Wednesday, September 4, 2013

~ The most difficult post I’ve written

I keep hearing the message that one of the most helpful things any of us can do for others is to show how we have healed ourselves from personal trauma and to allow our stories to become medicine for others.
What lies beneath is not so easy. Perhaps sharing my deepest story, as difficult as it is to put on the Internet, will help others. (I hope so because the vulnerability is nearly unbearable. I’ve been at odds with myself for days.)
Do you know it is estimated that 1 in 6 American women has been sexually assaulted (attempted, complete rape or incest) during her life?
It is being written by one.
The chance that an incest/rape victim is reading this blog post is high.
 Like me I have searched the Internet for help & or answers. Maybe coming across my blog post will empower another woman to get the help she needs and FINALLY let that family skeleton out of the closet. 
My story is a bit more complicated 
because I was around 4 years old when the incest started. 
It was forceful and wrong. 
And the more I developed into a young woman~ 
the worse it got.
This is no secret to my parents, however sharing the 
family skeleton on the Internet is risky. 
I have chosen to share it to help people understand that I’ve experienced dark personal trauma and I’ve been healing through therapy.
Read about it here: ~ Believing ~ 

I want anyone who needs inspiration to know that peace can be attained. 
It’s also a final healing step for me to come out of the closet 
where that skeleton lurks.
I've binged to suffocate my feelings and did nothing to alleviate the shame of my eating behavior my whole life. But now it is time to set all of that free. 
To become the person I want to be. 
That my husband and daughter deserve me to be.
It took me a long time to sort through what had happened with my abusers, to organize my emotional life, to seek help and to heal. I was numb for a long time, was very angry for a large chunk of my adulthood and finally arrived at acceptance... but not forgiveness...
Where my real struggle lied was in forgiving my parents who were supposed to protect me~ the youngest child, a daughter, with three much older brothers. Then  rescue, comfort and help repair me after I told….
or so I thought. 
Professional therapy probably would have been a good start. 
So what was done? Nothing.
 After the incest 
I endured decades of confusion, 
fear, anger, self-hatred and deep shame.
Have I healed?
At age 41, I can confidently say that I have done a lot of healing, connecting with people who accept me “as is” and not so much forgiving. 
I will not forgive those 
who do not acknowledge that what they've done is wrong 
and have ruined not only my life but "MY" immediate family's as well. 
Writing publicly about the incest is a final piece of my healing process. Feeling reluctant to expose the family secret has kept me feeling ashamed of myself. Even though I am NOT the one who should be ashamed... Worrying about others’ feelings more than my own has kept me quiet. I’m ready to disempower the shame, speak my truth and let others feel how they choose to feel about it. 

It's MY happiness & MY family that deserve to be set free.

I understand that I am not my story, however my story is a launching pad for telling the bigger story of my mental illness. 
Depression, Anxiety & Dissociative Fugue 
are all a part of the after effects of years of sexual abuse done upon to me. Not to mention by more than one family member. 
Though I’m grateful for the life lessons that have blessed me recently,
 I wouldn’t wish this experience to happen to anyone. 
Life hands each of us challenges through which we can choose to grow or grow a tumor. I’m choosing to grow. 
Read about it here: Life's Perfect Storm
It’s taken me a long time to say that. 
I am thankful for where I am in my life today. 
I know that each moment was a step to get here, so I am thankful for the family skeleton who has been set free rather than continuing to hold me prisoner.

Finally ~
There's an end to every storm
Once all the tree's have been uprooted
Once all the houses have been ripped apart
The wind will hush~
The clouds will part~
The rain will stop~
The sky will clear in an instant
and only then~

 in those quiet moments
after the storm do we learn~
WHO was strong enough to

I thank my husband and daughter again for NOT giving up on me!!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

~ Life's Perfect Storm

I was starting to get the hint that maybe my body was pissed off at me for how I had been living my life; that perhaps my body was done "whispering" when I wasn't listening. 
And it began to SCREAM...

That's when Life's Perfect Storm hit

~ They say when your life falls apart, you either GROW or grow a tumor ~

In January 2012, I decided that I was done manifesting my mental, emotional and physical afflictions.
 And instead of growing more tumors, I chose to GROW!

GROWING meant meeting my inner pilot light. My inner pilot light that suddenly flamed one day. A heated voice from within that started to guide me to the life I was meant to endure. 

A heated voice that told me to, "Strip off those masks I've been wearing my whole life. Stop selling myself short. Stop trying to please everyone. Stop pressuring myself to be perfect. And quit apologizing for who I really am!" I knew deep down that this voice was my intuition, and if I don't listen to it now, I will probably end up alone. No marriage and a daughter who wishes she'd never knew me. 

So I listened...

Took a Leap...

Took the Prescription...
To find a Psychologist I like and to see her frequently. To get pissed off at the people who sexually abused me as a child. To get on with MY LIFE! To NOT look back. To STOP caring about the needs of others while neglecting my own. The prescription was to move the fuck on... 

Everyday I asked my inner pilot light what my body needed in order to heal and everyday I did exactly what my inner pilot light prescribed. 

~It was medicine on my terms~

I starting the healing process of:
Re-kindling my marriage.
Mending a mother daughter relationship.
Not looking back.
Started to BELIEVE in myself for the first time in my life.
Starting "The Plan."
Starting a running program.
Kicking to the curb "My Ugly Childhood" & Moving on for the first time in my life.
Realizing that those who "claim" to be Christians are anything but.

And when I listened to my inner pilot light and had the guts to follow through on my prescription~ 
seemingly incurable thoughts/images suddenly disappeared!

I am happy, for the first time in my life, I am TRULY happy!
I have a lot of healing to do
I'm nowhere close to being "cured"
But I have gotten thus far in 16 months, I can only imagine the happiness my future holds. 
A future with the most amazing husband and daughter one could ask for!

~But medicine on MY terms has so far proven to be the best treatment~
Seeing a Psychologist weekly, proper nutrition and exercise has provided me concrete evidence that the body is equipped with innate self-repair mechanisms. That Moving on IS possible. I'm not saying that I'm not on any medications, because I definitely am... But removing myself from my past has also helped more than I can say.  But the power of nutrition & exercise has surpassed any medications I've been on thus far. 

~I am not my past~
In December 2012, I was referred to a NeuroPsychologist.


I saw one {Ironically} in 2005 BEFORE my 8 brain surgeries.
 In 2005 my Neurologist sent me to a NeuroPsych after learning of my childhood sexual abuse. He wanted to make sure I wasn't, "Making these headaches up." My results were normal. This year I repeated those same tests, and had dramatically different results. So much of the chemical makeup of my brain has changed from several surgeries. The Frontal Lobe of the brain is in control of many functions. Many functions that were not working for me after 8 frontal lobe surgeries. 16 Surgeries in all that affected my brain, and suddenly I started slipping away into another person in 2011. I have what is called Dissociative Fugue. I never heard of it before, but when my Psychologist gave Jeff & I the information. It was like an "ah-ha" moment... Things were happening that I could not control.
Memories that I do not hold, even still to this day.
And after my last brain surgery in Oct '11, our lives absolutely fell apart.
But after getting confirmation from my NeuroPsychologist that I was not in control of what I was doing,
due to all the frontal lobe damage,
 Jeff put that terrible part of our life at rest and dismissed our "pending" divorce.

I learned through therapy
 that this can happen to an adult who suffers from childhood sexual abuse and never receives the help they need. I buried my life in my work, I worked full time until I was unable to work any longer due to the surgeries.
It will take something very wrong for me to have brain surgery again... All the brain damage, losing my job, 2 best friends and almost losing Jeff & Tiffany was not worth it. I still struggle with the headaches. I deal with it now as best as I can.

 The past cannot be changed, but the future holds PROMISE!!! 

I was starting to get the hint that maybe my body was pissed off at me for how I had been living my life; that perhaps my body was done whispering when I wasn't listening. And it began to SCREAM...
The Storm, at long last, has  finally lifted.

Finally ~
There's an end to every storm
Once all the tree's have been uprooted
Once all the houses have been ripped apart
The wind will hush~
The clouds will part~
The rain will stop~
The sky will clear in an instant
and only then~ in those quiet moments
after the storm do we learn~
WHO was strong enough to

Friday, January 25, 2013

~Living Again January 2013

Our Lives have been amazingly better over the last year. (My health is a whole different story.) A lot has happened since my last post in February 2012. From January 2012 to August 2012 I was seeing a Therapist/Counselor, that was helping Jeff & I mend our marriage. 
{{Which is going great these days }} 

In August 2012 I had my hearing in front of a judge for SSDI. Again I was denied. Our lawyer withdrew from the case, which was a good thing, we were gonna fire her anyway. She did not do a good job presenting my case, nor my daily struggles/disabilities. Nor did she present my cognitive decline that I now struggle with after 8 brain surgeries. It took us until late September to find a lawyer who will take the case over at this point. But we found a lawyer out of Chicago, Il who has a satellite office in Munster, In. We presented the case to him, and he took my case without hesitation! He has filed the appeal, and we had 30 days to submit any new information. I had a bunch more tests done, some duplicates of past tests to prove NO improvement of the difficulties I have with my two brain diseases, and other aliments.  
Unfortunately, as we all know, it is very difficult to get into a new Dr in 30 days, then to have tests scheduled, performed, results read and interpreted within 30 days. So now I sit waiting for results of tests I had done in December, and in early January. 
Needless to say the 30 days has now past. 
The process now is for another judge to review the case as it was presented at the August 2012 hearing, to see if the judge did in fact make the right decision. That will take another year I'm sure. We will give the lawyer the new test results when I get them to see if he can still submit them. The good thing is that this new lawyer is excellent at these types of situations. And while calling around to find a lawyer to take my case, I was referred to him by several offices!

{{ Nail Biting Situation }}
My long term disability I currently have from my last job, is now up for a 2 year review. Being denied SSDI, they are trying to determine whether or not I will continue to get LTD with my current status. I have not heard from them yet... 

Still seeing the Psychiatrist I have been seeing since last year, I am also seeing a Neuro Psychologist for Neuropsychological testing, and a Psychologist for therapy. The neuropsych testing will be compared to the neuropsych testing I had done before any brain surgeries.  
{{ That ought to be interesting! }} 
Already he is very concerned with my memory issues. (that have not improved yet from October 2011 brain surgery) All tests are done, now we wait on our appointments in February & March for the results. He even did an additional memory test that insurance does not pay for, at no charge to me, he wanted to confirm that I have severe deficits with my memory. My previous Dr did all the tests in one 8 hour day. This new Dr spread it out in 3 visits! The tests are just too grueling for someone who has had 16 surgeries, to do it all in one day.

Tiffany, my almost 18 year old beautiful daughter, graduates high school this year! AND has been accepted into the nursing program at Valparaiso University. A not so easy school to get into, not to mention an almost impossible nursing program to get accepted into! She has nearly been a straight A student for all of high school. Jeff & I, are incredibly proud of her! She is thinking about a Nurse Anesthetists career, but still has her sights on Pre-Med. 
My relationship with Tiffany was very strained in 2011. I am happy to report that we are about 98% of our old {{mean girls}} selves! She is a very distinguished young lady who has made her dad and I so proud... Today we made a purchase for her graduation gift. I cannot say what it is, as she will see this post. But she will be more than elated! And it will be very hard to NOT give it to her early! Something I have a bad habit of doing!

Jeff is doing well in his apprenticeship program with the Boilermaker's. He is more than half way through, and well on his way to making the scale wage he truly deserves! He has been a very talented welder for about 18 years, and I couldn't be prouder of him for making this difficult career change when he did.

{{ Jeff & Tiffany are my whole world, and I don't know where I'd be without them! I Love you guys! }}