Smile though your heart is aching

I’ll do what you expect me to
I’ll smile as you want me to
At home I’m still crying as I used to
& I promise, I wont show you

Yesterday I had therapy, and a talk with Brandon. It was very confronting, Brenda was very upset, I was tired. Brandon was asking me if I recognized myself in Stockholm syndrome. Questions about my father and the whole ‘hierarchy’ at home. It’s really blurry.

At one point, I don’t even remember how we got there, the thought came in to my mind… Brandon is telling me I’m a whore.. I’m my dad’s whore.

So Brandon was talking about something.. (God knows what)

Brandon; ……………………..
Me *while looking down*; So you’re saying I am his whore?
Brandon; That’s not what I’m saying.

Of course, I could believe him. And of course, that’s not what I did. I think I decided to test him. YET AGAIN. I knew, what I was expecting, I knew, the old Brandon, would respond like ‘plan A’ for instance, but there came Peter screaming in my head that he’s not saying it, but he’s thinking it.

So suspicious Brianna suddenly made direct eye contact with Brandon

Me; But that’s what you’re thinking? 

My voice was freakishly calm, without judgement in it.
Of course I made the eye contact to see the look on Brandons face, to really see if he was lying or not. But Brandon being who he is, plan A won, he kinda looked surprised at me for asking that and a little confused.

Brandon; no

I could see he really did not think I was a whore. I trust him. It’s save and ok now. In fact, it was save and ok all along. He passed the test.
And it’s weird to think of why would you test someone.
It’s not something I decide to do, of course, I’m doing it! I know that, because I learn to look at myself and my behaviour. But in that moment I am not aware of me testing him. I think it’s something in me that’s automatically doing that. Seeing if it’s still ok to ‘hang out’ or ‘talk with’ Brandon, is he still save.

xoxo
Brianna

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It’s been more than a year since..

Hi,

It’s been more than a year since I’ve seen my father for the last time. To be honest, I don’t even know the exact date, I do know it was around January or beginning of February 2013, that was the last time I saw him.

It has been such a crazy year. I still feel the chain around my ankle pulling me. But I know I’m still standing. I know he’s still pulling me down, and I remember Abraham fighting him for me.
And look at me now, its February 2014 and I’m still standing. Sure, I’m still chained up, but standing. Abraham is no where around. But sometimes I still feel his warm hand soothing the pain between my ankle and the chain. He’s still here sometimes.

I feel I’m able to handle more alone. Making more healthy choices. To be honest, getting more annoyed by unhealthy choices. The people I used to have around me, are changing. Friendships I thought would last forever, just broke. Well, I’m sad that they broke, but I really don’t want a friendship like that.

Polly is supposed to come over within 1,5 hours. She’s been canceling a lot on me lately, let’s see if she will today.
Later today another friend will come over. We’ll probably just watch a movie or something like that.

Honestly? I feel lost, I desperately need some Brandon advice, luckily I’ll see him tomorrow and talk to him tomorrow. Somehow his steadiness and calm-ness  always brings some zen into me or something like that.
And honestly? I miss Abraham.
Just a weak moment.

Sorry didn’t mean to call you but I couldn’t fight it. I guess I was weak, couldn’t even hide it. So I surrender, just to hear your voice.
Deep inside me, I feel like I’m dying. I need to see you.. it’s all that I’m asking.

Sometimes I taste the purest of pain

xoxo
Brianna

I didn’t sign up for this!

Hi,

It’s almost  6 am. I am sitting on the couch typing this, and I am actually ready to go to therapy. However, I am still tired.
First of all, I didn’t go for the legal advice yesterday, I figured I’m just too tired.

But.. the reason why I’m writing, I had a nightmare. (Which isn’t weird when you suffer from ptsd but..) I am going back and forth between ‘adult’ thinking ‘ah well.. sucks..’ (< to be continued though) and child thinking ‘what the hell? what about this medication I’m taking against nightmares? I want to ring the psychiatrist right now!’

This child part of me is really upset and indignant.
It wasn’t just any nightmare to be honest. It was a nightmare like I had when I was little. The same characters (a witch, a leopard, a spider).  Now that I’m awake I don’t recall knowing the people, but in my dream I knew the people who I was with. But they just didn’t care about me.
Now this might be triggering. The point is, the same thing happened. The witch chased me away (in my childhood dream she chased me away from my house) from this weird big-ass home. Which made me flee, I decided to jump into the water, which magically made me invisible for the which, but unfortunately, as usual, there was the leopard (the witch ALWAYS chased me away, INTO the arms of the leopard?!) and he was petrified underwater, but I just knew, if I looked at him too long, he’d wake up (the leopard always did abusive stuff to me and I knew this in my dream). So I kept on swimming, I felt like I was drowning, no air, still terrified. And I did this weird thing with my legs to wake my body up.

And then I woke up thinking ‘what the hell just happened?’
Although the environment in the dream was totally different every symbol in it, was exactly the same as my childhood nightmares.

So, back to the ‘adult’ thinking, although I’m doubting if I can even call it adult thinking. How am I ever gonna sleep again right?
My head is like; how about never?
But right now I’m already dog tired. So I got a plan.
Tonight! I will take my crisis medication it will knock me out into a dreamless sleep.
Thursday a friend will come over and stay the night (hurray for me, because he will be my security blanket for the night)

However! Thursday the psychiatrist is mine. No seriously, I’m calling him. And I want to up the dose of my topomax. I am scared to death of nightmares.

xoxo
Brianna

Beyond tired

Hi,

I’m exhausted.
But that’s quite logical if you look at the past days I’ve had. Sunday the first time at work > was very hectic. Then I had maybe 5 hours of sleep, then on  my way to therapy. Where I got huge news, which made me cry and the whole stuff (actually I must have cried 4 times Monday).

So today, I’m tired.

Thinking to myself…what do I need right now? I need rest! 🙂
So I’m taking everything slow. No need to do anything.

I am going outside at 5 pm because I am able to get some free legal advice, which I really want one something. But I choose to do that, I am not forced to. So again, the decision is up to me.
And then again, if I am too tired, I can still decide not to go.

It feels good being in control and taking care of my needs.

xoxo
Brianna

What do you want?

Hi,

The last few days I’ve been very busy and didn’t really have time for the laptop.
Been a lot of out of the house and stuff and it was actually quite good.

Also took enough time for rest. (< which I think was the key to keeping it all balanced)

Tonight is the first time I’m going to work at the new volunteers place! I am very excited and a little scared.

I was just trying to figure out what to wear, since it’s going to be in the evening, I’ll be behind the bar, making sure people get their drinks and stuff while a band is playing their music and entertaining people.
Due to selfharm scars all over my arm (from pulse to shoulder) I can not wear short sleeves, so I was planning on wearing long sleeves, but something light, so I won’t sweat easily (sweat dripping down my body > feeling my body > trigger).

Usually I wear a tanktop beneath my clothes, I guess it makes me feel save, like something is still protecting my body, beneath my clothes. Brenda especially likes it.
But since it’s probably going to be very warm in there, I thought it would be better to take it off, so I won’t sweat as easily (due to too many clothes) and I’ll just take it off right now, so my body can get used to it.

So I took it off and Brenda started whining instantly. ‘Too naked, doesn’t feel ok, want to hide, under the blankets’ etc.
I put on my shirt (to be, for the evening > without the tanktop) and Brenda practically started screaming. The feeling of the inside of the shirt against my body and it was all just so disgusting, at this point I can’t even distinguish my thoughts from her. So I took it off and put my tanktop back on and went to the livingroom.

And right now I’m typing this.

What do you want Brenda?

If we keep the tanktop on, it’s gonna be hot! And we’re gonna sweat. Let’s be honest, you’ll get whiney about that.
If we take it off. We won’t sweat (as easily) but you’ll whine straight from the beginning.

So I guess the choice is easy, I’ll just keep it on.
Kinda bummed right now. Because a simple thing like ‘taking a tanktop off’ is too much to handle.

But ok, she’s fine now.

xoxo
Brianna

Why does recovery take so long with childhood trauma?

Hi,

I kind of wanted to write something from my point of view about why recovery takes ‘so long’ with childhood trauma. Of course the ‘so long’ part actually is often called so long in other people’s eyes, but to be honest, I think it’s taking too long sometimes as well.

This is all written from my point of view and also my experience. So I am only speaking for myself.
In my situation, the trauma started at a very young age, I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t living in a traumatic situation. I know, and have been told that the physical abuse was always a part of my life. As well as the emotional neglect.

As a child, I was being raised by my parents. A little by my environment and school and stuff. But mainly my parents. They form me. Like you can form clay, a child is very flexible, as the child grows older (the clay gets harder) and it’s it takes a form. The form which is set by the parents.

I often see it as programmed. I have been programmed a certain way. Some of my core beliefs are very hard and a result from trauma, for instance, my father is ‘the king’ and I must please him, no matter what (it costs me).

Of course as I grow older, or as the child grows older, I do start thinking on my own, and when I was 15 I got ‘rescued’ out of my home situation, and especially my thinking (rational) part could start to adapt more. It could start to adapt more to the law. For instance about what is right and wrong, no matter if it’s your father, uncle, neighbor, mother, grandmother or a stranger.
But, here is the twist, my hard drive/program/core belief is still the same. I am still, emotionally, the same shape as I was knead by my parents.

So my head can say ‘it’s ridiculous to please your father, if it’s that damaging to myself’, but deep down inside, I feel I still need to please him.

I understand all the things people are saying. Logically I do. Phrases like ‘snap out of it’/’don’t you get it?’ are jus not relevant. Because I do.
It takes a lot of time (and pain) for the original form to maybe even break down and build up again.

Right now I’m feeling that I am moving a little bit more forward, but that took a long time! And to be honest, rationally I may not know anything much different than one or two years ago. But people around me held on, believed in me, supported me, kept showing me what was right… and I guess that really helped.

So why does it take so long?
It takes long because I was programmed this way, and it takes a long time to reprogram. It’s not impossible. It just takes time, effort, patience.

I am beyond thankful for the people in my life who are showing me this precious light that I feel I never knew, it’s so pretty. It confuses me because I feel I don’t deserve it, and yet they keep on showing it. It brings me to tears, brings me confusion, brings me love, brings me pain, but most of all, brings me joy.
Thank you.

xoxo
Brianna

Recovery; where am I?

Hi,

The last few days have been pretty good actually! I was quite busy but in a good way. Meeting up with people and just socializing 🙂 felt real good!

Today I talked to Justy (who I met up with yesterday as well!) about therapy and something Brandon and I are ‘argue-ing’ about sometimes.
And it gave me some insights, well, she gave me some insights.

The conversation with Brandon sort of goes like this. (btw, remember me wanting my topomax from the pharmacy, because it helps against nightmare’s?)

Brandon; You need to take responsibility for your life
Me; No! This life is not my responsibility. I’ll accept my past and move on from here, see what I can do with the things that are left.
Brandon; Your nightmares are your responsibility.
Me; No, I don’t like that word. I’ll accept them, but they’re not my responsibility, I didn’t choose them.
Brandon; Whose responsibility are they then? The women from the pharmacy?
Me; Well… they’re OUR responsibility

Justy immediately said he was testing me. I asked her, testing me for what?…… Testing me on how far along I probably am in coming to terms with my past. I don’t think it’s a secret that I can be stubborn. Especially not on this blog 😉 At this moment, I refuse to call my past, and the things I’m stuck with, my responsiblity. But as I was talking with Justy about this, I felt and just knew it was a matter of time before I would be able to replace the word accept to responsiblity.

I do think refusing to take responsibility is a little ‘childish’ of me, and not in a particularly negative way. It just seems to me that I’m not ready yet to accept that it’s really true what happened. And it really can’t be changed, by no-one. I really can’t get my childhood back. I really won’t get a father and a mother, the way I want to. I really won’t be able to turn back time, or be able to erase the memories. 

But untill then, I seem to cover it up with ‘acceptance’, untill I am ready to take the acceptance blanket off. I already know what’s lying underneath. It’s responsibility.

xoxo
Brianna

A full day with PTSD

Hi,

Yesterday was a real long day for me. I guess fora lot of people it can be seen as a normal day, but to me it was exhausting.
It started out with therapy, and afterwards I had an introduction at my volunteer work.

Therapy was rough. Wednesday always seems to get to me. I wanted to take it slow because I knew, I had to spread my energy up until 10 pm at least, because then I am able to go home (from the volunteers work).

Lately, I have been having good night’s rest. I do sleep well, no nightmares, but I don’t sleep long. I used to have a lot of trouble falling a sleep, I don’t anymore. But I wake up incredibly early, and then I can’t fall asleep anymore.
Creative therapy was quite ok, but I got tired after already.
Grouptherapy, was heavy. I got a laugh-kick with another group member, which maybe was me laughing away some tension, I don’t know.
Lunch –
Training in social kills was intense as well. A lot of practise and just took a lot of energy. (We practice with setting boundaries, and making sure other people can’t cross them, due to trauma in the past (it was boundary crossing) it’s hard to know where you boundaries are etc)

After that a individual talk with Brandon, but I already noticed my body was shocking sometimes. I don’t even know what that really means, I do know I’m full of tension. It’s really ridiculous and I am ashamed of it, but it just shocks. We cut the talk short.

When I was in the taxi on my way home, I already felt the whole day being too much. I was either about to cry (in the taxi, yup) or about to dissociate (felt myself floating away). I remember how a part of me was telling myself to keep focussing on the things around me but another part of me was so scared it was just petrified and didn’t want to move or even look or focus on the stuff around.
Somehow I managed the way home. With some encouragement of Justy I got into bed for a short time, with my security blanket, in total Brenda mode (crying, feeling unsafe), I crawled under the blankets, stuffed the security blanket against my mouth and kinda fell asleep.

My mum came to my house to take me to the volunteers work for the first time. When I woke up I felt a lot better, back to Brianna-mode. I was very scared of meeting the new people and stuff, but I knew I wanted to do this because it was a great opportunity.

Let’s just say it was intense. It started at 7 pm. I did my very best. I was smiling, introducing myself. Using my voice. Coming of normal (hopefully 😉 ). But despite that, I felt a lot of derealization. I did feel myself, a bit weird though, but the whole environment was just a big haze. I kept on pushing myself through the whole evening, which was exhausting. Suddenly about 20 other people came. And again, smiling, introducing myself in front of the whole group. After that there was a sort of gathering for all the people and of course it’s normal to stay. Although I desperately wanted to go home, I did stay.

I stood with my back against the wall and watched the other people while fighting the derealization, suddenly a girl came up to me to introduce herself personally. Of course I had to take the chance again and focus with all my head on what she was saying, smiling, coming of normal. Another guy came… and they were playing tablefootbal, the girl asked me to join. I didn’t want to! But I knew… this was my chance, so I did. I joined (lost with another guy 😉 ) but it was fun. After that, another girl came and introduced herself to me. Again a lot of focussing and to be honest I was ready to drop down on the floor.
It sounds intense, but this ‘all’ happened in 60 minutes, I asked the girl ‘when are we allowed to leave?’ (probably not very smart of me, but ok) she said ‘oh youre welcome to leave anytime you want!’ and I told her I had a long day, but I wanted to be here to meet everyone, but I thought it might be time for me to go home. Said goodbye to her and went. (10.40 pm)

When I got outside, it was raining. Didn’t care. I just walked in the rain. Which was lovely!!! No coat, the cold wind, the rain.. my mum picked me up from the bus station.

Just a full day with PTSD 😉

xoxo
Brianna

Seroquel/Quetiapine – My caretaker

Hi,

Obsessive as I am, or maybe it’s a little bit nicer to say ‘observing’ as I am ( 😉 ), I think I know why I tend to take my crisis medication (which is seroquel XR (also known as quetiapine)) sometimes and sometimes I really DON’T want it, although I can feel really horrible.

I’ve talked about me (Brianna) and the other me part, who is like a child part of me (Brenda). Well.. I think, and to be clear, this is what I think, that when I’m mainly thinking like Brianna, I will not take my crisis medication. Because I want to deal with this on my own. I don’t want to numb out, I don’t want the medication to knock me out into a sleep (which it does), I want do this on my own. Even if it means me losing something (like, self harm or something like that).

When I’m thinking more like Brenda, I long for the medication. The medication is my ‘mother’ who takes care of me. Who calms me down. Who puts me to bed and makes sure, everything will be ok for now.

Brenda-thinking only happens when I’m very triggered. Like saturday with the police, it was absolutely no problem to take the crisis medication.
However, before the police came, I was feeling like shit and suicidal as well… But there wasn’t a part of me thinking about taking the medication, I wanted to take care of this on my own! I don’t want to be knocked out! It doesn’t solve a thing! I get angry at people telling me ‘go get your seroquel’….. like; NO. That’s easy, because I’ll be off your back for a while. But the problem will still be here when I wake up.

But when I’m in a total Brenda modus.. Seroquel? Yes please!!!! *happy face*

Seroquel is the caretaker, for Brenda.
But definitely NOT for me.

Right now (today) I’m doing pretty ok actually. I’m keeping myself busy with working on my poem book (I’m making a book of my poems, and decorating each page with something! It’s distracting and calms me down. So I guess it’s a win-win!)

xoxo
Brianna