Coming up from the depths
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|Thu, 04-02-2009 - 6:45pm|
It's been a really tough couple of weeks dealing with all the new memories but I'm finally coming up and feeling hopeful. I've learned a lot and the most surprising thing was how much work I've already done on this without realizing it.
I have a series of things I experience when really stressed. They used to be considered hallucinations but now I know they are a type of flashbacks. They have always been a warning sign of impending trouble. My T says they are really common in trauma victims. But what I'm now learning is how I've learned to control and use them. My first warning sign is seeing birds flying around because I would look out the window when bad things happened and see the birds. I have so many bird feeders now that I have my own "real" birds to watch including 10 very fat turkeys. I took what was a warning and turned it into a calming place.
My second warning was smelling burned food. When my mom would get really depressed she'd forget what she was cooking so it was a warning that she was not in good shape and I might get hurt. Even though I still smell it, I've actually taken it and used it for good. I had my own baking business for many years and gave away as much as I sold. My specialty was gingerbread houses. I made happy things with great smells. Again, I've learned how to turn a warning sign into a good sign.
My third warning was my mom's voice and I think I've finally learned that nothing she says can ever affect me again. I learned that last year when I battled with my vision problems
The 4th and last warning sign is tactile flashbacks of my father hitting my head and those had gone a long time ago and only came back with my neck injury and the seriousness of the surgery(and almost dying). Now with the new memories and a new neck injury, I think with time they too will fade away, especially if they finally fix my spine.
After those warnings, strange things would happen. I would start to lose my color and 3D vision and slowly lose my ability to talk(why I haven't posted). I finally realized that what I was doing with each step was going back and back and back in time until I found a safe time. I basically regressed back to about 3 months of age when babies are just starting to really see color and dimension and can't talk but can babble. And now, when I look at my life, I see I've been slowly developing that same safe place to protect me in my own home. My husband moved into the guest bedroom after taking a job where he gets up at all hours of the night and I was going through having both shoulders operated on and couldn't move. I asked him to stay there. I need that room as my safe place. I've brought those things that I love into the room with me...pictures, crafts, colors....it is slowly becoming my safe place so I don't have to regress anymore.
So I've learned just how I've been slowly battling back against the abuse for a long time without knowing it. I was so beaten down by the thought of having to start a ton of therapy all over again. I just didn't have the strength. But now I know all I have to do is finish the work I started so any years ago.
I will always have the memories to deal with and I may still go through the cycle of flashbacks but the more I can turn them into good the better they become. My T still has to stop seeing me June 1st when I get Medicare but he has suggested a special day program. It's a day program for "professionals"...docs, lawyers, people in leadership roles in business/education/ whatever. This particular hospital is world renowned(Institute of Living) and I was an in-patient there for 2 1/2 years back in the 70's but that was before I knew I was an abuse victim. It is their program. They are very confused as to why my T has recommended me for it(I'm not a professional person!) and want to talk to him. He feels I have so much insight I wouldn't learn from their other programs but I would with this one. And I might just teach them a thing or 2 as I have taught him. I guess I should consider it a compliment from him. We'll see if they accept me. It's meant to be a bridge while I go through surgery and find a new T.
So I'm back and feeling stronger. Want to head to New London to hug Shannon(I'm only about 1 1/2 hours away if that).
Thank you all for your support.