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A Change is Gonna Come

It’s weirdly liberating and disappointing to find out I’m just like everyone else. I thought all my problems were some quirky, interesting character attribute. But, in reality they are a product of my abuse. I thought I was different.

 

I didn’t think there was a reason I kept dating abusive men. I thought I was just dating whoever asked. But, even if that were true, why were these abusers attracted to me?

 

Maybe they could somehow see that I was underwater too. Did they recognize it in me? I don’t know. But I do know that I am getting dry. I know because people are interacting differently with me. I am having conversations and experiences that are so surprising and positive.

 

I’m seeing people that aren’t underwater. I’m creating positive neural pathways with these experiences. I’m recognizing the attributes I want in a future partner. These are all good things.

 

Also:

 

I AM A POTENTIALLY NORMAL PERSON!!

 

Meaning, I have hope of being happy and well-adjusted if there is nothing inherently wrong with me.  I am capable of having successful, positive relationships. Just knowing that I am not a broken toy feels awesome. I might be slightly used and damaged from my past. But I am still capable of working perfectly. That’s good.

 

I am going to continue to get better. I am going to continue to do better. I am going to continue to have positive, healthy experiences with people, men in particular. They are going to respond with positivity and acceptance more and more until some wonderful thing happens:


I start trusting and connecting with people.

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Past Lives

Today, someone asked me what I was like as a child. I had to think about it for a long time before answering. But it really depends on what age we’re discussing.

I did nothing but cry for the first 6 or 7 years. I was unhappy and morose. And suffering from PTSD from many physical, emotional and sexual abuses. Eventually my family punished me for crying enough that I stopped.

I spent the next few years like a wild animal backed into a corner. I had zero control over my emotions. I was angrier than I have ever felt in my entire life. My anger was like a separate being trying to violently claw it’s way out of me. This is when I began punching trees. A lot.

Finally, around 10, I completely shut down all my emotions. I began working out compulsively, reading obsessively. I had an eating disorder and began journaling. I was extremely secretive.

I had severe insomnia and depression. Some weeks I would sleep less than 5 hours the entire week. My life was kind of a fog of blankness. That is really the best way to describe it. It was like being on drugs that took away everything it was possible to feel. But I wasn’t on drugs.

All I ever felt was sadness, despair and anger. And the safest place to direct that anger was on myself. It led to getting into and staying in many abusive relationships; platonic, romantic, and familial. It also was the partial driver for some of the emotional/mental issues I have.

And that’s basically where I stayed until my health problems at 25. Like I was frozen in place. Frozen emotionally. And I was. I only allowed myself to feel the barest tip of what was wrong. Only the strongest, most persistent emotions came through.

It has taken a few years to even realize that things were wrong inside me. And it took a few years to get help. I have been in therapy for just over a year.

I am amazed when I look back on the changes I’ve been through this past year. It actually impresses me. People that have known me very well can hardly believe I am the same person. Neither can I.

I can’t believe the life I was accepting for myself all that time. I can’t believe those past people, those horrible past lives, were all me. I look back on how much I’ve changed this year. And I wonder how unrecognizable I’ll be to myself by this time next year.

Safety

I’m so tired of feeling unsafe. I know I have been feeling unsafe because I am unsafe. I’m tired of being unsafe. I’ve almost never been sexually safe. And I know I have never been emotionally safe. It’s exhausting. Trying to keep calm and sane. Trying to stay safe. Keeping constant vigilance.

I know I’ve been saying and doing a lot of positive things lately, especially about relationships. But right now, I don’t feel very positive. I’m terrified.

What if I can’t get it right? What if I keep fucking up? What if keep attracting and choosing the same type of man?

I don’t want to keep doing this. I want to change. I just don’t know how to enact real and lasting change. I like to think I’m headed in the right direction. I’m getting professional help. I’m reading books about abuse. I’m recognizing more and more the the emotional and sexual abuse I’ve been through. And the physical.

And the emotional and sexual abuse I am currently going through. I am recognizing how destructive those abuses are. I am recognizing that even if I don’t get too invested emotionally, it is still bad for my soul or whatever to experience those things.

This is potentially life damaging shit. And being a jerk or an ass is not on par with being an abuser. I am not winning if I am a bigger jerk. I’m still losing because it is destructive to be around abuse. Of any kind. I’m so afraid of being permanently damaged.

I’m afraid I won’t know how to behave in an abuse free house.I’m afraid I don’t know how to argue or fight. I don’t know how to assert myself with the appropriate force. I don’t know how to negotiate. I’m afraid I’ll never have a healthy relationship.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to recognize a non-abusive man. I’m afraid I don’t know how to act right. I’m afraid I’ll always overreact to things because I know it’s the only way to get my point of view acknowledged with an abuser.

I’m afraid I’ve learned bad habits that will take a long time to unlearn. I’m afraid I’ll never meet someone that thinks I’m worth the effort of helping me unlearn. I’m afraid I’m unlovable. I’m afraid I’ll only attract broken men because whole men won’t be attracted to a broken toy like me.

I’m afraid of losing my family. I’m afraid of paying too much attention to what they say, or of reading too much into it. I’m afraid I won’t be able to forgive them. I’m afraid that I’m a broken toy that can’t be fixed.

I’m afraid that, even if I can be fixed, I don’t have the tools to know how to fix myself. I’m afraid of pulling someone underwater with me and drowning them. What if I never meet someone that is interested in going for a swim.

I feel there are some issues that can never be resolved without a healthy romantic relationship. What if nobody wants to do all that work? What if I turn out to not be worth it? What if I am well and truly not worth it? Or, if I am worth it already, how do I make myself believe that I am?

I think I know some of the work that needs to be done, but I just don’t know how. Where are all the tools? Am I even capable of recognizing them? What if I am just fucked?

All these problems seem insurmountable. And yet. I still have hope. I can still envision what the future might look like. I can still see a healthy relationship. I can see me being happy. I actually am happy, right now. But I’m not satisfied.

Trust Issues

I know that some of my anxieties and fears stem from the fact that I am still not sure I can protect myself. Not whether or not I am capable of it. But whether I will, when I need to. I still don’t trust myself to care for my own needs.

I have failed on this front so many times that I can no longer make myself feel safe. I worry on a regular basis that I haven’t changed. I worry that I won’t do what I need to do. I worry that I won’t listen to myself or stand up for myself.

Even though I know I have been doing much better lately, I’m still not convinced. I still haven’t proven myself. I still don’t know if I’ll make the right choices.

I can’t go back in time and fix my mistakes. I can’t go back and protect myself from all the things that happened. I can’t make it all better for the person I was back then.

But I can help heal the person I am now. I can prove myself every day. I can make the right choices and do the smart thing and protect myself now. I can learn to make myself better.