Monthly Archives: March 2014

Stuck in the Guilt

I’m feeling stuck, and guilty, the last few days.  It’s an odd combination.

When I say stuck, I mean this weird catatonia.  Late last week, I was on my couch nodding off.  When I woke at one point, I couldn’t even coax my eyelids open.  For about 30 seconds, my mind was fully awake, but my body refused to respond to my commands.  This has happened before and I’ve always found it more fascinating than frightening, but it still gets my anxiety buzzing.  Then at my friend’s baby shower this weekend, a guest caught me zoning out and I hadn’t even realized I was doing it.  I can’t be sure how long I stood there blankly staring into space.

The guilt, on the other hand, is manifesting more as a feeling like I’m going to get into trouble.  Like I’ve done something terribly wrong.  Then I feel emotionally (and somewhat physically) stuck again.  I imagine this is my inner child trying to say something to me.  Unfortunately, I’m still ill equipped.  I still can’t relate to her.

How could I possibly know what to say or how to begin righting the wrongs? I’m still pissed off that I’ve been put into this position in the first place.  This obligation – to heal the broken child within me – never should have come to pass.  I’m angry, and I can’t get past the anger.  I also feel terrible for this truth, but that is the current state of affairs.  It’s all fucked up and I don’t know how to fix it.

How do you explain such complexity of emotion to a child (or, in my case, an inner child) without making them feel pushed to the side aside for the millionth time?  It’s impossible.  This is impossible.

Failing at Womanhood

I don’t think I understand how to be a woman.

A friend’s (well, ex friend’s) past relationship was a traumatic one.  She fell  head over heels in love over the Internet.  Her soon-to-be husband moved out here within months and the wedding came shortly after.  Of course, it wasn’t altogether surprising when he turned out to have some major issues.  She put up with the craziness for longer than she should have, because she wanted the marriage to work (it was her first, after all), but it kinda messed her up in the process.  Understandably so!

A friend’s sister just got out of a 15+ year abusive relationship just months ago and she has also jumped right back into love.  Her kids are struggling with the change of the divorce and now things are only more complicated by the entrance of a new man.

Yet another sister decided not to get her marriage annulled after getting conclusive proof during her wedding reception that her new husband was screwing around on her and planned to pick it back up after the honeymoon.  Devoted or dumb?  You decide.

A friend of mine stayed with an alcoholic, borderline abusive, boyfriend for three years because he had his good moments.

Buy I just don’t get why.  Why would a woman do that to herself?  When a woman sees the glaring red flags, why not just leave?  When just getting out of an abusive or highly dysfunctional relationship, why do women go running to another man?  I am truly envious of the woman that is capable of loving so deeply it makes the rest of our hearts hurt, but I can’t get behind the idea of turning from one man to another; especially not when there’s lingering dysfunction that I have to deal with from the relationship I just left.

For me, I know damn well that I’m not right in the head at the moment.  So relationships have to be slow.  They have to progress at my pace, whatever it is that I decide is best for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being in love.  I want that intimacy and emotional connection.  Sometimes I feel lonely, I want companionship.  I’m just not ready to give up my heart completely.  I’m not ready to take that risk.  I want to step into my next relationship a more healthy person; a more stable person; a person that will still be there if/when the relationship goes sideways.  There is no way I could do any of that if I was distracted with the dysfunction of one bad relationship after the next.

Am I the odd woman out?  Am I missing out on something that other women haven’t clued me in on?  Should I fall in love with the next man I can without a care as to whether or not I’ll be hurt?  Oh hell no.  That’s not gonna happen.

Frozen

Frozen.  In time.  

My mind.  

Stuck on a memory.

Inaccessible, unwanted.

I’m Honored and Humbled for the Brave Heart Award

Brave Heart

Thank you to Kelly, of Writing From The Ashesfor the nomination.  It means so much.

The Brave Heart Mission Statement

To encourage all those (men & women) whom have been abused (all abuse) to share their hope with others so that they will no longer be a victim but a survivor that knows they are loved.

12 Questions Asked of Me

1.Tell us a little bit about your blog. Who designed it?

My voice has been stifled for far too long.  This is my second (of three) blogging adventures on WordPress.  The Redheaded Wonderblog was created with the intent that it would be a place where I and my inner child could have the freedom to say everything we have to say, without judgment, without filtration.

2. What is the title and description of your blog?

The Redheaded Wonderblog.  Learning what makes me tick, one blog post at a time.

3. Who is your intended audience?

My self.  My inner child.  My therapist.  Everyone else too.  But more specifically, survivors of all kinds of trauma and those who were abused by their mothers, in particular.

Mothers are supposed to be the nurturers of the family and they usually are.  As a result, society cannot fathom that a mother would treat a child the way that some do.  Those of us who have gone through it can barely wrap our minds around it ourselves.  Mother/child abuse is severely under reported and grossly misunderstood.  It is more subtle, often incestuous, and deceptively damaging.  At least mine was.  I share what happened to me with the hope that it inspires, helps, or encourages anyone who may chance upon it.

4. How did you come up with the title of your blog?

I’m a redhead.  Easy enough.  But for some reason, I always wanted to call myself the redheaded wonder and was never bold enough to do it.  It felt right for this blog, so I went with it.

5. Give us an interesting fun fact about your blog.

The Redheaded Wonderblog is a baby of the blogging world, born on February 26, 2014.  I started this blogging adventure when I finally couldn’t bear to keep my real story to myself anymore.  While I have slowly been telling people about how bad things were growing up, there was a point that I had to put it all out there.  I’m so glad I did.

6. What other blogs do you own and what makes them alike?

I blog as The Lawyernerd for Alexis Brown Law and just created The Spotted Freckledog this past week.

Alexis Brown Law is a different kind of lawyer website/blog combination.  It is less about the law (although there is definitely some of that) and more for writing about my life after law school, five years at a big law firm, and the ups and downs of starting my own practice, in an entertaining and sometimes informative way.  One of my goals there is to put a real face on lawyers and to bring the subjects I am most passionate about to life – pro bono, education, the law, and humor, to name a few.   However, because clients and past/future employers are free to read that blog, I have to censor myself.

The Spotted Freckledog is even newer than this blog.  It has no posts yet and I’m not 100% on the direction it will take, but I see it as an extension of me as a creative and sensitive person, not me as a lawyer or survivor.  The Spotted Freckledog will be my place to go when I travel and when I am ready to really start paying it forward.  I imagine that my latest blogging adventure will focus primarily on art, animal rescue, and education.

7. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

I love to color, have a pretty decent singing voice, and am fairly comfortable under the hood of a classic car.

8. How can we contact you or find out more about your blog?

You can read more, of course.  You can leave me a comment here.  Or if you want to email me directly, you can go to Contact Us page on Alexis Brown Law.  I’m out there, you just have to find me!

9. What can we expect from you in the future?

More blogging for now.  I have been in touch with a publishing company recently, so there may be a book or two someday.  How cool would that be?! :-)

10. What can readers who enjoy your blog do to help make your blog more successful?

Read it.  Like it.  Share it.  But more importantly, if you encounter someone who struggles with the aftermath of abuse, suggest it to them.  They may find something buried here that saves their life.

11. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers/bloggers?

Write from your heart.  People really respond when you are genuine with yourself and your words.

12. Before you go, could you share a snippet from your blog?

We were all scrunched into the hallway bathroom at my parents’ house and my dad was standing by a full bath tub holding my brother’s head inches from the water.  My mom was encouraging him, yelling at my brother.  My brother was scared, but I don’t remember him crying.

My Nominees for the Brave Heart Award

For survivors and supporters alike, in no particular order…

For light in a very dark place, inconsistently yours

For a shining spirit, Ocean of Compassion

For standing up for abuse survivors, Not Your Victim

For a young girl, who needs all of our support, How to Get Through Every Day

For the physician, who struggles along side the rest of us, Boundaries of the Soul

For someone who can really relate, The War In My Brain

For education, awareness, and tireless support, The Abuse Expose with Secret Angel

For memories that feel so familiar, TeddyLee’s Blog

For surviving real life and therapy in ways I was not able, -Tesseract

For supporting the anxious person inside us all, The Anxious Athlete

For change, Trauma American Style

and, last but certainly not least,

For an emotional journey told with exacto knives and spray paint, Emotion on Canvas

Telegram

Just realized I had written more on the back of the page I wrote Telegram on earlier this week. I revised it to add the ending. Enjoy.

The Redheaded Wonderblog

sheen. shine. shine on.
clean. climb. climb off.
mean. blind. blinders gone.

I am best with the monsters under my bed.
The light of day brings worse.
Snap. Crack. Slap.
Sharp. Cut. Play.
Fear.

Eat. Threats. Vomit.
Threats. Terror.

Play. No.

Sad that.  I’m not sure.
This is where.
Stop.

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How Much Is Too Much?

I’m learning that inner child therapy attaches significance to things that, on the surface, are innocuous. My first session was drawing myself with my non-dominant hand and my homework was to add color to my drawing.  So I added various colors of red for the hair, brown freckles, blue eyes, and I colored my pants blue.  They were blue jeans.  I wore blue jeans at that age, I wear blue jeans now.  But in inner child therapy, they weren’t just blue jeans.

The color blue was significant.  Obviously, saying you’re blue can also mean you’re saying you feel depressed.  Check.  But blue is also the color of water.  Which my therapist used to remind me about a traumatic childhood event involving water (I’ve written about it before).

Oh.  There it is.  There’s the door to that memory.

I’ve kept that door locked, under constant security surveillance, for a long time.  Interestingly, that door always had a window on it.  I mean, I’ve been able to tell people about the drowning incident for a long time (usually without much emotion).  Now I can barely think about it without wanting to cry.  Thanks, Dr.

In all seriousness, what my therapist did was help me open a door inside myself.  A door to real, raw, emotions that I haven’t allowed myself to feel.  That I couldn’t allow myself to feel, really.  I didn’t want to even unlock the door.  But before I knew what he was doing, he helped me unlock and open it.  The emotion hit me like a freight train, but in a good way.  He was there to help me manage it.  Then he helped me shut the door before we said our goodbyes.

Unfortunately, the door was more like a pressure valve with an old warn out gasket.  Now that the seal is broken, the steam that has been building up for the last 24 years (I was 7 in the drawing, remember) is seeping out around the cracks of the door.    So, a few other things have came out since hanging up the phone with my therapist.  I’m handling it surprisingly well, but I’ve been pondering an important set of questions.

How much is too much?  Can finding significance in something as normal as the color blue go too far?  Could it be risky business to see meaning where there really is just a pair of blue jeans?

When I was losing my mind a couple of years ago, I did something similar.  As I was trying to reconcile the unending terror I felt after she threatened me, my life, my career, I attached to the color red.  It was pretty natural, I think.  Red hair.  My dad always called me Red growing up.  But then I kept seeing red things everywhere.  I kept searching for it, attaching profound meaning to it.

Scary noise outside?  Look out the peep hole and a red truck drives by.   Panic.   I find a little red thing my dad gave me.  Anxiety.  I knew it was irrational, yet I could do nothing to stop it. This was at the peak of my psychosis when I was completely powerless over my mind.  Words can’t describe how awful it was.

So, yeah, your mind can do crazy things when left unchecked.  I suppose that’s why it’s great to have a good therapist.  I didn’t have that at the time and it cost me.   Now, as the week comes to a close and the weekend begins, I have to admit that I’m still way more anxious than I’d like to be.  But behind that anxiety is a layer of excitement to learn what else is behind this door number one.   I was 7 when I shut this door and I sense that there are others to come.  In fact, I almost feel like there was a wall behind the door that has to be busted down first.  Hey, I warned you that there was more to deal with when I started this process.

I’m still terrified of what lies in wait for me.  That feeling isn’t just miraculously gone like I had hoped it might be, but it has lessened.  And I at least can acknowledge that, with guidance, I can handle (and almost look forward to) figuring things out about myself.  Progress.

Possession

Another dream from the travel journal.

10/19/13

I’m possessed by an evil spirit that links me to a priest, known for malevolence.  I am physically unable to cross the threshold of what I believe is a church, because the demon is so strong within me.  The priest tells me I’m ready or something like that and then a ghostly spirit of a piglet transports me to a hospital.

We travel down an aisle between hundreds of beds full of dying people.  As I approach one on the left, I recognize it’s occupant.

Her.  She is struggling with the orderlies trying to subdue her.  It is clear I can’t be seen by anyone around, but this vision is truth.  I am assured of that.  Suddenly, she lurches and is still.  She has died.  Her heart, weak from constant self abuse, and hardened from years of consternation, meanness, manipulation, and the like, has exploded in her chest.

It is over.  I should be sad at her passing, and in a way I am, but I am also relieved.  Relieved that I have peace of mind.  Peace of soul.