A STRONGER WOMAN (I WILL RISE)

For those of you who know me well, you will understand, I expect. For those of you who are not familiar with my story, it may be helpful to read a previous post at https://elliethompson.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/the-sting-the-toxin-within/

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I’ll rise – Maya Angelou.

 

You will not ‘trod me in the very dirt’ – I will not allow it – I am stronger than you gave me credit for, three years, nine months and eleven days ago, to be exact.

You left me that day, the day my father died. You left me, a whimpering, callow wreck, on the lowest storey – the basement of my life. You left me for dead.

Did you not think that I would survive? Did you honestly think I would perish without your permission to do even as so much as breathe? Honesty? You do not know the meaning of the word.

Well, I tell you now … you have not won; you have not destroyed me as you might have liked to have done. You will see that I mean it when I say ‘justice will be done’. You have no idea what I have in mind for your wicked mentality and your sick soul.

But, I am not a law-breaker, nor a criminal but I am strong. Strong enough now, (no thanks to you) to beat you down with the very authoritarian stick you used against me for those eight years of therapy at your abusive hands. Those hands should have been safe hands. I trusted you, and you betrayed me by almost taking my life.

I have decided to take action, legally and from a moral standpoint. I am lodging a formal complaint about the ‘therapeutic’ abuse that you inflicted on me back then. Do you think that I don’t know that you are still preying on other vulnerable lives – that you still hold your accreditation in your deceitful hands? This situation is so wrong, so very wrong and I will not stand by and see other innocent lives destroyed in your wake.

It will not be easy for me to stand and face you in a court of law and you would never have credited me with the strength to do so back then but I have become strong now. And although I have tears in my eyes, I may bend but I will not break. I will no longer cower in fear at your disapproval.

I claim back that power that you so willingly took from me. I claim it back as my own. I will not shatter like glass. I will not disintegrate in front of your very eyes. No way!

I AM A STRONG WOMAN AND I WILL RISE LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES.

phoenix from the ashes

 

SURVIVING THE STORM

storm waves crashing

My previous post spoke of how it feels to lose someone or many people, close to you; how the waves of grief come crashing down on you. It is talking about death in these instances. But what if the person you are grieving for is still alive but just out of your reach. This is also excruciatingly painful.

When the person is still alive but not in your life any longer, the pain and heartache are also almost unbearable as the waves still come crashing down on you time after time. These tidal surges continue as if they are beating against a ship, wrecked out at sea.

[In advance, I apologize for the length of this post. I wrote it for me. I wrote it because I needed to. I’ve needed to for a long, long time. Even if it is not read by anyone else, that does not matter. This is me … Ellie.]

I was talking to my therapist this morning. We spoke of my late night, yesterday. I was sitting, staring at my computer screen for hours, trawling the internet. I was searching for details of my previous therapist, *K, who I now, (after some years), recognize was emotionally and psychologically abusive to the point that I was totally in love with her, hung on her every word and believed each sentence she spoke. I was desperately searching for her name, her address, her photo, anything; a memory of this woman that I loved so much.

I travelled a round trip of two hours (at a cost to me to the point I was seriously in debt), on three mornings a week for eight years, to be with her. I was so emotionally dependent on her; I could barely breathe without her approval. All those years … all those wasted, damaging, life-threatening years. I don’t use the term ‘life-threatening’ lightly or as a casual, throwaway remark but because on one occasion when she was presumably cross with me for some reason I cannot remember, she actually said ‘Why you don’t go home and kill yourself’ and I tell the God’s honest truth here.

I attempted to take my life. I say cross as opposed to angry because the roles we took were of she, the strict, authoritarian parent, and I, the obedient child. She encouraged and nurtured this to the point where I loved and depended on her more than I did my own mother. There were hugs, kisses, gifts, cards etc. Every time she didn’t reply to a text or answer the phone (all of which were smashing the boundaries leaving nothing but a ship wrecked at sea), I punished my body in a self-destructive way because I assumed she didn’t ‘love’ me anymore and therefore, I envisaged that I had done something wrong; I had been the disobedient child. I actually took a blade to my skin, a bottle to my lips and dozens of pills to my throat on many an occasion.

It ended suddenly. It ended on the day of my father’s death when she questioned me as to why I was so upset and wasn’t I happy on this day, bearing in mind he had seriously abused me for all of my childhood? Nevertheless, he was still my father and somewhere amongst the hate, the terror, the disgust and the shame, he was still the only father I had and yes, I was upset that my father had died. In disgust and frustration, (because she had been insisting I relive the sexual abuse that took place all those years), she walked out on me and never came back. As well as losing my father that day, I lost my therapist, my guide, my mother, my friend and ally, my everything. I was devastated. I wanted to die along with the loss of her. I attempted this and woke, days later, in intensive care, but I survived and recovered slowly, at least physically but never, emotionally or psychologically.

Despite all this, four years later, I still miss her, pine for her affection, long to see her again. I love her. I hate her. I miss her, with those waves crashing down on me so often that I feel I will perish like a ship at sea. The pain of losing her is sometimes unbearable and I don’t want to be living and breathing on this Earth at those times.

shipwreck2

But … I am here. Despite everything, I am still here. Somehow, my time was not up yet. And although those waves still frequently come crashing in around my ears, I survive them, all be it bruised and battered emotionally. I recognize her for the controlling, sick, manipulative woman that she was and I hate her for what she did to me.

I love her. I miss her, I want to remember her face which has strangely faded from my memory. I search for her. I need her. I want her back … but do I? Do I, really? Do I want my life smashed against the side of the shipwrecked vessel, time and time again till I am worn away and engulfed by the sea?

NO! I don’t. Not anymore. I have come too far. I do not wish to turn back as often as I’m tempted to. I deserve better. I am stronger than that. I am here. I am me and will remain so until my true time comes. I am a survivor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCREAMING THE INSIDE OUT

head screaming

I’ve seen my therapist today, and all sorts of thoughts are flooding my mind like a dam has burst inside my head. I just need to write out these thoughts to get them on paper rather than have them living rent-free in my head and taking up space for something more constructive.

This post isn’t going to be remotely witty or intellectual – it’s just me, Ellie – letting feelings out – trying to remember to breathe – breathing is crucial for survival – so is my writing. Please forgive me my self-indulgence.

I know my anger towards not only my recent assailant but also all my many other abusers in my life is currently turning inwards. I know that I am berating myself, belittling all the abuse I’ve been through and telling myself, “for goodness sake; pull yourself together!!” I have internal chatter running around my head. However, I am trying to fight these unhelpful and negative thoughts and attempting to replace them with more realistic and sensible ones.

I am beginning to recognize that over the years, I have well and truly had my boundaries smashed to pieces. With the downfall of those barriers and the lack of love shown to me in my life, is it any wonder I’m a sucker for affection. Is this what gets me into trouble? Am I too friendly? Do I give the wrong impression? Am I gullible? What the fuck am I doing so wrong?

(Excuse me why I quietly go and hide myself in a corner – and scream and shout and rant and rave! What? Do you mean I’ve done that already?)

I barely recognize my own emotions, and when I do, I give them no respect. “Why???”, I yell at the top of my voice! God – please let me off at the next stop.

“Calm down, Ellie; just calm it right down. Now, stop and … breathe …”. OK. I’m breathing. I’m shattered. I’m emotionally exhausted. I’m drained. I need sleep – restorative sleep; not nightmares running amuck inside my head – peaceful sleep – rest – quiet – repose – AND DON’T BLOODY WELL FORGET TO BREATHE!!

 

 

“OH, WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE”

‘As she weaves herself tighter and tighter into the web, the hole becomes deeper and deeper and she sees no way to escape. She has become desperate to escape, desperate to not be despised but to be loved but cannot find the exit. Surely, reaching the exit is the only way out but then she knows full well that doing so would mean total destruction of her world as she has always known it. It would be complete annihilation of her life as she knows it. She is terrified of the hurt and damage she would cause, both to loved ones and friends and ultimately to herself. Oh, what a tangled web she weaves.’

How do I help her? She has confided in me. I was, and still am shocked. Tears were running down her face as she blurted it all out. I thought it would never end. She is desperate for me not to break her confidence. How do I hold on to a secret so huge? Although I don’t want to break her trust, what about all those who are being wronged and hurt by her and have been in the past. I wish she hadn’t have told me. I have enough heartache and despair going on in my own life without holding on to someone else’s guilt and shame. Or is that just selfish? In telling me, she has deeply wounded me too. I thought I could trust her – now, I can never be sure of this again. I am angry! Am I right to be angry? Although part of me feels sorry for her because she is obviously in so much agony, another part of me hates her for the damage she has done over the years, not just to me but to many others too. Nothing life-threatening I know but so awful, just the same.

They say “you can fool half the people all of the time or all of the people half the time”. Well, as far as I can see, she has been fooling all of the people all of the time. And why? Why for so long? She says that she’s never known anything different, that she just wanted people to like her, to care for her. Well, many of them already did but she says she doesn’t believe that. I did too….will she ever believe me either? Who do I now turn too? I have been holding on to so many secrets of my own for so many years and am just beginning to unravel them in therapy. I don’t want more secrets….I have had enough over the years to last a lifetime. I know she needs help but how am I supposed to help her without her helping herself. How can I be responsible for her problems too. I wish she had told someone else. Why me? Or is that selfish too?

She is a forty-four year old ‘friend’. She is married with a husband and has three teenage boys. If I say anything to her husband, I know it will blow her whole world out of the water! Oh, I do wish she hadn’t had told me. She says she is sorry but sorry hardly even touches the edge of the hurt and anger that I feel.

I always thought she was happy but obviously not; otherwise why would she behave in this way? Half of me feels sorry for her but half of me hates her too. I hate her, not only for her deception and lies but also for want of a better expression for ‘dumping her shit on me’! And yet, I still have love for her – she has been a friend for a very long time and you can’t just wipe that out, at least I can’t although I know many that would. She is hurting but now, so am I. What do I do? I can’t go on like this. There must be a reason for all of this. I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Help!!

* (Some details have been changed to protect identity) 

THE TOXIC THERAPIST

On discussing my relationship with my two children (yet again) with my therapist, T, yesterday, I realised that the reason they dislike/mistrust me so much is because of my past reckless behaviours during the time I was seeing the therapist, J, referred to in my last post, ‘Killing Me Softly’. They are blind to the fact that my mental health was so poor then but is now much improved and that I do not indulge or need to take up these behaviours again (those being my drinking, anorexia, all the self-harm I did to my body both by cutting and by abusing medication and all the risky overdoses I took, some of which were very nearly fatal). I do also recognize that she didn’t literally force me to drink, cut or OD, and that we all have our own free will. It was the influence she had over me when I was very vulnerable and the abusive responses during that eight-year period which made me react in such a dangerous way. Having said that, there was one occasion when she did literally say to me at the end of a session, “Why don’t you go home and kill yourself then?” Unbelievable, I know but I state that in all honesty which I then proceeded to attempt.

This, amongst other reasons such as my disability, I think may be at the core of why my children do not want anything to do with me. After all, how awful of me to put such young, vulnerable minds through such experiences of nearly losing their mother so many times etc. You see, the toxin within J was being transmitted as toxin to me which I absorbed like a sponge which then became the sting that hurt my innocent children so much (and I think still does to this day). So, basically, in summing up, J’s inner toxin was transferred to me which then acted like a cuttlefish or jellyfish sting to *Tom and *Clare, thereby poisoning their minds.

I wish I could put this past experience (along with others) in a box, leave it there and move on from it but however hard I try there are always the tentacles of the cuttlefish or the entrails of the contents of the box climbing through the gaps or hanging out of the lid that won’t quite shut. I have not, however, yet given up on hope:

I need to shut you tight into a box
with all the hatred I have for you.
It is a sturdy box, high sided,
but still the viscera ooze
through its seams and corners.

I long to seal the lid
but it is too late
for you have contaminated my world.
How on earth do I contain this filth
when you have sullied so much of my life?

The toxin within, still seeps out
like cuttlefish tentacles
that strike out upon contact.
Your viciousness intended
unlike the sea creature’s act of survival.

And will one day, the damage you have caused
be healed by some miracle or other?
Can so many negatives be transformed
into even one miniscule positive?
Well, I tell you, I will fight.

I will fight tooth and nail
to right the wrongs you created.
There is simply too much at stake
for me to allow you the victory
of trampling me to the ground.

jellyfish1