In the past couple of months, I've spent a lot of time reviewing curriculum and reading some research papers/essays that some people trying to be decent allies have done. A lot of them do an okay job on some things, and a less great job on others. But the most common issue seems to be conflating "disability" and "impairment" in a way that reflects a relatively un-nuanced understanding of the larger disability rights movement.
I’m using many coping skills that I taught myself this past few days, I’ve been able to avoid more harmful coping techniques by doing this but I wonder how much I can still endure by doing this.
I’m glad I have the strength and insight to understand what’s happening to me, I think this shows a lot of progress that I have reached in these last years but at the same time I feel like progress is a bad thing. It’s strange but one of the reasons I self-harm is because I try to validate my own pain and suffering, It’s a way I can prove to myself that my pain is real and that bad things have happened in my life, this is not something I managed to get from others, even people who were supposed to help me managed to trigger me with invalidation or by not recognizing my history and what I’ve been through.
In this past years I’ve manage to be aware of my struggles, of what was done to me and why was that wrong, I was able to recognize that I have a right to be the way I am because I was treated badly and it’s not my fault and I don’t need to try to justify or defend the other person when someone treats me terribly.
A progress that makes me proud, happy and depressed, almost as if that progress was the same thing as denying my experiences and the fact that I am still struggling a lot and I’m still suffering. I know it’s not supposed to be like this but I can’t avoid it.
I’m glad I can recognize that this is happening and I’m trying to give myself validation without having to use destructive methods to prove that my feelings are real and how much they hurt.
One characteristic I enjoy about me is my ability to search for new information and use it in my life to understand and help myself, it’s a good thing that I don’t give up, that I research and learn and use what I learned, I’m using what I learned when looking for self-help, different kinds of therapies, understanding of psychology and what other survivors and people with mental illness write.
Some of the ways I validate myself is by reading, I read again what gave sense to aspects of my life, I keep symptoms lists and see that’s what I’m struggling with and since I see other people writing about what I am feeling it makes it more real and confirms that many things done to me were wrong, that I have the right to feel anything about it and heal in any way I can.
This helps when fighting against the denial, I feel like a liar because I don’t have strong memories of my past and I can’t be specific about the abuse I lived, I lost most parts of my memories to dissociation and I know how many people don’t believe repressed/recovered memories exist, that makes me feel like a liar and a fake but I am fighting this opinions and I trying to believe myself, I know my memories were repressed, why would I not remember my childhood when there is no physical reason for that? I know how strongly I dissociate and I know what I feel.
It’s not an easy process and it’s not a straight line, healing for me looks more like a circular journey and I know I will struggle with the same problems repeatedly but always with more knowledge.
About the rest, the situation in my life is not getting better and basically what I explained in the password locked post is what is making me feel awful right now, there are other parts of it that are going to require more writing on other posts, I wish I felt safe to post without a password but I’m afraid my family could see and guess who I am, I can’t explain everything well when I’m also trying to be less specific, password protection makes me feel safer and writing what I need here helps me to understand and cope with things better, I don’t want to keep my thoughts locked in my mind and with nowhere to express them, I had enough of that.
I’m trying to update the pages of my blog, the about is still a work in progress but the others are finished since it’s more simple.
Thank you for reading, liking and commenting.
I keep having flashbacks, it feels like regressing and becoming a child again when I was terrified and had no life. Flashbacks, dissociation and panic attacks, that’s how I’ve been spending my days. I’m glad I’ve learned many coping skills but they are not a miracle, I’m avoiding causing harm to myself but the despair remains.
Life has become dangerous, I feel like I’m going backwards now, I feel that having a self is dangerous again. Anything I do can be attacked or mocked again.
I’m trapped. I don’t know what to do.
I think more details only in a next password protect post, I just don’t feel safe writing here.
If you don’t know me offline please send me an e-mail asking for the password.
If I were a politician I would be
I don’t have the skills to be a politician, I care about people and can’t manipulate others, I would never get votes. I’m better as an activist or something similar.
If I were a pop star I would be
Pop star? I have no idea. I don’t know pop stars. I don’t think I would like being one, I would hate it.
If I were a film star I would be
Same, I don’t know famous people. Why movies when you can read a book? I think I’m going to be a author but not a movie star.
If I were in a soap opera I would be
If I were a character for anything on television I would be the weird ignored one or used for jokes that’s never a part of the main story. Honestly I don’t like soap operas.
If I were a writer I would be
One who writes about fantasy and fictional worlds. Like Tolkien but more diverse and with mythology on my books.
If I were a book I would be
I don’t know what I would be I would like it to be epic and with a lot of imagination. Young Adult fantasy book.
If I were a TV show host I would be
I don’t know, I don’t like TV. Have I mentioned I don’t know famous people? I don’t know TV shows either.
If I were a criminal I would be
A hacker, with some purpose behind my actions. I could give you free music or something like that.
If I were a religion I would be
A religion that doesn’t believe only one path is good and more based on individuals, a quiet meditative religion.
If I were a mythical beast I would be
If I were a Disney character I would be
hmm, Disney? Trying to remember. Can I be a character from the Lion King? It was my favorite Disney movie as a child and it has lions and not humans as characters, that’s good.
If I were a drug I would be
A hallucinogen, no idea why.
If I were an animal I would be
A fox, they are not strong animals but they are smart and can survive well because they adapt. My favorite animal too. They are also really cute in my opinion.
If I were a piece of food I would be
Something sweet like chocolate or candy.
If I were an illness I would be
something chronic but manageable.
If I were a mood I would be
If I were a holiday resort I would be
An isolated resort in the middle of nature.
If I were a pattern I would be
Symmetrical with triangles, pink and black.
If I were a tree I would be
A willow tree, there is a kind of willow tree where I live, they are beautiful and peaceful and I don’t understand why many find them sad, I like some of the history and symbolism behind it and folklore and the medicinal side is cool too. They are also resistant. Together with ornamental cherry trees they are my favorites. I actually just found out they are called willow trees in English and liked the name, here they are salgueiros and the weeping willow is called chorão.
Okay, that’s it.
Thanks Lola for the idea.
Thanks for reading.
I lost another new therapist. She was awful and I was expecting it wouldn’t, if I said that I was anxious she said I wasn’t and had no reason to be, if I said I was depressed she disagreed and told me I wasn’t and had no reason to be. Invalidation is one of my biggest triggers and I couldn’t have therapy with someone who used it every session. In the end she was being too unprofessional and I was going to give up, only reason I was still going is because I’ve met so many bad therapist that I am afraid I have some resistance to therapy, I know that is not it but I worry about it, the fact that this is an argument mental health professionals can use against you to make you stay with them after treating you badly doesn’t make it easier for me. I know now that I did the right thing when she told me I was being manipulative because I warned her I couldn’t cope with the loud sounds in her office, she knows I’m autistic and sensory differences are a major characteristic of autism, even if she didn’t knew that as a therapist she was supposed to believe me and never to say I was being manipulative because I was defending myself against something that hurts me. I’m again with no support and it’s not easy, understandably every time I need to trust someone again and it doesn’t work it gets harder to try again, I’m really tired of this, I keep reading how therapy is important to heal and it makes me angry because it’s not my fault that I don’t have that support, I’m trying and the people who are supposed to help are terrible at it, I read that support is important as therapy and friends too but it just makes me angry and sad, what do people do when they don’t have that? When they are trying and others are not helping? It’s annoying and it makes me feel hopeless, at least when I’m feeling a little positive I can try to feel pride at my persistence and resilience.
Now the more complicated part of the post, this part should have been another post I don’t think I could post it like that.
Content Warning / TW: mentions of abuse, nothing explicit, repressed memories, denial and invalidation.
Life is getting harder and the timing of losing what was supposed to be a source of support is not helpful.
I’ve had some memories returning and when they are not visual memories they are emotional or body memories, part of me is happy about that, my lack of memories are terrifying and confusing, what I suspect to have happened and the lack of confirmation in a conscious level makes me suffer and I always had a hard time dealing with it, I don’t remember most of my childhood and part of the rest of it and it always confused me, I had some frozen images that meant nothing and appear constantly, now I was able to understand those images and the origin of a phobia.
Recently I learned new ways to cope with my symptoms and I think this made me more aware of the past, it wasn’t enough but it was a start, I was getting more control of my life, I read other people struggles and talked with others and it made me feel less alone, new information and decisions helped me to be able to understand a lot more about myself, I started to work on my problems and be more compassionate and it worked, I think that helped me, one thing I have been doing is writing, journaling and a few times writing here too, it’s a little scary because I seriously dissociate when I journal, I don’t remember what I write there and it’s painful and terrifying to read things I don’t recall writing and don’t remember happening, my body reacts to what I write too and hours later I have to deal with my emotions coming from the past and my body reacting to the same memories. At first this was actually going “well”, I mean considering my situation, I’ve managed to cope well and my denial was minimal, I was feeling sick, disgusting, glad to finally write something that gave me some awareness, a general feeling of “- I knew that happened and that’s the truth” and I have visual proof that many details of this memory are real and that helped but now my denial was able to come stronger and made me feel guilty of writing such awful things and like I’m disgusting because I’m pretending to remember and trying to create sick stories to get people’s attention and invent excuses for all my failures (those would be living with mental illness, traumas and disability, most of the time I know those are not failures).
I’m feeling guilty and that I’m lying and getting satisfaction of creating sick lies and at the same time I still know that what I wrote is true, there are also details of the images I shouldn’t remember for being so unimportant that are real and confirmed and there would be no need for those details in a lie, I know those events happened as a reality for some time now but my family is a master of denial and I always need to protect everyone’s feelings, I need to say that my past was okay, I’m just a broken mess because “I’m too sensitive” and fragile so no one will be attacked of feel guilty even if I know this is not true. In reality I have nothing to gain from lying, I have no one to tell, all possible reasons and motives I could have to lie don’t make sense and I doubt people who are able to lie about abuse spend so much time feeling horrible about the possibility of lying and just feeling so terrible about it.
I think all happened now for a good family reason too, the stability of the family was broken a little and the people who abused me are annoying others, people who I always protected and always told me that nothing was bad and that I should be sympathetic toward others and not be angry, the people who hurt me are hurting others too now and that changed something for me. It’s a completely different feeling.
I’m still protecting other people’s feelings, no one knows everything I deal with and everyone has a completely different view of me that is far from reality, I have a completely different persona to deal with others, I always did but now I know that and know why and I’m trying to get to know me, I’m too fragmented to really know me and I’m scared to accidentally showing anything about me so I am careful but I feel more like myself today than in the past.
I’m angry, I’m really angry and I think that’s okay, sometimes my denial tries to make me feel guilty for being angry with them and tries to convince me they are good people but it’s not working the same way and I think that’s good.
I know now that adults can act good and bad with children they abuse, they don’t always act like the evil monsters people normally think when they imagine an abuser, they can even act like two different people and a child can and sometimes needs to pretend there are two different people, a good one that will take care of them and a bad one that will do terrible things, I can’t always keep that in mind, when they treated me nicely I would feel guilty that I ever thought they could be cruel and I denied and stopped thinking about the bad until something changed, with time I started to notice that is not that simple and they are really problematic people with no consideration for others and even when they are being nice to me they still don’t see me as nothing else except something they use to feel better and look nice for others, other people in my family know and told me is true and they don’t really have consideration or empathy toward others even when they are being nice, the person that said that think this behavior is just annoying and not abusive, I had my life in their hands and was convinced of horrible things because of them, I was their main target when their life was going worse, when others talk about them like that it’s a proof that they are really horrible people, they have been cruel toward others but I was the most vulnerable person in their life. They are people who enjoy making others miserable, they can’t feel bad, they need to make someone else feel worse and they don’t see the harm in it, one enjoys making others feel terrible more, it doesn’t matter what it takes, it’s subtle too, you hardly notice the manipulation that turns into complete abuse later, the other is different, less subtle, more violent and sexual and inappropriate, without caring or empathy too, harder to accept the abuse since he can be kind and not so emotionally abusive, that was the harder part for me to deal with since one of them was always the nice one in my mind. I always knew one of them was cruel but accepting the other was harder. They are not my parents but raised me because my parents were busy and a little neglectful, I think they were dealing with the problems they had at the time including the abusers influence too.
I know I’m not being very clear right now when explaining the abuse but I’m still accepting and this is my first time writing in public and it’s been a long time since the last time I started to deal with it. I can’t say more without giving up, I wrote the only way I could because it’s hard. Maybe in a next post it will be easier, one step at a time. Going to publish now before I decide to leave as a draft.
Thanks for anyone that read until the end.