Defences shattered.

I have lived my life, post attack, in a very defensive mode. My emotions were locked tightly away. I’ve been referred to as cold, this was my choice to be seen this way, I had to be in control of every aspect of my life and I certainly couldn’t afford my emotions to get in the way.

It is very common for a survivor of rape or abuse to need this level of control. The attack that happened left me feeling like he controlled my life. During the months that followed me being attacked I constantly listened to an album by Tears For Fears. The album is The Hurting.

The image of the child, so clearly hurt and in pain, resonated so deeply with me at the time. For all I thought of myself as an adult I was technically still a child when attacked.

One of the songs that really spoke to me at this time, and still evokes those feelings I experienced at the time, is a song from this album called Watch Me Bleed.

Watch Me Bleed

Tears for Fears

Heaven comes to he who waits

But I know I’m getting nowhere

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Though there’s no one near me now

How come everyone can touch me

You see the torture on my brow

Relates to neither here nor now

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Although my face is straight, it lies

My body feels the pain and cries

Here the table is not bare

I am full but feeling empty

For all the warmth it feels so cold

For one so young I feel so old

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

It’s not allowed to be unkind

But still the hate lives in my mind

I’ll make no noise

I’ll hide my pain

I’ll close my eyes

I won’t complain

I’ll lie right back and take the blame

And try to tell myself I’m living

(And when it’s all been said or done)

Where do I go?

Where do I run?

(What’s left of me or anyone)

When we’ve denied the hurting? Oh oh oh oh

Where do I go?

Where do I run?

(What’s left of me or anyone)

When we’ve denied the hurting? Oh oh oh oh

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Songwriters: Roland Orzabal

Watch Me Bleed lyrics © BMG Rights Management

I shared this with a friend once, she said it explained so much about me. With all that had happened, the state of mind I was left in, the emotional pain that I cannot describe because it is a feeling, it was no surprise that I built impenetrable walls around myself. My first boyfriend after the attack was shocked at how broken I was and he admitted he couldn’t breach the walls I had erected.

When I met my Mr. Wonderful I had just broken up with J. Mr. Wonderful was made aware of what had happened to me and I explained to him I never wanted to have an intimate relationship. He understood where I was coming from, a place of pain so great that I would probably never trust a man ever again.

Yet his friendship brought me back to life. His friendship healed me and I started to trust him. The wall was breached enough to let him in. But the rest of the wall remained in place with regards to anyone else new in my life.

Over the years it feels like every now and then a brick will be removed from my wall, but the wall was still fairly solid. The tight control I had on my emotions and not letting anyone in was still fairly intact. And so it was until I shared the deepest part of myself with some people. I felt a strange sense of relief sharing my feelings with regards to how this one incident shaped my life.

I believed the wall was still intact, right up until the PTSD episode struck. That brutal experience last month has demolished every defence I had carefully crafted to protect my shattered innocence. During this time there was also a betrayal. That hurt as much as the trauma being replayed every day in my head.

And so it was a shock to find I had no defences left when it came to doing an exercise of self discovery yesterday evening. The question was to journal about a wounding to your woman-self. Obviously there was the attack, but letting the words flow I wrote about how other women had wounded me by their actions. As I journaled, the tears flowed so freely, I couldn’t stop them. Normally I’d take a breath, pause what I was doing and regain control over my emotions.

But I just couldn’t this time.

My defences are well and truly shattered.

I’m afraid of where this discovery of self will take me. But I’m also excited to greet the new me.

Monday Motivation.

I’m going through a hard time right now. My mother is in hospital and I’ve also got a situation in my life that needs my attention.

I’m tackling life by putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. It’s hard, but I’m doing it.

Life can be hard. Life can be crazy. We don’t have to let it defeat us. We can all do this.

Monday Musing.

While the world still basks in the romantic glow of love that the Royal Wedding evoked a couple of days ago, I’m reminded of my own wedding and how I often wish things had been different. My eldest daughter is also getting married soon and she has planned everything with her fiance, a far cry from what her own parents did.

When I got married I didn’t have the emotional strength to partake in the planning. I was still very much recovering from the brutal attack on me and I just had no energy to put into wedding planning. I let my own mother plan just about everything. I knew I wanted my dress made, not bought. I actually wanted to get a black dress and just be done with it, but as we had opted for a church wedding I really don’t think it would have been appropriate.

I often wonder what I would have chosen had I not been so broken. Looking back I think I would still have opted for the church, this was twenty-eight years ago – twenty-nine when it was being planned – the registry office was in a dilapidated state and I still think I wouldn’t have wanted to have my wedding there.

If I was planning a wedding now I would be looking at somewhere out in nature. In fact, I would actually get handfasted – I’d probably have a legal ceremony first, but the actual wedding would be a handfasting – a pagan style commitment ceremony. IMG_4298.JPG

 

Having said all of that, I can still remember my wedding day and it was a wonderful day; filled with love, laughter, and happiness.

Thought for the day.

We all find occasion to reject and resist another person. We all like to put up a fight against anything we dislike on the evening news as we spectate the world. But we forget that when we decide we will resist something or somebody, either mentally or physically, we only empower the object of our resistance, either in reality or in our own minds.

If you want to enjoy the ability to influence, always start with acceptance. If you want to disarm another begin with acceptance. If you want to encourage and empower another to change, start with acceptance. Don’t make it conditional. Otherwise it’s just resistance disguised as acceptance, and you are still trying to control them.

You can view this thought online here:

https://www.thoughtfortoday.org.uk/unconditionally-accept/

Monday Musing

Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see.
It is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly
“You’ve got this, keep going.."

Saw this on another blog (Purplerays) and thought it was perfect for a Monday Musing.

My Pledge.

I love the new year. It means new calendars, new diaries, new planners, the whole kit and caboodle.  I had my daughter in fits of laughter just after midnight when I was telling her how chuffed I was with my new calendar.

That makes me sound like some old fuddy duddy, but do you know what, I’m past caring.  I’m past caring that other people find me weird. I’m past caring that other people think I’m into some weird shit. I’m past caring that people find it odd that I don’t drink alcohol anymore – FYI, I stopped drinking alcohol in 2008.  I’m past caring that people find me odd for finding so much pleasure in nature.

Last year cost me an awful lot. I had several health scares – I’m talking some pretty heavy stuff, only my husband, kids and mother knew about it all.  Twice I was waiting on test results to see if I had the big C. There were tests to see if I had Multiple Sclerosis, tests to see if I had Lupus, tests to see if had blood disorders, the list went on and on, and so did the tests.

My husband and I had a discussion last summer about how we would proceed if I did have cancer, it was really intense and emotional.  At that time I reached out to a friend and instead of finding a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, all I got was how everything was so bad in her life.

That was pretty bad for me. I’d spent a long time cultivating this friendship and it was smashed to pieces in seconds.  This happened to me once before and it made me very untrusting of people. To have it happen a second time was the final straw.  People who I have known for years online and in real life have been cut off, not because I blame them, but because I began to realise widening my circle of trust was not such a great idea after all.  It took a lot for me to do that in the first place, and the actions of one individual brought it all crashing down upon me.

My FB friends list was culled by 100 people.  Twitter and Insta also had cullings.  Earlier in the year I’d opened my twitter and instagram up so that anyone could follow me, after that I made them private again.

Much was said on my daughter’s social media with regards to real friends and how we expect them to stay in touch in some way. Notice I’ve said real friends here, I’m not referring to acquaintances on social media. Like her, I truly believe friends should make an effort to stay in touch. There are plenty of ways this can be done, but that’s another story……

Last year I bought a fabulous planner that I felt would be fantastic for my business. On the first page it has a fabulous pledge on it and I want to repeat that here.

Here goes:

“This year I am dedicated to be the best me that I can be. I am prepared to embrace change and commit to becoming successful.  Every day is a new day and I will be ready and willing to live each day to my full potential.  I will not let negativity or small mindedness stand in my way. I will surround myself with like minded people who will lift me higher, see my greatness, and believe in me. I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and take on any challenge that comes my way. I understand that there is no secret to success other than hard work, persistence and my mindset. I am excited for what this year holds, I am a confident and successful woman and am ready to embrace greatness. Watch me, join me, or get out of my way because 2017 is my year and the start of my future.”

Very bold and daring some might say. Inspiring I say!

The biggest lesson I learnt from last year’s challenges was that life is precious and everything can change in a heartbeat. That’s why I began making changes in my life towards the end of the year. That’s why I’m not overly concerned with what people think of me – if I stop to consider their opinion I’ll waste so much time and energy on something I’m probably not going to be able to change anyway. Why waste my precious time? I don’t hurt people – not intentionally anyway, I live my life in a way that works for me. 

So what if I haven’t got optimal health? I’m doing the best I can with chronic illnesses.

So what if I don’t look like a glamorous 40 something? Considering everything my illnesses put my body through I do well to look presentable most days.

So what if I don’t believe in god, and think that religion is a load of tosh? Just look at how many acts of violence are committed in the name of one god or another.

So what if I love incense and crystals and tarot cards, and all the weird shit under the sun? It’s my life and I’ll enjoy all of these things, thank you very much!

Making a pledge to be the best version of myself means that I take care of me and my wellbeing – physically, mentally and spiritually. I’m not looking for approval, I’m just saying.

Running Away versus Moving Forward.

Do you ever find yourself implementing change within your life just for the sake of it?  Or, are you quite happy to deal with your problems head on and then move forward in a manner that allows your life to flow smoothly?

Of course, there are times when implementing change is a necessity, but if you are forever changing things around then maybe you are running away from your problems, from your stressors, from your doubts, from whatever it is you are not facing up to.

For example; do you move from job to job and find that your co-workers cause you issues?  This example shows that the issues are less likely to be with the co-workers and more likely to be with yourself.  In this instance, you have to look at what pattern keeps cropping up and face it, then resolve it.  Only then will you be able to move forward.  Switching jobs every time you encounter a problem wth co-workers can help in the short term, but should you find this is a recurrent pattern in every job you have, then you know the problem is more to do with you and less to do with them.

It isn’t just in the workplace that you might have such issues.  You can literally have issues in any area of your life and find that you are running from one thing to the next, with the so-called problem happening all of the time.  This is when you know that you have some learning and growing to do and need to face the issue head on.

The easiest way for you to do this is to list all of the problems you are facing and be brutally honest with yourself.  Journaling is always a wonderful tool in such instances and allows you to have a brain-dump.  A brain-dump allows you to “get it all off your chest”. so to speak, and gives you a good insight into what the recurring issue actually is.

A lot of people are reluctant to face their issues head on because of the pain that it can cause.  But, the pain is part of the healing process and once faced, won’t hang around forever.  In fact, it is probably more painful to keep running away from your problems than it is to actually face them.  Once you face any issues, especially recurring ones, you will find that you move forward in so many different areas in your life.

Running away versus moving forward?

Moving forward for sure!