Posted by: Marie | March 15, 2009

(32) Beating up myself

Post #32
[Journal entry written to my therapist on Wednesday, April 23, 2008]

Hi, Mark –

I am really struggling here.  I’m going to write in an attempt to deal with what is coming up for me.  I’m not sure I’m going to share it with you because, in this moment (4am Wednesday morning), I feel like I can’t talk to you this week.  My defenses are way up.  But, I can still write to myself.  I’ll decide later if I’m going to share it with you.

This evening, my “dark cloud” kicked in – that is where, all the sudden, something triggers me and this really dark feeling rolls in.  I say to myself “there’s gonna be trouble tonight” and all I want to do is go do bad stuff, just anything to relieve the pressure.  What I really want to do is to go kick someone’s ass – just find someone who deserves it and punch and kick the living shit out of them.

But, since I can’t allow myself to do that, my second choice is to go get drunk and get laid – to “punch” and “kick” myself, I guess you could say.  When I don’t allow myself to do that, I go home to binge and pick at my face.  Once the dark cloud rolls in, it is very difficult to make good decisions because the tornado inside me takes over.

Working with you, I’m learning to handle stuff in better ways – to deal with it before it builds up to the “dark cloud” phase.  However, this one snuck up on me.  It hit me hard and furiously.

I am angry because I talked myself into believing that I could really put my full weight on you – I know my stuff is heavy, I know I am a handful, I know I’m a high-maintenance client, I believe you are sorry you ever agreed to work with me, I’m sure I’m being too clingy.  I’m sure that you wish I’d go away but you feel obligated to continue out of a sense of duty and professionalism.

I know it is healthier to believe that I’m worth it, but I still don’t believe that – I’m starting to, but I’m a long way from fully believing it.

You said I didn’t have to filter, you said I could show all my cards, you said you could handle it.  I found that hard to believe, but I stepped out in faith anyway.  Now, I think I went too far.  I know there are boundaries with us and I have done my best to stay within them, but I’m sure I crossed them when I exposed how much I need your support.  I am humiliated that I basically reduced myself, via email, to falling on the floor, grabbing a hold of your ankle and begging you not to leave me.

During our session yesterday, you suggested maybe we should take a break from therapy.  Then, you asked about it again when the topic of scheduling our next session came up.  I took it as confirmation that what I fear to be true is really true.

I know you said, on the phone, that our stopping or taking a break will be a mutual decision, but I am sure you going to tell me at our next session that we can’t continue.  I have been mentally preparing for that by pulling back from you and figuring out what I need to do to handle this on my own.

If I share this writing with you, I’ll just make everything worse.  If I don’t share it with you, I am for sure shutting things down.  That is why I don’t know if I’m going to share this with you.

Looking back at my reaction to our last session, I can see that, in ideal conditions, I could have just said that I am not ready to stop my therapy and it would have been no big deal – no meltdown, no drama.  However, I have to routinely talk myself into believing that it is okay to place the full weight of my “stuff” on you, that you can handle it, that you will stay with me through this and that I am worth everything you are doing for me.

So, as soon as you indicated that it might be time to slow or stop our sessions, I immediately took that to mean that my underlying fear (it is not okay to place the full weight of my “stuff” on you, etc.) was accurate and that I was stupid to trust you – once again, I had proof that men couldn’t be trusted to stick around when things get rough and ugly.  So, that is where the drama came from.

–––––––––––––––––––––

Another reason I’m up at this hour of the night is because I woke up with another memory – more explicit – I remembered the time when I first figured out that masturbation was linked with sex (age 10) and I started exploring that association – I remember assuming the “doggie” position, pretending I was bent over the edge of a bed, and that the man had his hand on the back of my neck, holding me down.  I remember thinking, “oh yeah, this is how you do it” – and I changed how I masturbated to that format.  Now, the original memory (being held down) keeps flashing back to me and I keep reacting with arousal then disgust.

I also have gotten a sense (not really a memory) that I tried to tell my mom about it but she didn’t believe me.  It feels like that is where I learned I couldn’t go to her for help/assistance or tell her the truth about physically uncomfortable stuff.

Recalling that stuff was pretty intense – I don’t want to remember any more – I’m done.

–––––––––––––––––––––

I am really pissed off about the assignment you gave me to write a letter to my mom, apologizing for lying to them about who I was when I was younger. It is true that I pretended to be something I was not, which means I lied to her and my dad, letting them think I was living up to their expectations.  If I apologized for that, it would be indicating that now I am doing “okay” (whatever that means) and that I’m not hiding anything.

Well, the truth is that I don’t have my act together and I am still hiding things from her – nothing is different, except maybe the things I do now are a bit less self-destructive.  I don’t sleep with married men, I don’t have one night stands, but tonight, after our session, when I was on the verge of a meltdown, I went out and had three drinks to try to calm down, and then I drove home – I wasn’t totally drunk, but I shouldn’t have been driving.  I didn’t say or do anything to initiate getting laid, but I sure thought about it.

So, the truth is, I’m still up to my old tricks.  The truth is, I will never live up to my parents’ expectations, nor do I want to.  And, it is none of my mom’s business.  It wasn’t her business or my dad’s business before.  I wasn’t willing to tell them the truth then and I’m not willing to tell her the truth now – it is none of her business.  So, why would I apologize?

And, why the hell should I apologize when it was my dad who created an environment where I had to choose between being truthful and being part of the family?  He made it very clear that, if I showed my true colors, he would disown me – that was true when I was a teenager and it was true once I starting living on my own.  I just did and said what I had to do and say in order to stay part of the family.  If I had it to do over again, I would do the same thing.  So, I’m not sorry.

As I’m writing this, I have no intention of letting you see the part of my writing about my drinking and driving.  If you knew that, I think you would do something like deny me access to therapy unless I promise to not do stupid stuff like that.  I can’t afford to give you that much control.  The truth is, I don’t know if I can keep myself from doing stupid stuff like that.  When I get that pissed off, when I feel like I’m going explode, my logic and reason go out the door and all I can think about is hurting someone – and it usually ends up being me that I hurt.

If I am to let you see that part of my writing, I’m going to have to be in a very different place when I send my notes on Sunday than I am right now.

– Marie


Responses

  1. Mail it!

    I guess it is difficult for your therapist to know what you feel and that you do need therapy, without you clearly indicating this.

    (further, wrt drinking and driving, dont you think it would be useful to have someone help you avoid doing things like that?)

    • Hi, Rainbow Socks –

      I really appreciate your reading my blog and commenting . . . and I agree with you absolutely on all points.

      It may not be really obvious, but these blog posts are excerpts from my journal — these words were written almost a year ago (April of 2008), not in the present time. So, as you will see in upcoming posts, I did mail it eventually. And, I did eventually find a way to avoid drinking and driving . . .

      I am in a very different place now then I was a year ago — I am not struggling with the same issues (I’ve moved on to bigger and better ones, LOL), so it is easy for me to agree with you from my current place.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment!
      – Marie

  2. Ah, good for you, bigger and better problems ;)

    Sorry I missed the context/timing, I found your blog by browsing blogs with ‘relevant tags’.
    The title of your post should of course have given the timing issue away.. I guess I didnt dwell on it.

    Hope the /current/ place is better than a year ago; and I must add that it is encouraging to read that things _do_ change over time :)

    • Hey, Rainbow Socks –

      No problem! I appreciate your concern!

      Congratulations on getting your site up and running — blogging is great therapy, in and of itself!

      – Marie

  3. I cannot believe that your therapist wanted you to write your parents a letter apologizing for your behavior as a child! You were the CHILD! Your parents should apologize to you for making you feel like you weren’t good enough and had to hide your true self.

    I’ve read several of your posts now and feel a good connection with who you are.

    For me, I was molested by my father since the age of 4 through 12-14 (it slowed down). I remember everything; there was no doubt in my mind what happened. I guess one could say (I could say) that it is easier for me to deal with the issues since I recall the events and am not trying to piece things together as much as you seem to be doing.

    I too, have rape fantasies because, as one reader commented, it gives me the control. I feel comfortable with that fantasy but I’ve never tried it out with a partner. I think the issue is TRUST.

    Loving you!

    JoAnn

    • Hi, JoAnn –

      Well . . . I guess I have to say one thing in defense of my therapist’s request . . . he was addressing the lying I did as a young adult (18-23+), not as a child.

      But, still . . . I agree . . . I feel that the issue was more with how my parents handled things . . . even as a young adult, I was being affected by dynamics I didn’t understand. I have lived a lifetime (and gathered a boat-load of wisdom) in the last 20 years — I would expect a different level of responsibility and behavior from myself now.

      I’m glad you are able to develop a sense of connection through my blog — that is my intention!

      Thank you for your input!

      – Marie


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