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

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

Brianna & Brenda

Hi,

With every thing happening it seems it’s becoming more clear how my adult, rational part is deciding (me, Brianna). But also how the childpart of me still wants attention and needs help (with everything) and is stuck in her place due to the trauma (Brenda).

Yesterday I went to another city in Holland which is a big deal for me because I have had social anxiety issue’s in the past. I got on the train and was very nervous.
When I actually arrived at my destination, I didn’t know that station very well, it’s being rebuilt etc, I got into a little panick situation.

There were A LOT of people traveling and just going back and forth from platforms and just trying to make their own destinations. I was standing on the side, trying to calm myself down. But to be honest, I felt like Simba (you know, from the Lion king, when all those animals came down at him?). They were like a herd, rushing my way. Brenda panicked like crazy. Of course, there is not really any time to take account for personal space, but even when there was enough metres left, people kept brushing up against me. Against my back. I felt so intimidated.
Brenda was screaming in my head, yelling for safety. I was texting with my mother. Everytime the ‘herd’ was reducing, suddenly, it increased again. All I could think of was ‘oh God, not again, how am I gonna survive this?!’ The tears were knocking behind my eyeballs to come out, but I refused. I couldn’t start crying in the middle of the train station?!

I felt really alone, Brenda screaming. Unsafe. ‘Far away’ from home. I couldn’t think clearly.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t handle it and burst into tears.

I have talked about tendency’s earlier, (tendency’s like, not knowing how to say how I’m feeling, but only knowing what to do, like stamping my feet, or just sitting on the ground and waiting for someone to pick me up)
Well, another lovely tendency came up. I thought, or maybe Brenda thought, if I just go lie down on the track/railroad, the railway police will come and pick me up and get me somewhere save. (It’s crazy right?! And me, Brianna, knew somewhere far in my head, that save place was a cell, because they’ll think I’m suicidal and lock me up there) but I was so fixated on someone getting me out of there, because I can’t do anything myself.

Magically, the herd stopped, or the train left with the herd in it. And I found a train home, called up my mum to pick me up from the train station in my own city. I made it as save as possible. When I got into the train, I sat next to the train driver’s booth (as that felt as the safest place).

I ended up having a great day, I met with Justy (whom I met here on wordpress 🙂 ! ) and luckily I tend to label the whole day as it ended, so my Saturday was amazing.

But sometimes I do worry, what if I give in to the ‘helpless-Brenda-thoughts’?
Like the last blogpost about the topomax, I did end up going to the emergency pharmacy, but my mum wouldn’t let me go in. She knew when I got in, I might end up screaming my head off till I got my medicine. Which is just not an adult way of communicating. But me (in a Brenda-way) trying to communicate my frustrations of not having my medication and being afraid (terrified) of going into the night/weekend without etc. But they would just not accept that, which is logical, because after all there is an adult woman standing in front of them.
xoxo
Brianna

Disconnected from my body

Hi,

I don’t really know if I have written about this yet but I kind of wanted to sort thing out for myself and maybe help someone else with this.

I do think because of the abuse (of which I still have a lot of trouble going in to or even writing about it in detail) I have disconnected myself from my body. I actually don’t remember any different. I have always had a perfectly trained outside for social activities, as well as when I got forced into therapy. I remember reading back how they were surprised of not seeing any emotion on my face and how my voice was monotone all the time. I could talk about murdering people and keep a straight face, with a monotone voice. Which was shocking to them.
I never really connected with my body, looking back now. I did play sports, the one thing I truly loved (and still do) is field hockey and actually it’s the only sport I can really enjoy.

Other forms of exercise mostly trigger me, especially because I get aware of this body beneath my head.
To me, the ideal situation would be me just having a floating head. Unfortunately that’s not possible.

However not being aware of this body for more than 20 years has led to some stuff. Now when I do get aware of it, by for instance tummy-ache, or the flu, or simple tingle somewhere, it’s a trigger. My head explodes on the inside and everything becomes chaos, trying to push away whatever we’re feeling, because ‘OMG WE JUST FELT A FOOT’. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s very annoying. Of course things like a foot are less likely to trigger than for instant my tummy or a private part.

Whenever someone touches me, it can be an instant trigger as well. To be honest I do shake people’s hands. Which is ok, I don’t really like it, but ok. I do dislike having to kiss people on the cheek while greeting them. (I was raised in a very polite family in which I always had to do as I was told, and had to be the politest girl ever, so if the person wanted 3 kisses, I had to give three kisses.)
Most of the time the touching is ok right now, my mother is still a very tricky one, she can accidentally touch my foot (with her foot) and the whole chaos starts in my head (which triggers me and it can take an hour or sometimes 1,5 for me to calm down, but in the mean time, I have to play pretend with her, while avoiding all the physical interaction).

Right now there are literally 2 people in the world, who’s touch always has felt save. One of them was a girl at therapy (who left last year), we would hold each others hands when things would get rough and just squeeze in it, and I’d know she would tell me with the squeeze ‘I’m here, hold on’.. and I’d do the same with her. No words were needed. I would just reach out my hand.
The other person is Abraham, unfortunately I still see him as a save person and a save place on this earth. Someone who I can crawl into whenever it just gets too scary out here.

I don’t have any control over the tingling sensations in my body, it can be something in my face, on my arm, really anything. And yet everything can trigger me. It can happen anytime.

I never really realized how disconnected I was from my body, how much I had separated my head from my body. Until I realized all the small triggers that come forth from something simple as feeling my body.

xoxo
Brianna

Hi, my name is Frank

TRIGGERING due to talk about self harm, negativity etc. 

Hi,

So just to be Frank, and by Frank I do mean totally, brutally Frank.

I know I’ve become fatter. I’ve gained weight. Not only was I already overweight but I actually managed to become even more overweight. I can see my normal bra not being able to contain this huge disgusting breast anymore. It disgusts me.
My enormous belly, full of fat, has become even bigger. Where these ugly breasts just lean on, because, let’s face it, they do need some place to hang out. Apparently my tummy is the hot spot right now.

This is one of those moments, I am able to call the doctors (eventhough it’s 12.04 am over here) and ask them to cut away all my fat because it’s disgusting)

It’s triggering. WHY DO I KEEP ON EATING? Jesus. Like I’m not ugly enough already. The only thing I seem to do is sit on the couch ALL DAY LONG. So the least I can do, is STOP EATING. I feel like I want to just tear off my arm and just start slapping myself in the face with it. I AM SO ANGRY.

I DONT want to go to therapy tomorrow. What can I wear? EVERYBODY WILL SEE THIS DISGUSTING BODYFAT.

Well it’s not weird. I’ve had the dumbest food schedule ever. Weirdest medication.
Right now, I’m just done. I’m about to cry. Oh, here I go. If only the tears had some calories in them. I hate myself. Why can’t I do anything right? I’m such a failure.

Self loathe washes over me and I can not do anything about it. Well I want to.. but I can’t. A part of me wants.

I should go to bed, right?
But the problem is. I only feel a little bit ok in bed, if I have a movie on my laptop… AND SOMETHING TO EAT IN THIS FILTHY WHORE MOUTH OF MINE.

I don’t know what to do.

Just sinking deeper and deeper.

Get me out of this body. GET ME OUT.

Trust (therapy)

Hi,

Had dinner, calmed down (as far as I am able to) and I do really want to write this down.

Briefly about myself right now;
I’m not stable. I’m as stable as it gets while being unstable (if you know what I mean..). I just gotta balance on this cord I’m walking on and do the best I can. Right now I’m full aware of where I am and who I am. That’s a big improvement. The only point is, you never know for how long. I decided to write this little thing down anyway, because it’s not about the whole sexuality thing and because it gave me a little insight on myself.

A child learns to trust in others, because of the parents of which it is dependent on, are reliable in their way of acting and in the child. Which makes the child trust/have faith in the parents as well as in him/herself.
Further to this, the child learns to deal with emotions and learns to endure frustrations (delaying own needs). Enduring frustrations is a lesson the child will only learn if it’s been given the assurance that it’ll all be okay and therefore there’s enough trust.

This was a real smack in the face.
I know I can not endure frustrations. But maybe that’s because I never have faith.. faith that it’ll be okay in the end.

Looking at myself… and being honest, I know when I want something or need something, I want it directly and immediately. I know I can ball like a baby, stamp my feet like a child. Sit on the ground. Hang myself around someone’s leg. Not really knowing how to explain myself, but I could explain what tendency is.
I have to find the trust in myself to know it’ll be okay, like raise myself or something like that.

It’s just weird to have a small sentence like that make sense to so much situations. Like ‘ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…………………….’

If I would explain myself right now, in words. I’d be something like this (and very Brenda like, so excuse me for that);
Help me, please. Hold me, because I am broken and it hurts. I am lonely and that hurts too. It’s cold. You are warm and I want it too. Please just hold me, you don’t even need to talk to me, just hold me and let me be. See me. It’s empty inside. Hollow. I need you.

But let’s be honest, I could never say that to someone.

xoxo
Brianna

I don’t even know what to say

Hi,

As today is monday, I had therapy.

It started out quite chaotic. I didn’t sleep well, and I got a call in the morning from the cab company that the taxi would be 20 minutes late (remember my last post? “I seem like a normal girl, on the outside”), since I knew my last reaction to the whole taxi-is-late, I tried to calm myself down with the thoughts of how it all turned out last time and it was okay to be late and I’d be able to get enough out of the therapy day in the end. (For me at that time it was very important to be at the beginning, because we discuss the weekend and to be honest, I really wanted to talk about mine, since I had a hard time, just in the hope that someone would notice me).

The taxi arrived (45 minutes late) and when I got at therapy I got in time to discuss my weekend after all! Only got stressed out a little so that’s a huge improvement from last time! 🙂
After that we had psycho-education. The topic was intimacy and trust. Well it’s not just the words that make me shiver. It was all very confronting, and I do remember the first few things said, and that it really felt like smack in the face (I even remember thinking at some point “Oh, I want to copy this into my blog! Because I really recognize myself in this!”), I did mention out loud that it was hard for me to read this because it was so confronting.

At the end of the whole psycho-education, Brenda was screaming her lungs out. The topic was something about sexuality and touching and… UGH. I just couldn’t keep control. I do remember someone asking me if I was still there with them, and I just don’t really know what happened, at some point I do remember looking her in the eyes and just being scared and not knowing how to use my voice and not wanting to use my voice. Afraid to talk. Afraid to even open up my mouth.
I walked out of the therapy room (away from the group, the therapist asked me if it would be good for me to take a walk, just to stay in the present).

I just don’t know where I went wrong. I remember being in the bathroom. With my head against the door and just pressing my fist against my mouth.
My head was all fuzzy.

Anyway, the whole day was weird and cloudy. I got the feeling that the therapists are mad at me and they don’t really like me. At the end of the day (which I struggled to get through, and often doubted if I should go ask for an individual talk) I just gave up and decided to go play nice and just go home. When it was my turn to talk about the day I said; “My day was okay! Tomorrow I’ll see Polly, and I’ll be here again on Wednesday”. And then the therapist asked me if I really was ok, and the whole thing sort of came out. No, I wasn’t ok. I felt horrible.

I felt and still feel like you all hate me! (I didn’t say that though, like they’d admit that to my face)

Did tell her I felt horrible and she told me she was glad I told the truth because she thought I felt bad.

Anyway, I still feel horrible. I feel so disconnected from my body. If I could describe it. My head is about 4 meters above the laptop, and above this body and these weird hands are typing this. I feel this weird feeling in the back of my head/neck and I don’t know.
xoxo
Brianna

Memories; Am I allowed to die now?

TRIGGER warning! About death/suicide and just depressing stuff

Hi,

This is a big trip down memory lane, well… not big as in far behind, must have been like 5 or 6 months ago? I am really bad at time though.

NOTEBOOK
Who remembers this from the movie ‘The Notebook’?
(If you haven’t seen the movie, you might want to stop reading, because I’ll be spoiling it! It’s really a must see! Very beautifully romantic 🙂 )

So the movie is about these 2 love birds, and in the end of the movie, (the woman is sick) and she dies in bed, while holding her partner’s hand and him lying next to her. If I remember correctly, he dies shortly after her as well. (Of a broken heart? I don’t remember him being sick though) Anyway, they both died in this position (as the photo above)

Uhm.. so for now, let’s delete the romantic part 😉

“Am I allowed to die now?”
Was a big question in my mind about 5 or 6 months ago.
I knew the procedure (to request euthanasia), I had everything planned out.

Of course dying is scary, but I’ve been fighting for an ok live for over 20 years and I was done. I really believed that I had given it enough time and everything. I was just done.
*cough* Abraham… was in the picture then as well. He didn’t like me wanting to request euthanasia. It all went pretty ugly, I did feel a little manipulated in my choice (by therapy, not Abraham) and in the end I didn’t formally request. But I was so sure of them accepting my request, you can’t deny the fight I have delivered. The pain I caused and keep on causing my mother/sister/bestie(/+ Abraham at that time) by living. I have fought, been in therapy for 8 or 9 years, nobody seems to know what to do, or how to help me. How could they say no? How could they deny me a death with dignity, and force me to hang myself, slit my wrists or jump in front of a train (which in the end, all of the things will have a chance of traumatizing the person finding me/hitting me).

But I had it planned out.
I did describe how I felt save with Abraham somewhere in my blog.
Yes I was scared of death, of course, of what might come, but I thought nothing could be worse than my life and the pain I’m causing others. And then I thought.. I’m gonna ask Abraham to be with me, I’d want him close enough so he’ll be able to hold me, and then.. I wont be afraid of anything anymore. I know it’ll be okay (death ofcourse..)
You’re here, there is nothing I fear
I was SO sure of that. I never asked him, because I wanted to wait, to make sure everything was ok and then maybe make sure he was ok with it, to be with me at that moment. But I was planning on asking him. I thought and knew it would be the most peaceful death I could ever wish for.

I stumbled on that picture yesterday, and suddenly this all popped in to my head again. Made me a little sad.

I am not in the right place now to answer the question ‘Are you glad you’re still alive?’
Rationally I’d say; yes of course! Found new hope.
Emotionally I’d say; No, I’m not glad and I regret missing that opportunity.

But since I know (rationally 😉 ) that there were times since that I’ve been flying high since then, and that it’s not clever to make a drastic choice (answer) like that when you’re emotional. I’d say, ignore what I’m saying emotionally, and listen to what I’m saying rationally.

xoxo
Brianna

(This is my 98’s post by the way! It’s all going so quick!)