Update on the self-blaming rant

Okay, so self-blaming is not good.  I understand that and I saw the negative side effects this weekend from it but still it is clinging to me.  My spiral down was swift and planning for significant self-harm began.  I emailed my counselor Wednesday night saying that a younger part was very angry and was planning something for Saturday night.  I made the connection for the first time between her anger and her concentration on staying focused on her “plan”.   My husband and I were in a marriage session with my counselor when my teenage part came out.  In the email I said:

“Her anger made her more powerful which makes me nervous.  I wasn’t able to come out like I am usually able to.  When she came out of the bathroom she didn’t want to go back into your room so she sat with the boys. But after they talked with her I could feel myself starting to come out, she got mad and walked back into your room.  While she was in the room I absolutely knew that this was just like the week before I drove to SC.  I mean, it’s definitely not as intense, the emotions are different, but she was trying to keep her focus on her anger and the “plan”.  Keeping “focus” was a huge part of the week before SC.”  *my drive to South Carolina happened during my suicide attempt two years ago

Thursday my counselor texted and emailed asking if he could call me.

My insides went into a panic.  For one hour I contemplated every response I could give and what he may respond.  I wanted to be able to move along with the “plan” without any interruptions.  I finally decided to text that I thought it best if we talk during our regular appointment time on Tuesday.  My mind was really on a high from the planning and the music I was piping into my ears.  An hour later I convinced myself that he would call my husband so I texted that he could call.

The call was fruitless because I was not honest with him for fear he would stop me.  That night I asked him if I could email him without him calling me.  He agreed so I began to be honest with where I was.  I had a previous counselor tell me not to go to my husband when I am struggling because he is not a trained counselor.  My current counselor told me that it was very important to tell my husband as it develops into a unity that parallels even that of the Trinity (that’s in Ephesians 5).  By Friday morning I was sufficiently scared about Saturday night.  I eagerly but cautiously told my husband that I had started listening to music that makes me dissociate, had hidden pills, and had a plan.   I was very nervous because I didn’t know how he would react.  He replied saying that he would always love me and wants to be with me during these times.

He added,  “And both of us together in a troubled place is better than one of us alone in a troubled place.”

I felt loved, protected, and not alone.

I can’t say that I am completely out of that place right now but definitely not as far down as I was on Wednesday – Friday.  I was (and still am) still struggling with blaming myself for some of the abuse.  Intellectually I know that’s crazy and if I were listening to someone else tell my story I would tell them of course they were not to blame.  But deep down part of me wants to accept the blame and believes it deserves to be there.

I choose to accept blame for my abuse

I have to accept blame.  I was involved wasn’t I?  I was there, I participated, I didn’t kick, didn’t scream, didn’t bite, didn’t run away…I chose to stay.  I chose.  I CHOSE.  I chose the abuse.  I had to… because if I didn’t that would mean…that would mean a monster could consume me at will.  It would mean he could overpower me any time, day or night.  It would mean I had and still have NO CONTROL in my life.  So what is it?  I either chose to be abused, or I have no control in this life.  What do I believe?   That’s the battle I am having right now.

Today, I am taking the blame because if I chose to be with my dad then I had some control over what happened to me.  But taking the blame means I have to continue to punish myself.  Punishment through self-harm and seeking out triggers in order to drive myself to suicide.

Now, that feels known.
That feels familiar.

I can handle taking the blame.  And saying that I was involved means I still have some kind of connection to my dad.  We both would take some of the blame.

He would have to care about me then, right?

But if I were to truly believe that I have absolutely no control over my abuse and that I was/am powerless, I would disappear.  I would disintegrate.   It would mean he is a monster…and how can I love someone who is a monster?  A monster would never have any love in his heart for me so if I want to have hope then my dad cannot be a monster.  And if he is not a monster then I couldn’t have been powerless.

Things are not well

There’s electricity in the air.  Life becomes foreign as I realize I’m cemented to my memories.  The hair on my arms is standing on end and my sense of smell seems to have magnified to an intensity that draws all my attention to whatever is prowling behind the next corner.  My vision is tunnelling and I am left groping, trying to find a wall to anchor me to the earth.  Everything is silent and perfectly still…except for who or what is coming for me.   Anticipation is always worse than the actual event I tell myself, but I’m not convinced.

My heart is thrashing my chest as I begin to plan.  There’s no moving forward and no going back.  No questions, no answers, no clarity.

Visual and muscle memories, smells, sensations, fear, helplessness, hopelessness, no doors to bust down, no windows to break free.  Superman doesn’t exist, only my man’s evil desires.  He has touched every deep dark crevice of my body and soul.  There’s no way to purge the thoughts, the flashbacks, the god awful memories.

I must be in control.  I have to take charge.  It’s essential to be prepared.  The tools needed to escape must be in hand because the emotions, I know, will be too uncontrollable and all consuming.  Survival is not assured.  “God, why can’t I escape the pain?  Why won’t you let me drift below the surface?”  I beg for minutes, then hours, later I beg for an end.

The devil is in the details of a flashback…He looked into my eyes

I had another flashback in my counselor’s office on Tuesday.  When I have flashbacks I rarely experience the emotions I probably had as a child.  It came as a picture stuck in time and as the week has progressed, the emotions have very slowly crept up on me delivering with them muscle memories.

It amazes me when I get the picture, I immediately jump away from the abuse itself and focus on the minutest details.  The impact of these details develop a great emotional wallop though.  After one of my earliest flashbacks I became obsessed with the fact that my dad closed the door after entering my room. This time, it was that he made me open my eyes and look into his face as he abused me.  This fact brings with it so much information that I have to sift them through a sieve to separate the pieces and parts in order to figure out how I feel about each bit of confusing data.

First, dad saw my fear.  Realized my terror.  He just didn’t care.  Before now I assumed my frightened soul was never seen because no one took the time to look into my eyes.  But he not only looked, he demanded it; even seemed to need my panic to fuel what he was doing.  He knew the depth of pain he was causing to my body and heart.  He was not bothered by it, in fact, doesn’t this mean he enjoyed it?

Secondly, this brings home the fact that my counselor has asserted all long:  rape and molestation is about power over another.  I never understood that or could grasp that fact until Tuesday.  My dad wanted full control over me.  I wasn’t allowed to look away.  I wasn’t allowed to try to endure.  He commanded that I be fully engaged.

And if this was about his control, then what would stop him from also controlling my brother the way he did me?  My brother’s life has mirrored my dad’s.  Dad dropped out of college due to alcohol, same as my brother.  They both got the same job working for the same company, live close to each other and had early marriages fraught with drinking problems.  My brother, one year younger, doesn’t believe dad abused me much less himself.  But the possibility that dad may have abused another…well, I don’t even know what emotions that brings up.  Yeah, it brings up a lot of sick thoughts that I have a hard time putting on paper.  The sickest….I wasn’t even special to him.  I mean, I never had dad’s attention, except during abusive times.  And now I find out I may have been just another object of several.

Lastly, if it was all about control, what does this say about my grandfather in his relationship to my father?  I heard several stories about my grandfather’s anger but never experienced it myself.  What kind of abusive control did he exercise over his children?  This rocks what little memories I have of my grandparents.

Sometimes I can get derailed in the details.