was sharing with her my struggle with continuing. She was clearly hyper focused on her cell phone. Something exciting must have been going on in her personal life and she was over attentive to her cell phone and the messages she was receiving. At one point she chuckled at one of the messages she received. And at another time she couldn’t resist and picked up her phone and took the time to send a quick text message back. All while I was talking to her.

My appointment was at 11:00 am. At 11:00 am her previous client was leaving and I then entered her office. Toward the end of this session, she said we wouldn’t have time to continue. She walked me out, but my husband was not there yet. So I told her I would wait for him. She rushed into her office, grabbed her things and said she needed to go and off she went.

I called my husband to let him know I was done. His immediate response was, “You are kidding me!” I was confused and asked him what he meant. He said that it was only ten minutes before twelve. He was on his way and was going to be there before twelve because he knew that was when my session ended every other time I have seen her. I wasn’t aware of what time it was and realized how disappointing it was that something in her private life was so important that it not only distracted her during my whole session, but also caused her to cut it shorter.

When he said this to me, it just emphasized her distraction during my appointment and caused my heart to sink as it made everything clear. On one hand the fact that all of this was accentuated during this particular visit helped us to have the conversation that led me to tell him that she always has her cell phone with her and about it being the focus of her attention. He immediately told me that this is not right.

Again, this was all cumulative. And unfortunately, I was not able to say anything to her regarding any of it. I now know that I cannot go back. I struggled for a while on how to end things. Because I became very vulnerable with her and shared things with her on a deep level, I don’t really trust myself to have any further contact with her. I think it would be too easy for me to get sucked back into a situation that would not be good for me.

I really wanted this to work. I did like her very much. And on many levels, I desperately needed this to work.

I know that many people who follow my blog have either been in therapy in the past, are currently in therapy, or are a professional who may understand the therapeutic process enough to know why this is not a good situation. I do wonder if any of you have ever had a similar experience?

I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to feel. Didn’t I deserve better? Maybe someday the emotions will rise when I am ready. But today,today, I sit quietly numbed by the loss!

“Freedom For All”

I wanted to explain any confusion that may have been created over my blog post yesterday. I originally posted it under a different title and quickly received a Like from someone with a pornographic blog. The name of the blog, the subtitle, and their Gravatar were all pornographic. This was very disturbing and clearly an attempt at trying to be offensive.

I immediately deleted the blog post. Fortunately someone else had liked my post just before I deleted it so that now their Gravatar shows up in my notifications instead of the offensive one. There is no current way to delete a Like or Gravatar from your blog. Hopefully this is something WordPress will correct in the near future.

My husband reported this person to WordPress and posted a question on the Support Forum regarding how to get rid of the offensive notification.

This has also made me afraid to use tags any more. Since I don’t want to attract such a person to my site. What is really confusing, is that I used different tags on that post. And they had nothing to do with sexual abuse. 

This would have been offensive at any time, but yesterday was especially difficult for me. It actually was a trigger that sent me spiraling into fear and becoming very emotional.

I understand freedom of speech and I support it. But where is my right to freedom? I didn’t go onto their blog and harass them. Why should they be free to spread their filth where it is not wanted? When this happens, there is no “freedom for all” any longer. Without respect for others, no one has the right to freedom. Our freedoms were based on a given of common decency and freedom for all. Which in itself implies a respect for each other.

I get that a lot of people don’t want religion to dictate their lives, and I agree. But why should these same people be able to dictate their indecency to the rest of us? They are doing the very thing they don’t want done to them. A first grader could figure this out. But somehow we can’t as adults in the world today.

In the United States we have helicopters and airplanes that spray to kill mosquitoes in areas where they were found to carry certain viruses. There is no threat of any virus as great as the epidemic of sexual abuse throughout the whole world. This is a global epidemic. And yet we pretend that pornography and the over sexualization of our culture is “normal” and not a problem. As though there is no connection.

It is very hard for me not to be angry at even women for this issue. How can we be for women’s liberation as we know it today when it has done nothing to make this problem better? In fact, it has only gotten worse. Women participate in this problem every bit as much as men do. Somehow pre-women’s liberation, men were the problem. Now that women are just like them, joined them, it is somehow okay. I don’t get it. What are we fighting for? Short skirts, jobs, equal pay, indecency, the freedom to sexualize ourselves… to be just like men. What of any of this is that damn important if we and our children can’t even receive the most basic respect as a human being?

Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of hearing men say they LOVE the female body. We are not just a body, we are human beings. I wonder if men would really enjoy walking around having to see the sexual parts of other men’s bodies everywhere. Would they like it if we as women, lusted for and looked at men’s bodies in the same way with all the perfection they love to see in their fantasy world of women’s bodies? What if the body parts of men were hanging out and you NEVER matched up… YOU were NEVER good enough? If we as women, were always wanting someone else other than YOU! I don’t know what about any of this makes men think that most women are comfortable with it either.

And I am also sick and tired of people who see all of this as good and as though they somehow have a more superior intelligence and mindset. We cannot afford to continue to lie to ourselves. And we cannot afford for men or women to continue to be ignorant in how their behaviors negatively effect others. And if you don’t care, then you are a part of the problem.

You can say what you want about this issue, but I don’t think we can remain silent and pretend anymore. I personally see the resemblance of a predator in every mindset wrapped around pornography, and the indecency women currently fight to have the “right” to display in public. I am angry at us all, men and women alike.

We have sick thinking and their is no way to justify any of it. How many children have to be sexually abused? How many men and women have to be raped? How long do women like me have to be uncomfortable in this world around men who lie to themselves and the world, and women who are indecent everywhere you go and try to justify the same? I see the similarities of a predator in it all.

And if anyone thinks all of this is okay, nothing anyone else does should ever be upsetting you. After all, they too are just doing whatever they want to as well.

What is so wrong with love and connection and respect? Have we all lost our minds? I am not just a body… we are not just a body. And I resent anyone who sees us as such. Women do not exist for the sexual gratification of men. Sex does not exist just for the sexual gratification of men. It is meant in the context of love, connection and devotion. You know, someone you would die for, give your own life for. Not someone whose life you would willingly take and throw away without a thought, whether through a visual or physical means. We need to all stop thinking like and acting like predators, as though all this has no negative effects. For God’s sake, it is ruining marriages, destroying families and relationships at epidemic proportions before we even touch the epidemic of sexual abuse in our world. This is no small problem and we need to stop pretending it is.

Even if you think this is all just a joke and okay. Where are my rights to live in a world that doesn’t include the mindset and mentality of a predator? And by the way, they don’t think what they are doing is all that bad either. I would venture to say that most of what we have been convinced is okay in this context has been propagated by psychopaths throughout the ages… and today we see ourselves as “normal” as we cling to their sickness we have come to embrace so willingly. It is as though we are working hard to try and make psychopaths of us all. Someone who doesn’t care about anyone but themselves. But at what price? And when will the price ever be too high?

By the way, in case you didn’t notice, I am very upset!