The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

The Rules September 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 1:34 am

1. You are not allowed to need anything from anyone.

2. You are not allowed to tell anyone you want anything from them.

3. You are not allowed to ask for anything from anyone.

4. You must never show anyone that they have/can hurt you.

5. You are not allowed to ask anyone for more than what they’ve already given you.

6. You must always do whatever anyone asks you to do, no matter the cost.

7. You must figure out what people want/need/expect from you and give it to them before they ask for it.

8. You are not allowed to initiate relationships or social interactions.

9. Everyone else’s needs and desires come before yours.

10. You are not allowed to tell anyone anything bad unless they ask you directly and specifically.

11. You are not allowed to try to get people to like you.

12. You are not allowed to accept/believe compliments.

13. If anyone gets too close, you must push them away.

14. You are not allowed to listen to yourself.

15. You are not allowed to trust yourself.

16. You are not allowed to take care of yourself or be kind to yourself.

17. You aren’t allowed to have good things or people in your life.

18. You must punish yourself.

19. You’re not allowed to be believed.

20. You’re not allowed to be loved.

21. You’re not allowed to hope.

There are probably more rattling around up in my head, too.

 

All that’s left is to accept that it’s over September 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 6:58 pm
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Everything hurts so much I can hardly breathe.

I can’t live like this.

I want it to be over.

Why can’t I just give up?

 

Bootstrappin’ It

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 6:26 pm
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I was listening to NPR this morning, and they played a clip from Rick Santorum’s speech at the Republican National Convention: “Graduate from high school, work hard, and get married before you have children and the chance you will ever be in poverty is just two percent.”

I wanted to punch him. Repeatedly.

But I think my reaction comes, in a large part, from growing up in a very conservative family where both financial success and happiness were thought of as something you could achieve if you just follow the formula and work hard enough. If you didn’t succeed, if you weren’t happy–it was your own fault. Obviously you just weren’t working hard enough.

I did all the right things. I graduated from the #4 high school in the country with a 3.6 GPA, I worked at a fast food restaurant in the evenings and all summer, I did volunteer work in the community, I didn’t have sex or use drugs. (Okay, I did smoke pot once, and there was that caffeine addiction.)

But here I am at 26, disabled and almost totally dependent on my family for financial survival. I’m the 47%, I’m the victim class. Apparently.

I do the best I can, but it’s just not enough. Whether it’s finances or happiness, I’m a failure in the eyes of my family and the Republican Party.

“If you just worked harder, you’d be happy, Sara. You have to decide you’re going to be happy, and then you will be. Just stop being so negative! You just have to get out there and get a job and then be happy with it. You make your own happiness.” These are things I’ve heard over and over for most of my life. I find it impossible to separate the bootstraps approach to financial independence from the bootstrap approach to mental health because, in my life, they’re intertwined. I’m not financially independent because I’m not sane, can’t handle normal life like a normal person. According to my family, if I’d just choose to be happy, then I’d be able to get a job and support myself.

I think the reason I’m so angry at Rick Santorum is I believe what he’s saying. Not for other people–I get enraged for them. But I believe it applies to me: if I’d just quit whining and feeling sorry for myself, get off my ass, and pull myself up by my own bootstraps, I’d be fine. I’d be able to handle job stress because I’d decided I could; I’d be happy because I’d decided to be.

That’s the insidious thing about indoctrination: if you tell a kid the same thing over and over for years, she’ll believe it. She may grow up and realize the logic is faulty, realize she would never judge anyone else so harshly. But she’ll never be able to stop judging herself. She’ll still feel like a failure at both independence and happiness.

 

Therapy Withdrawal September 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 2:30 am
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I’m feeling really crappy tonight. I know a lot of it’s hormonal, but that doesn’t make me feel any less crappy.

Some of it is also therapy withdrawal, for lack of a better term.

I really like NT. She’s kind, she likes me, we agree on a lot. But because of that, I end up in this weird dynamic with her where I don’t really get into heavy stuff because I want to keep the good feelings.

But then after I leave, I feel even more alone. I feel like the connection is fake because I’m not being real, though it’s never a conscious intention. Then I also worry that if I start getting into the dark, heavy stuff, then I’ll lose the kindness and connection.

I get so frustrated with myself. I shouldn’t need so desperately to receive kindness from someone–I’m an adult, for god’s sake. I also need to know–I mean really KNOW–that she’s not one of the people who deserted me when I started dealing with the abuse. She’s been a therapist for 30 years, and she’s a trauma specialist. She can handle it. If she couldn’t, she would’ve gotten out of the business a long time ago.

I need to ask her to push me more. I know that’s what I need, but I also know there’s almost no chance I’ll actually ask her for that. Asking for anything from her is against The Rules In My Head. Talking about abuse stuff without being asked is also against The Rules. I wish i had her email address–it’s easier to break the rules if it’s not face-to-face. But I don’t have her email, and asking is against The Rules. So I’ve got myself good and stuck.

I hate my brain so much right now.

 

What have I gotten myself into? September 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 11:43 pm
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I had an interview today for an internship doing legal research and trial prep for a defense attorney. It’s unpaid, but it’s the kind of thing that will look good on my resume and applications for undergrad and law school.

The interview went really well, and he offered me the job on the spot. He asked me to come observe/take notes on a discovery motion tomorrow.

For a rape case. Defending a cop.

Sound familiar? Yeah, it did to me too. Uncannily similar to my story, though I know it won’t actually be my father.

I told the attorney I would come.

I think partly I said yes because I didn’t want him to think I couldn’t handle it, and partly because I didn’t want to think I couldn’t handle it. And some of it may just be my familiar masochistic tendencies.

For all I know, the cop really could be innocent. It surprises me that I am able and willing to consider that as a possibility. After all, my heart still races every time I see a cop or a squad car. But as the lawyer was telling me about the case, I didn’t assume the cop was guilty. It wasn’t until later I realized how remarkable that was, given my history.

I do have some ethical qualms in that I’ve always considered myself someone who would side with the victim. I know the statistics: very few people make false rape allegations. But I also know the importance of a vigorous defense. We’ve all seen the stories where DNA evidence exonerates a prisoner after 20 years on death row and so forth.

I really have no idea what I’m getting myself into. If it gets too bad, I can always leave. For instance, I don’t think I could handle it if my boss were bullying the victim on the stand. But I’m going to try it, if for no other reason than to test my ability to cope with it. Tomorrow will just be an evidentiary hearing, so probably not as intense as the actual trial. But he did say ther “could be fireworks.”

 

I’m the 47% September 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 4:22 am
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Hey, Mittens: I’m part of your 47% of Americans who don’t pay income tax. (We’ll ignore, for the moment, that it’s actually 46.4%, and only 18.1% paid neither income nor payroll tax.)

I pay no income tax because I am disabled and have a very low income: $473.70 per month from SSI/SSDI. Where I live, I couldn’t rent a closet, let alone buy food and clothes and bus passes. Nor could I pay for the medical treatment I need to manage my disability.

Yes, I am one of those people “who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.” Hell yes, I believe everyone is entitled to those things! Tell me, Mr. Romney, do you believe that because I’m poor, I should’ve been denied life saving brain surgery? Because I’m poor, should I have to live in my car and eat out of dumpsters? I’ve done that, but I’d be willing to bet the little money I have that you haven’t lived that.

I wonder, Mittens, when the last time you read our Constitution was. I recall this bit where it says our government was established “to promote the general welfare.” Generalmeans everyone, Mittens, not just the rich elite. If you’re instituting policies that would deprive people of basic needs, you’re not promoting the general welfare.

You talk a lot on the campaign trail about morals, and to me it sounds like nails screeching across a chalkboard. I can think of no better way to judge a person’s morals than by how he treats the most marginalized and vulnerable people. On that scale, Mr. Romney, you are failing. You and your vice presidential candidate like to talk about how you care about the plight of the poor, but when you think the mikes are off, we meet your true self.

You, Mr. Romney, are morally and governmentally reprehensible.

 

Boundaries

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 2:59 am
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It’s been suggested to me that I’m overly boundaried. I’m pretty sure boundaried isn’t actually a word, but the point is still valid.

I guess I feel, on some level, that I’m dangerous and need to protect people from myself. So I enforce upon myself these rigid boundaries, much stricter than what most of the people I’m protecting would set for me. I don’t feel like I have a choice most of the time–often I’d like to ask for more from people, but there are these ironclad rules in my head that some part of me won’t let me break. I’ve mostly given up on trying to circumvent them because, try as I might, I can’t.

I feel like I frustrate people because I can’t break these rules. I know I should be able to take up my therapist on her offer of twice a week sessions, call people on my treatment team when I’m in crisis, or tell my therapist she upset me. I know good and well that these are not socially unacceptable things, and I know it would be for my own benefit. But when people tell me it’s okay, I shoot them down because I know I can’t break my own rules.

Or is it won’t? It feels like can’t, but maybe that’s just the crap I tell myself to justify staying in my comfort zone. How do I even tell?

The only times I’ve been able to break the rules is when I’ve had a therapist who insisted. My Riggs therapist would sometimes get me to come to extra sessions by saying she’d be very worried if I didn’t show up. My Boston therapist told me she needed to hear from me every day when I was in crisis, and she was always the one to call/text/email me first. Right now I don’t have a therapist (or treatment team) who does that, so I can’t break the rules without permission.

How in the world do I get around this?

 

 
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