Journal entry 9/10/12 6:45AM


Journal entry 9/10/12 6:45AM


When she gets up, I get up because my mind won’t stop going (obsessing, PTSD) like a movie on replay. I, even in my own body, am triggered and flooded with flashbacks of things – earlier times, trauma, etc., where I trusted her, like my father trusted my unstable mother and she failed to meet his needs and live up to her own expectations (she was out sleeping with other men).

The traumatic cycle is no fun, and it will keep you up at night, and can keep you from falling back asleep… It’s insanity – the PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), like when a war victim arises in a dead sleep in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep, flooded with fear… this is how I feel.

Every time she gets up in the morning, I feel defeated by my own thoughts, which at this point, I can’t seem to turn off. I am not “crazy,” as my sick mother likes to project onto me, in my obsessing (flashbacks), I am traumatized.

 

What’s worse is nothing numbs the pain, and I just long for a “normal” lifestyle. I just want to live a normal lifestyle and not hurt all the time.

Every time she acts out, it just adds another layer to the cake. I have debated, when the pain gets bad enough, as a direct result of her selfish, cruel, impulsive, calculated actions, finding someone new, and while I may have tried this in the past, leaving my partner, it never worked, and I’d always come crawling back out of guilt (shame) and missing them… probably out of some false sense of security, but it (the pain, panic, longing, etc.) was nevertheless that real in that moment, beyond what you can truly imagine, beyond your wildness dreams.

I actually missed the very thing I walked away from so much that I caved and went right back to it.  It’s a never-ending cycle and hard to get away from. I actually had withdrawal when I left the last time and moved 8 hours away on my own. I moved back to the town where we had first met because that was the town I fell in love with and where I had lived before, and was having withdraw from just being there without her.

It didn’t get any easier because I didn’t have any support, because I’d pushed away (alienated) all of my support by constantly talking about our problems, ie: her acting out (cheating, raging, lying, porn, fantasy, lust, etc).  My friends dwindled throughout the sickness, and I felt myself further isolated.

Still, it’s hard for people to understand the effects of living with someone who’s sick unless they’ve been there themselves, and let me assure you, they haven’t.

Most people can’t understand why you’re in a relationship like this, even if you grew up with it, because they think you’re an “adult,” and don’t understand the dynamics of it.  You can just walk away like it’s a piece of cake.

It’s been my experience that many people act like it’s an “easy” solution and it’s not that easy when you’re in it. Then, you’re bound/prone to repeat the abusive/painful cycle with someone new without even realizing it.

Developing awareness can help, but it isn’t a safeguard, which is important when you’re suffering with PTSD, because all you want is to feel safe, in our case, emotionally; sometimes, physically, and the more “relationships” you’re in like this, the more cynical (distrusting) you become.

It’s also hard because when you finally get therapy, therapist’s because therapist’s generally overlook the fact that you have PTSD because you aren’t some typical classic war victim – shot in both legs and physically disabled, equally invalidating and counterproductive to healing.

Speaking of “invalidating,” I think many of us with PTSD, whether it’s a result of childhood abuse, a single traumatic incident, or relational trauma, need to be validated, because emotional support is crucial.

Either way, it should not be overlooked and a proper diagnosis of PTSD given and an appropriate treatment plan. Because you’re out of your mind if you think you’re going to get out of this alive, and on your own.

 

July 8th, 2010; Power Struggle.


I woke up with this song playing in my head, so I’d like to share it…

“Open Up Your Eyes”

A single rose left to remember
As a single tear falls from her eye
Another cold day in December
A year from the day she said goodbye

Seems it’s only been a moment
Since the angels took him from her arms
And she was left there holding on to their tomorrow
But as they laid him in the ground
Her heart would sing without a sound

[Chorus:]
For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
And no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life
Just open up your eyes

A single lifetime lays behind her
As she draws her final breath
Just beyond the door he’ll find her
Taking her hand he softly says

[Chorus]

Just open up your eyes as I lay you down tonight
Safe on the other side, no more tears to cry

[Chorus]

After I awoke, and with this song running through my head, I could not fall back  asleep, and I also could not stop thinking, or what might appear as “obsessing” (grief- stage 1) as I described it, about Erin and I’s relationship ending… I expressed my grief to Erin via text stating:

“I can’t sleep, am obsessing, and am tired today/I’m obsessing about our relationship ending and the reality setting in and starting this new chapter of my life. I feel like in many ways I’m still holding on… I am just scared/I’m afraid to take this next step… But I know I need to.  Buying out time, trying to sort through my feelings… I don’t know what’s best for me because I’ve never had to do this… Afraid, because I’ve always had security.  Just wanting to hold on/Can’t clear my mind fast enough sometimes, often; lately… Not at all, and don’t want it to come as a shock… where I’m here and then I’m gone and had no time to think, feel, or process.  Where it just sneaks up and then I regret it.  “How do we ever know if we’re making the right decision?”/Trying to make sense of it all.  Don’t want it to hit me before I know it… I’m sick to my stomach because I feel like it’s all hitting me now and we’re prolonging it by being together.”

Erin’s response:

“I understand, I am too in a way.  I do agree that we are prolonging the inevitable.  This is going to end and it might hurt worse because of our actions/We’ve been in each others lives for so long the idea of you gone is something I can’t wrap my head around./I know it’s for the best but it still hurts and scares me. I don’t want to make a mistake and cut each other out of our lives.”

Response to Erin:

“I know, I can’t wrap my head around it, either… I feel like we’ll always be in each other’s life… I’m just not sure in which ways.  A part of me, a big part, thinks it would be best if we just go our separate ways until we heal our broken hearts… And then if we get back together, meaning meet up again, we meet up, but there’s too much pain right now… This relationship hurts like a thorn in my side… Because it hurts to be close to you… and it has most of our relationship.  The closer I get, the more you push me away… and that hurts me.  I can’t take the push/pull cycle anymore… I mean, it hurts to be close to you, Erin… I never know when you’re going to walk out… you’ve threatened it so many times…” (she demanded I take her to Recycle North once after we had had a long day of errands, and I said “I promise I will take you tomorrow,” and she threw a fit and packed all of stuff impulsively with the intention of moving back to PA).

Erin stated:

“I understand completely.  I don’t want to lose you forever but it’s in our best interest to be apart for a while. The sooner the better I think because we’re going to make it worse in the end/I understand em, and I’m sorry for making you feel that way.  I think living our own separate lives now would be best.  It would ease the initial shock and start the healing process. “

Summaries:

What I’m talking about in the first stanza, in the beginning, when I say, “And the ‘reality’ setting in…” I am referring to the reality that this (Erin and I’s “relationship”) is really over.  We have been back and forth for so long, and on top of that, in close proximity, literally, that it’s been difficult to get any space, clarity, and/or closure.  So the “reality” is, or (and) the fear is that it’s ultimately over… And yes, I know this needs to happen for our hearts to heal, but it’s scary… it’s new and scary.

In the second stanza when I say “…and I don’t want it to come as a shock,” ie:  “Can’t clear my mind fast enough sometimes; often, lately… not at all.  I just don’t want it to come as a ‘shock,'” once again I am referring to the break up, but particularly me leaving… physically, ie: going back to Vermont, or elsewhere.  Just physically leaving.  I don’t want the emotions to come on like a heatwave. In the next sentence, the”it” I’m referring to, ie: “Where ‘it’ just snuck up on me…” is the terrible grief… the “monster” in my closet.  The “I don’t want to regret it” is the actual leaving…

When I say “Don’t want it to hit me before I know it,” part of me knows I’ve been avoiding it… there is some consciousness here.

In the stanza where I say, “I can’t ‘make-believe,'” I am once again referring to this break-up and the pain I have experienced… In a lot of ways I think I’ve chosen to stay in this relationship because it’s easier to be in denial and in love with the fantasy, or the hope/belief that Erin will come around and be on mutual playing ground than to be not involved and disrespected.  I am disrespected either way though because Erin does not love herself and has commitment issues, but at least (this is my subconscious frame of mind) if I am in a relationship I can pretend (“make-believe”) that it’s okay.”

Song interpretation:

As far as the song interpretation, I am not sure exactly what it means, but it reminds me of another song, by Nickelback, called “Far away.”  Far Away was (still is) one of my favorite songs, and the song Far Away actually initially reminded me of two women very close to me in my life… Jen and Ashley… but several months, maybe years (I believe) later did it occur to me that the song is actually referring to myself…

The song itself may actually be about a relationship that the lyricist experienced, but as I said, it wasn’t until years later that I realized the whole time the song was really about the “relationship” I had with my self.  Very ironic,  nevertheless surprising!  At any rate, I feel like (this is the impression I sort of get) that this song by Daughtry, “Open up your eyes” may be about the relationship with myself.

The beginning of this song is very confusing because I don’t know (for me) if it’s a about a girl who reclaimed her life (me in this case), or if the song is referring to someone, ie: Erin. ie, “A single rose left to remember.  As a single tear falls from her eye,” etc.  Is this me crying?  Is this me actually mourning my childhood, my father, or my actual self?  Mind you, I lived in the shadow of my mother, and I essentially at some point or another abandoned my real self… so am I referring here to my own inner child, now in a woman’s body?

When I listen to the lyrics and read along I honestly almost get that impression, similar to the impression I got with the Nickelback song “Far Away” that this song is about me.  And as I read these lyrics and listen to the song my mind goes back and forth trying between “Me” or “Erin,” ie: “Is it me or Erin?” I am trying to figure out what resonates and rings true for me.  I just think it’s suprising the similarities between this song and the Nickelback song, and how with the Nickelback song I originally thought (And it very much was, in that time, and still is, but in an entirely different way) the song was about two women I deeply loved… I think this may be the same case, only I am coming to (and wanting) to love myself, so I think it can be seen metaphorically as a “rebirthing” process in a way.

The simple truth is, I may not know right now whether it’s more about me, or Erin, or even (this thought crossed my mind) my father’s death… This part actually made me think of my father and discovering him unconscious:

Seems it’s only been a moment
Since the angels took him from her arms
And she was left there holding on to their tomorrow
But as they laid him in the ground
Her heart would sing without a sound”

I was thinking of my father because my father was so much a part of me… and losing him was like losing myself.  The part that states “And she was left there holding on to their tomorrow” reminds me of both Erin and my father.  It’s weird (but makes complete sense) how after my dad died I sought security outside in every which direction, but that’s another story!  At any rate, the “as they laid him in the ground” takes me straight back to my father’s funeral.

When Daughtry begins to say “For the first time you can open your eyes…” “…And see the world without your sorrow
And no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life”

This is truly like a new chapter of my life.  I literally think of a book, and it’s “part II” and brand new.  What this is saying to me is that I can “leave the ‘pain’ behind,” ie: I can choose to live.  I don’t have to be defined by my pain.  “Welcome to the first day of your life” is saying this is a new chapter of my life.

When Daughtry says:

A single lifetime lays behind her
As she draws her final breath
Just beyond the door he’ll find her
Taking her hand he softly says”

For me, “A single lifetime lays behind her” is describing my past.  The “As she draws her final breath,” is about being shock and saying goodbye, physically and emotionally… “Just beyond the door he’ll find her” is about me walking away and fighting it… it’s consciously about me not wanting to say goodbye to Erin, but subconsciously it’s about me not wanting to be with myself.  “Taking her hand he softly says…” is about me letting go of Erin (At this point, grief-wise, I have not yet come to stage 5 “Acceptance;” I am still very much in denial and in the midst of grief) and her hand because she (a part of me) has finally “died.”

And then the chorus repeats, stating…

“For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
And no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life
Just open up your eyes…”

For me, this is all about a choice.  We have a choice on how we choose to live our lives… this is a new way of celebrating and looking at things… we can either continue to hold onto the past or we can choose to live.

Daughtry then says “Just open up your eyes as I lay you down tonight
Safe on the other side, no more tears to cry”

“…as I lay you down tonight” is about bringing peace to my mind-body-soul; more than anything, mind-heart.  And then “Safe on the other side, no more tears to cry,” particularly “…no more tears to cry” is about the hurt stopping… it’s about knowing somewhere inside that I’ve made the right decision and I’m in a much better place.

Where you go from here, I’m not sure, but I guess that’s the beauty in life… you discover it.  “Life’s a mystery”

My question now is, “How do you say goodbye to the only ‘friends’ you’ve ever known?”  Your ex’s have been a representation of you… parts of yourself you’ve repressed… if they’re addicted, maybe you’re addicted? ie, to avoiding your pain (grief & sorrow).  How do you part with those pieces/persons?  The pieces… these parts of ourselves, our grief… past baggage, and are literally (pain-wise) like losing a limb…

How do you “catapult” into this new life and not feel guilty about it?  …guilty for “abandoning” them, though you’ve really abandoned yourself?  How do you separate them from you?  Simply put, how do we put the past behind us and grieve when so many of these people have been a part of us… heavily ingrained.

It’s just like drugs… when drugs have been a part of someone’s life for so long, how do they part with it and make sense of the present and future?  How do they integrate, re-integrate, or re-learn a whole new world view?  I guess I just want to understand the trauma I have endured and build a “brand new me.”  I want to feel whole, healthy, and alive again…

I think that honestly losing someone when you’ve experienced as much trauma as I have can be compared to losing a limb… and the abuse that I endured emotionally, verbally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually can be compared to a “combat zone.”  I honestly feel (and relate) very much to veterans who have been involved in combat.  My mind, body, psyche, soul, everything was literally in this “shock,” fear, panic, etc… everything that a veteran has associated themselves with.

I really relate to Evan’s Blue… the old Evan’s Blue with Kevin Matisyn… Kevin’s lyrics, music, melody, etc. reminds me entirely of someone who has been “emotionally battered,” or traumatized…

In all of Kevin’s lyrics there are overtones and overlays of extreme, excruciating pain… longing, agony, beauty, bitterness, bitter-sweet, desiring, hoping, wishing… just being a child and cut off.  There is much pain there.  His albums are beautiful yet hopeful.  They are his process of healing.  At any rate, I relate to this man.

I think that we can all heal from our pasts, it’s just about moving through the pain.

Update (1 hour later):  Release, but still holding tight…

Erin and I were conversing today via text about separating… we merely spoke of it, but never actualized anything.  After writing this entry, I initiated a break up. I honestly hope (I feel it should be) this is our last and final breakup.  I have now engaged in the push/pull cycle with Erin… for 2 years she was push/pull with me, and progressively worse over the last 6 months… and I was push/pull with her once, this past week… now I am through.  I want to be over this.  I also must be very careful with how I talk to myself in terms of my grief and healing process, ie: “I want to be ‘over’ this” is like telling my body, “It’s not okay to feel,” and it is okay to feel.  I need to feel.

Erin stated that we should physically space apart… and I disagree, only because it was hard enough initiating this breakup and making the breakup final… not to mention, I spent two years “apart,” both physically and emotionally… obviously more emotionally, but I still spent enough time physically apart because Erin would work herself to death and use work (and other things, ie: porn, food, computer, online gaming, fantasy, etc.) as a distraction.

To say the least, I am still resentful about us not having spent enough time together because she was more absorbed in her own interests.  I do not want to re-traumatize myself so-to-speak by “spacing out.”  I told her the main thing right now is to just not kiss… that that’s a major step… which should not be a problem since we’re not together.  For me it wasn’t a problem before; for Erin it was… Erin has poor impulse control, and when she’s around me she always wants to kiss me… I did not have a problem not kissing her because I guess I knew that it was not logical to kiss and not be together, so I didn’t.

The truth is though I can’t stay here forever… and Erin and I need space.  We need to heal.  I need to grieve.  I cannot tolerate being around her because it hurts me… even as friends… even when we’re not together her actions hurt me.  Likely because I have not been able to grieve yet.  I also don’t like how dirty the house is here… and as I’ve said before, her dad isn’t willing to clean or hire a cleaner… I could always hire a cleaner myself if I can get his permission, however I don’t feel I will ever be able to properly grieve while living here… Erin said at one point that she would consider moving out and back into her mom’s house, and I could stay with her dad if worse came to worse… that I could continue paying him rent and have the “whole upstairs” to myself, and I would strictly be a tenant, but even back then when she said this I remember a distinct feeling of dread, in that 1.  That would be very awkward (to be living with an ex gf’s parent… Umm… yeah), and 2.  I would still see Erin and have reminders of her, and I would not be able to handle wondering if she’s dating someone else…

With that being said, I (we) really need distance from each other.  It would torture me seeing her every now and then, and I feel it would just prologue the grief… even living with her dad!  …I would still hear about her, and from her!  …and besides that, it is just downright awkward!  I mean, I appreciate the thought… I really do… but yeah, I don’t think that would be a good situation… not right now anyway… maybe later on.  Maybe in a couple of years if I need a roommate… I’m sure he might consider letting me rent out the top floor for a little more and just being my own, independent person, and experiencing the city… but yeah, I won’t start future tripping :P

As of right now, that does not sound appealing to me at all, and I would really like to become financially stable… I am young, and I am heavily in debt due to my student loans.  I just want to build a life for myself… a strong, sturdy foundation… I just need to figure out the whole “work” situation, and my time is quickly running out… I honestly (clearly) do not know what I want (need) for myself right now.

I need clarity.

Erin’s response:“I understand, I am too in a way.  I do agree that we are prolonging the inevitable.  This is going to end and it might hurt worse because of our actions.  I’m scared to be without you in what ways?  We’ve been in each others lives for so long the idea of you gone is something I can’t wrap my head around.”I then stated to Erin, “I know, I can’t wrap my head around it, either…” I said, “It scares me too… and I feel like we’ll always be in each other’s life… I’m just not sure in what ways.  A part of me, a big part thinks it would be best if we just go our separate ways until we heal our broken hearts… And then if we get back together, meaning meet up again, we meet up, but there’s too much pain right now…” 

Erin states, “I know it’s for the best but it still hurts and scares me.  I don’t want to make a mistake and cut each other out of our lives.  I don’t want to lose you forever but it’s in our best interest to be apart for a while. The sooner the better I think because we’re going to make it worse in the end.”Still expressing my feelings, I said to Erin, “This relationship hurts like a thorn in my side… Because it hurts to be close to you… and it has most of our relationship.  The closer I get, the more you push me away… and that hurts me.  I can’t take the cycle anymore and make believe…”

In the stanza where I say, “I can’t ‘make believe,'” I am once again referring to this break-up and the pain I have experienced… In a lot of ways I think I’ve chosen to stay in this relationship because it’s easier to be in denial and in love with the fantasy, or the hope/belief that Erin will come around and be on mutual playing ground than to be not involved and disrespected.  I am disrespected either way though because Erin does not love herself and has commitment issues, but “at least (this is my subconscious train of thought) if I am in a relationship I can pretend (“make believe”) that it’s okay.”

I stated, “I mean, it hurts to be close to you, Erin… I don’t know when you’re going to walk out.”

Erin stated, “I understand em, and I’m sorry for making you feel that way.  I think living our own separate lives now would be best.  It would ease the initial shock and start the healing process. “