This post is full of potential triggers– self harm, eating disorder and suicidal ideation. Please, please read with caution and be safe. It’s raw and mostly unedited; messy and very, very real. I’m in a scary place right now. I will be okay, I somehow still believe that, still want to be okay and heal. But this post isn’t pretty or nice and light reading. So please take care of yourselves, and skip it of any of the above mentioned things are triggering for you.
I don’t know what happened on Monday with Bea. The whole session felt off, wrong, scattered. I was dissociated enough that I only remember bits and pieces of the session, and Bea never once noticed how “not here” I was. I need to rewind, though. Because this story really starts Thursday, after therapy.
I left therapy on Thursday feeling sad, not quite right, but connected, like Bea was there. I cried off and on most of the day, had nightmares that night, and felt pretty awful. I wanted to do nothing more than avoid everyone and hide away from life, and everything that hurts so much. But I made it through. Friday, that started out okay, I took Kat to therapy, and then out to lunch. I was so disconnected and just “not there” that it almost felt like “zombie me” was living my life for me. It’s the feeling of going through the motions, but no one really being home, not even perfect me was up for the job of getting through the day.
Friday when I got home, hubby and I had a fight. It started because I had yelled at Kat for dumping juice all over the car. She’s had a thing lately about leaving cups upside down, and juice goes everywhere. I had told her several times to put the cup right side up. She didn’t. Hence, the yelling. And so, hubby and I fought. He said I was this terrible person, mean and selfish, and that he is only able to stick it out because he knows one day I’ll be like I used to be, and be normal again. He said some horrible things; listed out every bad thing about me that he can think of. I already know what an awful person I am. Now I know he agrees. The final straw was when he told me that Kat would be better off being raised by his mother (the crazy, narcissistic mother. See my “bat crap crazy mother in law” post to learn more about this woman). He said the words, and I had immediate visions of slitting my wrists.
I ran to the bedroom, packed a bag. Hubby promptly took my car keys. I was stuck. Which triggered me even more, if that’s even possible. So I hid in the closet. And while I hid in the closet, I held a bottle of my pain pills and debated downing all of them. I really, really wanted to in that moment. I was so hurt by hubby, beaten down by everything else being thrown at me from the past and the present, I just couldn’t do it anymore.
Instead, I emailed Bea. I emailed her about the fight, not about the suicidal feelings. That’s not something I easily admit to. She emailed back, reframing the fight. It didn’t help. She wanted me to talk to hubby, tell him what I am dealing with, make him a partner….because, after all, the point of going through all this is for authenticity and to improve my life now, in the present, and part of that is taking a risk and allowing hubby in to be a real partner, for an authentic marriage. It felt like she didn’t get it at all. Like she wasn’t seeing that this, his words, were the last thing I could handle. Like she didn’t get how hurt and desperate and falling off the edge of the cliff I am. And there was the beginning of the disconnection.
Saturday was spent going through the motions. Hubby is on a short vacation from work so I put on the facade of okay, and smiled my way through a day of family time. We went out to dinner, and ran into the child who assaulted Kat last year. The child and her family acted like nothing was wrong; the little girl ran over to Kat and hugged her, asked her to come over for a play date. I was so sickened by it all. I’m sorry, I know she is just a child, but I can’t stand her. Kat has been clingy and confused ever since.
Sunday was family fun day again, after a short ABA session. We took Kat to an indoor water park. It was a disaster. There was a kiddy slide, and it was empty, Kat wanted to feel the water first, so we walked around to the pool side, and when we went to put her toes in the water, the lifeguard blew his whistle at us. I tried explaining that she just needed to feel the water before sliding down the slide and landing in it– she’s 4. I mean, that can not be so weird. And it’s not like there were people waiting. He was all “you have to go down the slide to get in the pool, then exit the pool. It’s not for swimming.” I played the autism card. I never play that card. I don’t like to, I don’t believe we deserve special treatment, but sometimes accommodations should be made. And we weren’t holding anything up. No on was around! And he said “she doesn’t look like she has autism. She doesn’t look retarded.” And I lost it. Lost it. Yelling, swearing. In the past, I would have calmly and politely requested a manager. Now I lose it, screaming mad. I’m not a mad person. And then, I couldn’t reign it in. Every teenage male life guard got yelled at, flipped off, cursed. By me. I was the crazy screaming lady. Oh my gosh, I am so ashamed by my behavior. And later, I looked at that and thought, wow. I yelled at every male teen employed there. Kenny and the college boyfriend were both teenage males. Odd how they were the same age, yet years apart.
And so….Monday. I saw Bea. I don’t know what happened. I told her about the water park, omitting the fact I couldn’t reign in my anger; refusing to admit to the giant rage that had been in me and come out. She didn’t even see it, make a connection between teen boys who confused me, who hurt me in the past and the teen life guard who hurt my child (and me) with his words.
I know I cried a lot in the session, and hid my face, and couldn’t get words out. She pushed and pushed for me to talk to Hubby. Really pushed. I think that’s the point where I decided she wasn’t on my side anymore, and she just wants me to be okay. And so I pretended to be okay. Walls pulled up and around, armor on, dissociated and disconnected, I went through the motions of therapy.
At one point, towards the end, she asked me how the adult me feels about sexual attraction. I tried to answer, tried to let down the walls. It felt like she had a plan, like she was going somewhere with this. I couldn’t. She said she thinks the disgust and confusion and everything else is the little girl part of me. Thinking about it, I feel like the little girl is the part in charge of sex stuff; or, at least she’s in charge of how I feel about sexual attraction and sexual stuff. I don’t know. I don’t think there is an adult part of me for those things. Maybe I got stunted and never continued developing normal. Maybe I was just an over sexed little girl, who seduced a teenage boy. Because I’m screwed up, gross, evil. I don’t know. But I said none of those things.
I didn’t tell her how I sat in the closet with a bottle of pills, or how my cutting is out of control the last few days. I didn’t tell her how I have screwed up the no eating rule, and stuffed my face and vomited it back up more times than I care to count lately, or how the few times I have stuffed my face and been unable to throw up and the panic and terror I felt. I didn’t tell her I felt disconnected after her email, like she didn’t get it. I didn’t tell her how incredibly alone I feel; more so now because I have seen and felt what not alone is like. I think being alone was safer, better. No one hurts you that way. It sucks knowing how bad alone really is. I didn’t tell her how numb and overwhelmed by emotions and feelings and memories I am all at the same time, even though that is such a paradox I can’t seem to understand it. I didn’t tell her I just want to disappear, to cease to exist. I did not tell her any of that.
I did say I felt like everything was too much, that I could not do this anymore. I said that everything makes sense to her, but nothing makes sense to me. And Bea reframed it, telling me that just like Kat, she thinks I’m at a point where I need to know others in my life will provide safety and containment for me, but that I am capable of taking care of my own needs. Disconnect complete.
It feels like she’s done with me. Like I was too needy, too crazy, too broken. Like she only wants for me to be okay, to show that perfect facade I have. Like she is no different than my parents or my husband.
Everyone only wants perfect Alice. They don’t care that I’m so far down the rabbit hole I think I’m never getting out. They don’t care that I’m stuck in this hell my mind has created, or that I’m so confused and scared because I never know how I’m going to feel or act from one moment to the next. They don’t care that a single second can feel like forever when it’s his face I’m seeing in my mind, or his hands I’m feeling on my skin. They want perfect Alice. So perfect Alice they shall have.
20 thoughts on “Disconnection completed”
Oh, Alice, I am so sorry that you are in this terrible place and feel so very alone. Sending thoughts of warmth and support.
I don’t know if it will help at all, but when I was learning to really let my therapist in with the deepest, darkest feelings and memories, I went through many cycles of slowly building up trust to the point where I could let her in and tell her something big and then we would almost immediately have some sort of a misalignment. It would throw me into a crisis, I would berate myself for ever trusting her with X, promise myself to never do that again and scrape myself off the floor. This cycle repeated over and over for about six months. It was very painful, but I have now gotten to the point when sharing something big no longer guarantees a crisis in our relationship. For instance, in my session yesterday, I was able to share some of the intense rage and outrage that I feel towards my father. It was very difficult to get to the point where I felt safe enough to express it yesterday, but it would not have been at all possible a year ago. At that point, all of the intense emotional work was done on my own and I pretty much told her that I wouldn’t ever do it with her. Then I started to risk less intense things, but they caused all of those crises in our relationship. Sometimes I feared that the relationship wouldn’t be able to withstand the stress. My therapist was fine with what was going on, but I was worried that at some point I wouldn’t be able to make yet another repair, so soon after the previous one. But I held on and she never wavered, and at some point things finally clicked.
I said something to her about all of this yesterday, and her response was that my feeling that I had to keep all of the most difficult feelings and traumas to myself was a classic complex trauma response. I learned early that it was safest to never expect for anyone to be there, to always do everything possible to be the “good girl”, to die inside all my myself.
I suspect that some similar things might be going on for you… It’s all so painful.
I want to say something helpful, yet I don’t know what. I hate that you’re going through so much. It seems you are hurting yourself, but my guess is what you are doing is looking for relief. Maybe you are tackling too much all at once?
Would your husband listen if you talked about your fear for your daughter around older males? Would he be a good listener and understand? He sounds like someone who would based on other things you shared. For instance his willingness to work in the that book with you. I was impressed with that.
I think discussing a daughter’s safety around males especially when you have been attacked as a child in the past that way is a very important conversation, or conversations to have; now and many more in the future.
I love that you screamed at the stupid dumb lifeguards. I see a lot of life guards these days not doing their jobs and putting children at risk because of it.
Thank you for caring. I never know what to say, either, but just knowing you want to say something helpful means a lot. Intellectually, I know Hubby would listen. Im just terrified of bringing it up to him.
I hate that i yelled at that life guard, but he did need to be reprimanded. I just wish i had kept my calm and educated his ignorant ass anout autism and maybe dispelled some of his incorrect beliefs.
Thank you again, and I am sorry for such a late reply. Xx
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No problem. I thought my remark about the lifeguards sounded very childish; stupid dumb. I should have said ignorant and insensitive. Kids, which compared to my age they are.
Erupting out of anger is natural, not something I could do until the last few years. When I say that, I don’t mean blasting someone, but an honest flare of honest feelings. For instance, at an indoor waterpark last year with my grandson, the lifeguard, a young male, was looking in the opposite direction of the little toddlers he was appointed to guard, and looking there all the time. I complained to him angrily telling him to watch the kids then I told the manager.
But more importantly, you have every right to sit down with your husband and even if it’s a week later, tell him how much his words hurt you. I was rather appalled at the things he said. I also wondered later, as I do think about those on line who are suffering, is there a possibility you might have pushed some of his buttons?
I make bigger fights out of smaller things just to see my husbands reaction, whether I can trust him or not on the bigger more important things. Of course he fails the test which makes me all the more mad and harder to take the leap of trust. But I do keep trying sometimes when I think he can get it. And sometimes he does.
Maybe you could try again, go deeper, and take a risk at trusting. He’s been there in the past when you have.
The thing though, no one can really know what’s it’s like being you until they have walked in your shoes. No matter how much my husband says he knows and understands, he doesn’t. How can he?
How can anyone know unless they have been there.
So I try to take him as he is and remember that I don’t know all that he is either. And count on the fact that there is reciprocal caring even if I’m in my own little bubble of mistrust that I may not ever fully dissolve.
I will probably, at some point, try again to talk to hubby. Its just roo scary right now. I know i test him, and he always fails, as you said and it makss me more angry.
Maybe one day i can have an honest reaction in anger. Right now, anger seems to be either gone and numb– I’m totally cut off from it– or I am so mad, and have no control. I don’t know.
Makes sense. Go at your own pace of course. Sometimes I feel that my husband and I are only now getting to really each other.
I’ve been following your story, and I really don’t think Bea wants ‘perfect Alice’. I do get though that with Miss Perfect, you’ve gotten lots of good responses from people in the past. I don’t think Bea is a mind reader, and I don’t think she should be one. When you work up to telling her more of what’s really going on, her responses will become more congruent and you’ll feel held once again, I bet.
We’ve pretty different, but I also do vary greatly in how close I feel to my T. It is so painful when I feel like we are no longer close. So far, I’ve always gotten the closeness back.
I thought the scene by the pool was funny. I can see how you might be embarrassed, but it makes a good story. That lifeguard was completely ignorant and insensitive. Could be you over-reacted a bit, but given what you’re going through, you did OK I think. You’re trying to protect Kat, which is a great thing.
Healing take time – slow is faster in the end. I found a key is starting to have some compassion for myself. Hope you can find that also.
Things will get better. Take care.
Ellen, thank you. I don’t think Bea wants Miss Perfect, either, but then i doubt myself. I know I am so late in replying, but your point about Bea not being a mind reader was good…it was something i needed a reminder of.
Thanks for thinking I did okay at the pool. I just wish i had educated him, not screamed at him. I hate that i did it, but I am trying to focus on the protecting Kat part.
Compassion is really hard for me to find for myself. I’m not sure its there…
Oh, Alice. I feel like I really get the “perfect” thing, and it’s messy and unsettling and terrifying when you’re letting someone in that close. I don’t want to alienate you either, but I just want to say that Bea needs to know what you’re feeling. She is always on your side and she will keep listening. Likelihood is, she knows something is wrong and she wants to fix it, but she can’t unless she knows what it is. That said, I want you to try and take care of yourself as much as you can. We are all rooting for you. X
Thank you for this. You were right, Bea is on my side, altough at times it does not feel like it. I need to learn to speak up. Thanks for rooting for me. I’m not giving up yet. Xx
Still here and fighting your corner, as always x
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Thank you. ❤️ you have no idea what that means to hear. Especially right now, this moment. Xx
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I think I have a little clue. Just keep telling yourself that PTSD is a brain injury which can be healed, and you can do this. xx
When I was going through what you are I did need my husband and therapist to provide safety for me and to meet some of my child’s needs. I needed to be parented. Now I feel like I can do that for myself but it took me quite a bit of time. There was no way I could keep up the perfect thing. I was terrified but I have come through the darkness. I felt disconnected from everyone lots of times. IT took courage and time until I could tell my husband and therapist I felt disconnected. Try to share what is happening. I am glad you have the courage to articulate it in your blog. I am supporting you and encouraging you to risk it with Bea and maybe your husband. Just send them to your blog maybe.
Thank you for this. Thats exactly how i feel– like i need (want?) to be parented. I doubt i will ever admit to that in “real life” though. It seems like too much of a big thing.
Its really scary to admit to how dark i can feel inside. Bea knows im not really okay, now, even though i might not have told her all of it.
I cant add hubby in right now. It alreasdy feels like he knows too much, and i would give almost anything to take back telling him. No one in my “real life” knows anout my blog, and i like it that way. I am too honest here– and hubby definitly does not need the play by play of my therapy sessions, lol. I will work on finding a way to trust him and let him in. Xx
I hear what you’re saying, but like everyone else I suspect your husband, your friends and definitely Bea wants the real you, the real ALICE. Maybe you’re not sure who you really are anymore. And it’s ok to be scared. Therapy is helping you find your way out of the hole and the revised you might be completely different. Who knows? What’s important is you listen to yourself and trust those close to yourself. You don’t need added stresses of trying to match up to expectations real or imagined. You have a good, kind heart. You’re a good mother and you deserve peace. Be kind to yourself, whomever that might be xx
You called it, Penny. I have no idea who the heck i am. All i really know how to do is be what the othee person wants/needs/expects– or at least, what i think they want.
Thank you for all the sweet things you have said about me. It made me feel very cared for. Xx
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I will reply to everyone at some point, but I’m running on empty and wanted to thank each of you for your kind words and encouragements. ❤️️Xx
Thank you for this…i know i am really late in replying, but it did help to see that it is possible to share something big and then have a major misalignment, and ro be told I’m not the only one. Its really hard. I feel like i am in this weird place of trusting Bea, but not trusting the realtionship. I don’t know. Its so hard to explain. I dont have words to talk about trust and realationships. Maybe i need to tell Bea i need hell finding words for these things.
I think it is a classic response…to be the good girl. I am always striving to be the good girl.
Thank you again…..xx
This was to Cat. Sorry. I don’t know what happened.