AFTER THE SENTENCING

As I mentioned before, I did not write in my journal about what happened after Laura, Bill and I walked out of the courtroom.  I just checked to see if I mentioned anything at a later date.  I never specifically addressed it, and all I wrote the following day, 26 June 2012 was:

“Yesterday, to me, still feels surreal.  I don’t have a strong feeling either way.  All I am certain of is he deserves to be in prison.”

When court was adjourned, cockroach boy’s sister and father, who had been seated right in front of us, practically ran out of the room.  I remember thinking, ‘good, I don’t want to see them anyway.’    We couldn’t leave right away because the D.A. needed to give me a copy of the restraining order that the court had gotten on my behalf, so we kind of hung around inside the courtroom.  When it became clear that it would take a bit longer than anticipated, we left to wait outside.  As soon as we walked through the outer door, the sister and father descended upon us.  The sister, whose name I never did get, said to me, “I just want to apologize for what my brother did to you.”  And the father piped up, “Yeah, we didn’t raise him that way.”  To say that I was in shock that they were even speaking to me would be an understatement.  I did my best to be polite without really saying much.  What did they expect I would say?  ‘Oh, it’s okay, don’t worry about it.’  Hardly.  It was not okay and I wasn’t going to say otherwise.  When the father spoke to me, I thought, ‘no way does he live in Coronado.  He had exactly 3 teeth in his mouth, and I am pretty sure there must be a city ordinance that says you must have teeth to live there.’  Seriously, no way could he look like that and live there.

I really didn’t respond to her apology.  I thought they would then walk away.  But, no, she wasn’t finished with me yet.  So then she said something like, ‘my brother is mentally ill and needs help, he doesn’t need to be in prison.’  I said, “Oh, I understand mental illness.  I have a brother who is bipolar and he doesn’t take his medication either, but he doesn’t attack women.”  I was feeling very uncomfortable and wanted her to leave me alone.  No such luck.  Then she said to me, “Did you see him?  He’s going to be attacked in prison.”  And all I could think was, ‘Oh well.  He should have thought about that before attacking me.’  What I said to her was, “If you had ever been attacked, you would understand.”  And she said, “Oh, I have been.  He attacked/raped (not quite sure which word she said here, but the meaning of what she was saying was very clear) me.  Twice!”  What I wanted to say to her, but didn’t, was, ‘You stupid bitch!  This is your fault for not reporting him to the authorities.  We wouldn’t be here right now if you had reported him.’  What could I actually say to that?  Nothing.  By this time, Bill was in between the sister and me and Laura was trying to pull her away.  I was extremely upset, but saying nothing to her.  As Laura pulled her away, she turned and said to me, “I hope you learn something from this.  And I hope you have a nice life.”  Those statements made me want to attack her.  Really?  Of course, she would have no way of knowing just how much I struggled with what should be done with him and whether he would be better served out of prison than in.  And of all the people to say ‘I hope you learn something from this’ to, I just wasn’t it.  I was learning from it the minute it happened.  Stupid bitch.

I was in absolute shock.  I could not believe what I had just heard.  I couldn’t believe that she verbally attacked me, especially since the judge had just said that there was to be no contact with me, and even though I know cockroach boy did not tell her to say these things to me, it didn’t matter.  In my mind she was disobeying the judge’s direct order.  The D.A. chose this moment to walk up with my order of protection.  (And why I would need a restraining order against someone who is in prison and an order that would expire before his prison sentence is even up always baffled me.)  I/we told the D.A. what the sister had just said.  She thought it interesting, but it’s not like she could do anything about it and it’s not like the sister was suddenly going to report the crimes he committed against her.  And at that point, fat lot of good it would have done anyway.  I just wanted out of the court-house, so the D.A. took us the back way down so I would not have to walk by the father and sister and be attacked, yet again.

Even as I am writing this today, I still feel the anger from that day.   After sitting through cockroach boy’s stupid attorney’s words and then having the sister come after me because I had the nerve to make sure her criminal brother was sent to prison, I was completely spent.  I was so glad this part of the process was behind me now, but there was still a lot healing to be done.  I somehow knew this to be true.

Again, it is amazing to me, looking back, how my mind and body protected me.  How I was able to do what needed to be done in order to come out the other side.  Interestingly, as stressed as my body and mind were during this period, I never got sick.  That is, until after the sentencing.  I normally do not get sick anyway, and I really never get sick in the summer.  About a week later, though, I did get sick.  I got a cold and a hacking cough that kept me from sleeping.  Still, my body waited until after he was sentenced and in prison to allow the overwhelming stress I was going through to manifest into sickness.  Amazing!

THE HEALING CONTINUES

Okay, I know I said that my next post (which would be this one) would be about what happened after I walked out of the court room from cockroach boy’s sentencing to 6 years in prison.  I changed my mind.  Because I did not actually write about my experience and what happened and how I felt that day, I am going to have to write it from what I remember and that is a bit trickier.  So before I sit down and write that, there is another experience I need to deal with.  As I’ve said many times before, the recounting of my attack and all that followed is coming straight, for the most part, from my journal, from what I wrote at the time that it occurred.  And as I am, again, for the most part, doing it chronologically, I am only up to 25 June 2012.  I apologize if this is confusing, but I need to make clear that what I am now going to write about is current, is right now or just a few months in the past.  Have I thoroughly confused you yet?  Perfect..

On Friday, two days ago, I had what will be the first of a series of acupuncture treatments for my foot.  To explain the why for this, I need to go back to January of this year.   The easiest way to explain what happened then is to tell you what I told a cousin of mine:  “I am so glad to hear that I am making your journey just the tiniest bit easier. And it is a journey, with many twists and turns and potholes and setbacks and, best of all, forward motion. I hope you are getting therapy, as well. I know I would not be where I am right now had I not gotten it. And even having had it, there are days that I still question it all. For the most part, though, it’s all good. My boyfriend, who was so supportive and loving and encouraging through the whole 15 months, has decided that it was all too much and broke up with me on Wednesday. I am so grateful that he stayed when I needed him most and know that this is more about him than about me.  Still, I am sad and heartbroken, but I WILL get through this, too.”  Okay, so now you know that I am not no longer with Bill.  It took me just a couple of weeks to realize that he had actually made the right decision.  That realization didn’t necessarily make it easier to deal with the loss, but it did help somewhat.  One of the things I asked him was, ‘Do you think this is a delayed reaction to my attack?’  He said something along the lines of ‘maybe, probably, I don’t know.  All I do know is that you are different since the attack.’  At first this made me mad, until I really thought about it.  The truth is I Am Different, profoundly and fundamentally different, and how could I not be?  I went through an incredibly traumatic experience followed by 13 months of intense therapy that not only dealt with my most recent trauma, but also cleared out all the crap from my childhood that was still festering inside me.  How could I not be different?  In spite of this knowledge, I was still very, very sad.  I woke up every morning crying, I wasn’t sleeping very well at all and as if all that wasn’t enough, my hot flashes came on with a vengeance.

About 3 weeks after the breakup, I had the opportunity to go to Cat Island, Bahamas for 10 days with my parents, brother and nephew.  You better believe I went.  While there I swam, did stand-up paddling, went kayaking and walked 10-12 each day, on the beach, barefooted.  And that is when the pain in my foot started.  I, of course, ignored it, chalking it up to being barefoot more than anything else.  When I got back from my trip it continued to hurt and I continued to walk and do yoga through the pain.  One morning I went out to walk, went a half a block and had to turn around.  It was obvious that I would ignore it no longer.  I initially decided it was a stress fracture, because that was the only thing that made sense.  When I finally went to a physical therapist, he diagnosed it as a neuroma.  Basically, I had nerve damage in my foot and the cause, he said, was overuse.  Well, crap!  So he gave me exercises to do and told me to not stop working out, but to go very easy.  I decided that complete rest was probably a good thing, and stopped walking and doing yoga, altogether.   It has now been 6 weeks of non-activity for the most part.  Let me tell you, for someone who is used to moving a lot, this is pure torture and, delightfully enough, I have gained 5 pounds.   Okay, not delightful at all!  That weight gain probably has nothing to do with the fact that I have been drinking more than normal, as well.

Enter Bill, my now ex-boyfriend.  Yes, we are still friends.  He asked about my foot and I told him it wasn’t getting better and did he have any suggestions for hurrying the process along?  He recommended his client Matthew Truhan, who is a licensed acupuncturist.  So, I emailed him and we set up an appointment for 17 May.  And the best part is he comes to my house so I don’t have to drive wherever it is he lives.  Anyway, in the process of taking my medical history, etc., he asked if I had suffered any trauma lately.  Kind of a loaded question in my case.  So I told him briefly of my attack and also that Bill had broken up with me in January.  Well, his take is that the pain in my foot is actually how my body manifested the breakup!  Okay, that makes perfect sense to me, and now I am doing what needs to be done to heal that damage and pain.  And isn’t it interesting that I am doing the exact same thing with the pain I felt in my heart?

What I find so interesting, as well, is the far-reaching consequences that my attack has had, and continues to have on my life.  It’s certainly not all bad, and I have almost daily reminders and incidences happen that let me know that my PTSD is completely healed, which is good.  So now when I think about how it upset me when Bill said I had changed, I can almost laugh about it, because, of course I changed.  I am certain, too, that I will continue to heal other parts of my life that I may not even be aware of right now.  And one thing I do know, beyond any doubt, is the best is yet to come, that it is on its way right now.  I just have to keep my heart and mind wide open.

THE LONG-DRAWN-OUT PROCESS OF GETTING TO COURT

The original date that we were supposed to go to court, or, rather, the first fitness or readiness hearing was scheduled for the beginning of November 2011.  Then it was continued until January.  Then, because cockroach boy’s attorney still had not gotten his psyche evaluation done, it was continued, yet again, until April, then May.  All of this time waiting was taking an emotional toll on me.  I was worried that we would have an actual trial and worried that we wouldn’t, that for some reason, he’d be let out.  As I mentioned before, the D.A. did nothing but traumatize me with her dire predictions and her seemingly uncaring attitude towards me, the victim of the violent attack.  So, on 24 May 2012 another readiness/fitness hearing was scheduled.  I was so used to postponements at this point that it never occurred to me we might actually move forward in the process.

From my journal 24 May 2012:  12 noon – “He pleaded guilty, which means sentencing will be 21 June at 1:30p.  I will give my victim’s impact statement then.  I am both relieved that I won’t have to testify in a trial and pissed that we had to wait 8 fucking months for this.  Also, cockroach boy wrote me a letter the day of the attack after he was picked up by the police.  In it he expressed his egret, bla, bla, bla.  The D.A. let me read it but wouldn’t let me have a copy of it.  I will ask at the police station here, but chances are they will say no.  I wish I had never read it.  In it he said that he never meant to hurt me, that he hurt himself, too, that he knew I was terrified.  Well, la de da.  Fuck you.  And the “best” news of all is he may only get 365 days, of which he will have served 9 months by sentencing and with credit off for good behavior, he could conceivably walk out of jail that day.  Un-fucking-believable.  I am so mad.  I cannot even process it.”

 

I am in the process right now of again trying to get a copy of that letter he wrote to me.  I tried to get it right after the sentencing, but because he filed an appeal, the case was considered open/active and my request was denied.  Once I have it, I will do a post with his exact words.  I was hoping to have it for this post, but that didn’t happen.  Anyway, the D.A. was traumatizing me in ways she wasn’t even aware.  When she told me that he might get no time, I really lost it.  It seemed inconceivable to me that he could commit a violent crime and potentially spend no time in prison.  I realize this happens all the time, but when you are in the middle of something like that, you really cannot think clearly.  And as I’ve also said several times, my brain was not functioning properly anyway.  This was just another layer of shit heaped on an already huge pile.

 

And from my journal, 26 May 2012:    “I want to contact a local newsperson and offer up my story.  I am still not free to say anything I want to with regards to my experience and I am not sure how or when to approach someone.  I do feel like my victim impact statement is VERY important and that may be the basis of my video that I post on my Facebook and YouTube, etc.  My intention is to grab the attention of the greatest number of people possible so that I can get my project and my message out there.  My mission is to take sexual assault from the hidden to the light.  And that I believe, no, I know, will help countless women who haven’t had a voice or a platform.  I know it will help me, too.  

I keep thinking that not only do I want to get my brain scanned, but I would like for cockroach boy to have his done as well.  Wouldn’t it benefit everyone if he is medicated properly so that he never, ever puts anyone else through what I am going through?  I think it’s important.”  [Note- I never did get my brain scanned, let alone request that he get his done.  I was grateful that the Victim Compensation Fund was paying for my therapy and knew they wouldn’t be open to paying for an expensive brain scan.  Nor did I make a video for YouTube or Facebook.]

 

Now, it seemed, all I could do was wait until the sentencing hearing.  I was not doing much writing about this at the time.  I remember being so tired of the uncertainty.  I was never sure about when it would all end.  Even though we now had a date and a plea, I had no faith that we would actually go to court on 21 June.  And, as it turned out, we didn’t.  The date was postponed until 25 June.  Next post will be my victim impact statement and the story of my day in court.

PUSHING THE ENVELOPE

Before I get to my journal entries, I wanted to tell you that I have been pushing the envelope of darkness, so to speak.  I am still (mostly) afraid of the dark, and going out into it to walk, unless I am walking with someone, is not possible.  Or is it?  Lately, as it gets lighter earlier, I have been going out before it is actually light.  Okay, only by a couple of minutes and only because I know the sun is coming up and it will only get lighter and lighter.  And when I walked at 4:30a the other day with my friend Mike, I was able to meet him part way down my block.  Of course, I watch out the window and can see him turn up my street.  Still, it feels like progress.  I also remind myself of my friend Erin, who was raped 30 years ago in an attack that was similar to mine, in that she passed him, spoke to him and then he grabbed her from behind, and she walks in the dark, sometimes alone, almost every day.  And then there are the odds.  I mean, really, what are the odds of it happening again?  As they say, lightening doesn’t (usually) strike twice in the same place.  I am still very cautious, though.  I expect that at some point I may be able to walk in the dark again.  But maybe not.  And maybe I’ll just continue to push it a little more each day, but never too much.

 

Back to the past and my journal entries:

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Feeling rather crappy today and I’m not sure why.  There is no rhyme or reason to the ups and downs of my emotions.  I walked 6 miles and still feel bad.  I feel okay as I am actually walking and then when I stop, all the crap comes back full-force.  I just want the pain and awful feelings to stop.  Why are they being so difficult to release?

10:25a  Had my shower and cried the entire time.  I can’t believe how bad I am feeling.  I’m back in bed, hoping I can sleep and wake up feeling better.  The thoughts that keep running through my mind are disturbing, to say the least.  It’s like I am in a battle with a part of myself that is determined to make me give into it.  I feel like I cannot not tell anyone this, even Susie, but Monday when I was coming home from therapy, feeling really, really, really low, as I was coming across the bridge, I actually considered stopping, hell, I almost stopped and, well, at the very least would have caused the bridge to be shutdown.  As it turned out, Mike was 2 cars behind me, which I didn’t know until he came up right behind me at the light at Orange.  As far as I can remember, I’ve never come so close to doing something that I don’t think I really want to do.  I continue to fight that annoying part of me that just wants to leave, to check out.  I am trying so very hard not to give in.

11:20a And now I just feel like I’ve been beat.  The feeling of complete hopelessness goes away to be replaced by a feeling of overwhelming exhaustion.   All I can do is sleep.

 

Monday, 23 April 2012

“8:15a  It’s another marine-layery day.  How delightful.  Oh ,that’s right, not so much.  Like I need depressing weather when I am already in a depressed state of mind.

And the big question is – Am I being completely honest with Susie about how I am really feeling?  Not all of the time, but more than I think I should be.”                                               [ Note- I’m not sure what I was thinking when I wrote this.  And I wrote this prior to seeing Susie on this day.  At this point I had not told her what happened on the bridge.  I had not told anyone, including Bill.  And as a matter of fact, I did not tell him until some weeks later.  I was always afraid that if I was completely honest with Susie, she would have me committed to a mental hospital.  I did not write that afternoon when I got home from therapy.]

 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

“5:30a  Had another very fast walk with Mike.  13 1/2 minute miles, which is pretty dang quick.  I’m planning on the 7:30a yoga class, so I am resting until it’s time to leave.

I am very hopeful that, once all of the stuff (SAMe, St. John’s Wort, and whatever that other pill I’ve been taking) is out of my system, Wellbutrin won’t be necessary.  I guess it’s a good thing that I told Susie what’s really going on with me since, it appears, the pills I was taking, at least the St. John’s Wort, was making me worse instead of better.  I just want to not feel like I do”.

 

So, the St. John’s Wort was making me suicidal.  I should clarify that.  It was making me even more suicidal.  Although I am not bipolar as my brother and my uncle are, it turns out I am in the bipolar spectrum and what that means is, just as there are certain drugs and/or supplements a person with bipolar disorder should never be given, someone who is in the bipolar spectrum has to be treated in the same way.   Had I not told my therapist what happened, there is no telling what I might have done.  As I said, I do not remember ever coming so close to doing something about my desire to leave this world.  It’s not like I ever had a plan or have ever thought much past the idea of not being here anymore.  This incident really scared me, and even though I did not tell Susie right away, I did tell her the next week.  She immediately knew it was what I was taking; something that was supposed to make me feel better, was making me so much worse.  I couldn’t just stop taking it, either.  I had to taper off of it.  Eventually, all of what I was taking got out of my system.  At that point, I was afraid to take anything.  My body has such weird reactions to medications and after this horrible episode, I didn’t trust anything.  In the end, I decided to go without any kind of medication.  Should I have tried a ‘real’ antidepressant?  Maybe, but I chose not to.  As I said in an earlier post, I thought that  I was not clinically depressed, but situationally depressed.  It was what I was going through and I felt like once I got through the therapy, I would be okay.  I was, however, open to it if Susie really thought I needed it.  I was lucky that I was being monitored and that I was finally honest with Susie.

ANOTHER PART OF THE (VERY LONG) PROCESS

After coming out of shock, the fun was just beginning.  Believe me, I use the term ‘fun’ very sarcastically here.  As you will read in the next several entries from my journal, my initial conversation with the D.A. that precipitated my coming out of shock only served to confuse me further when I met with her the day before a scheduled hearing to see what was what and where everything stood at that point.  Really, I was a complete mess at this point in the process.

 

17 January 2012

I may have moved from shock to anger, but now I’m feeling a lot more depressed.  I am meeting with the D.A. today.  She needs to know who I am and that I am expecting her to do her absolute best to make sure cockroach boy pays for his crimes.  Oh, I definitely have mixed feelings about it all.  On the one hand, he violently attacked me and I KNOW he’ll do it again if he is not in jail.  I also know that in jail/prison he will just learn to be a better criminal and may do even worse things when he gets out.  So what’s the answer?  That I do NOT know.  And it turns out that cockroach boy apparently has bipolar disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome.  Oh well, doesn’t excuse his actions one little bit.

 

18 January 2012

Off to the fitness hearing.  Oh, joy.

 

20 January 2012

And more joy — the trial/case/whatever you want to call it is postponed/continued for another 8-10 weeks.  I don’t know the exact dates yet since the D.A. didn’t bother to call and let me know.

 

21 January 2012

6AM  Feeling very overwhelmed and depressed, like something very heavy is sitting on me. Mother’s suggestion – just don’t feel it.  Ah, okay.  If only it were that easy.  I’m feeling like I did when I was still in shock and had no control over what my body was doing.  All I could do was go along for the ride.  This is so much like when I came back from Spain and no one knew the true extent (hell, they didn’t have a clue) of how I was feeling.  No way am I telling Bill.  I feel like I have to ‘put on my happy face’ around him.  It’s not that he wouldn’t be supportive, but I’m not sure he’d understand, not really.  No one can.  I feel all alone.

 

23 January 2012

I actually feel like I am not going to make it, like this is all too much, that the ‘injury’ my brain has suffered is just one thing too many in a life full of one thing after the other, that it truly won’t get better in time, that all the EMDR is doing is stirring up all the old crap and nothing good will ever come from that.

We didn’t even get to the EMDR today.  Suzie gave me the brain assessment test again.  Turns out I’m depressed and I have excessive anxiety and I’m a little something else, which I forget.  Probably has something to do with memory.  I even saved getting my Sprinkles cupcake until this morning when I was leaving La Jolla to go to therapy.  Of course, I couldn’t eat it when I got it because I had an empty stomach and a cupcake on an empty stomach isn’t such a good idea.  So I waited until I got home and ate lunch.  Then I finally ate it.  It didn’t taste so good to me.  Maybe I’ve reached my cupcake limit.

I can feel my heart beating ad I can tell my breathing is not right.  Also, I think Emily is pretty close to dying.  I held her when I got home.  She did purr for me but she won’t eat.  I told her it’s okay if she leaves.  I also asked God to let her go to sleep and not wake up.  It’s not that I want her to die, it’s just that I cannot take her to the vet and have her put to sleep.  I don’t think she would want that.  I just need for her not to wake up.  I can just add that to my PTSD list.  Her death, I mean.

 

24 January 2012

6:30AM  I can feel myself sinking further and further into the hole.  It’s just like when I was feeling that my brain wasn’t working properly and there was nothing I could do about it.  It’s a terrible feeling.

 

25 January 2012

I knew Emily would not be alive this morning.

 

27 January 2012

Still keep looking out the window to see Emily in her chair and when I slept until 7:30 this morning, I thought, gotta get up to feed Emily.  Can’t believe she’s really gone.

 

28 January 2012

It is so weird to NOT have to get up to feed Emily.  She is my first thought each morning.

Today is my 5th day of taking SAMe.  Do I feel better?  No idea.  It’s probably too soon to have kicked in, anyway.  It is sunny today, which does help, and it’s supposed to be 80 degrees.  That really helps.

 

So as you can see, I had a lot going on.  Dealing with my 20-year-old cat dying was just another added thing I clearly did not need.  And even though it has been a year now since she died, every time I come through my back gate, I turn to look at her chair, expecting, I guess, to see her waiting there.  I did bury her in my backyard, so I can ‘visit’ her whenever I feel like it.  It’s not the same as having her here.  Not even close.

Another strange thing is happening to me.  The other day I was talking with a friend I had not seen in something like 7 or 8 months and she was asking about the sentencing and all that had transpired since we last sat down and really talked.  I had trouble remembering the details, which, of course, at the time I thought I’d never forget.  I said to her that I hoped I had written about that experience.  Turns out I didn’t.  It is funny how our minds work, whether it is to protect us or to keep us safe in some way.  That’s why I think the retelling of what happened to me and how I felt at the time is so important.  What is also nice to know, is that I was able to completely heal from this.  I think I may have mentioned before that when I read or tell my story now, it seems like I am talking about someone else.  I feel a sense of sadness and empathy, but it doesn’t feel like it’s me.  I guess that’s good.  And my EMDR really worked the way it is meant to work.  (Thanks, Susie!)

20 NOVEMBER, 10 DECEMBER 2011

It was brought to my attention that my posts are unclear, so before I get to my journal entries, I just want to make clear exactly what it is I am posting.  When the title of my post is a date from 2011 (and 2012 after this post), that means it is an entry from my journal, from that time, of what I was feeling, going through and dealing with.  I also want to be clear that I am through my therapy and my PTSD is completely gone.  I am no longer depressed (or at least not to the extent I was immediately following the attack and for most of the healing process) and am not in any danger of ‘checking out’ early from this life of mine.  I am attempting to tell my story chronologically so that anyone following it can understand what I was thinking and feeling then.  My feelings now are different and once the entire story is written, I will be getting into my the continued process and journey.  I realize that some of what I write is hard to read, and it does get far worse before it gets better.  The whole reason for doing this, though, is to hopefully help others who are in a similar situation and feeling as if they are going stark-raving mad.  That certainly is how I felt a lot of the time.

Just a couple of short entries today…

20 November 2011

My horoscope today is worthy of recording in here:  ‘A rush of optimism and enthusiasm could propel you into a more positive frame of mind, and you could accomplish wonders.  Your circumstances may be turned upside down [understatement of the year, my words.] A move is possible, as is a change in your work.  Don’t cling to the shore – flow with the current.  Success and good fortune are on the way as long as you let them happen.’  Oh, yes, I like the sound of this.  It’s kind of what I’ve been thinking and feeling for a while now. Just need to allow it in.

10 December 2011

Last night Bill asked me if I was planning on walking this morning.  I told him I didn’t know, that I’d see if I could.  He then pointed out the probable reason that I seem to have so much trouble walking on Saturday mornings now: the attack happened on a Saturday morning.  Oh my gosh, how did I not realize this before?  That makes so much sense.

Well, we officially start the EMDR on Monday.  Another day that is very difficult for me.

14 NOVEMBER, 19 NOVEMBER 2011

14 November

Therapy was tough today.  I almost cried.  The tears just wouldn’t come out.  It was when I was talking about Andy.  Also, Susie said she thinks my talking is my tears.  For now.  That’s probably why I am talking so much about the attack.  To everyone I see.

I think that when I was growing up, I never felt that I mattered, that I was not important.  I think I still feel that way a lot of the time.  I mean, and I know I’ve said this before at various other times in my life, I’m 51 years old and I have nothing to show for it  —  no husband, no kids, no house, no money.  Oh sure, I have a talent for making beautiful things, and a portfolio full of pictures of those beautiful things, but what does that really mean?  I think I’m trying to make myself feel relevant.  I know there are quite a lot of people who would miss me if I were gone, but what does it take for me to feel that I matter while I’m here?  I think writing my autobiography is a step in the right direction.  Also, writing about what I’m going through now.  I cannot be the only one who is experiencing it, though why no one else has come forward or no one I know has ever been attacked, I can’t figure out.  No one talks about it.  And I can’t seem to shut up.  And then there’s the annoying little voice that keeps saying, ‘Why do you think what you have to say is important?’ and ‘Why do you think anyone will even be interested or listen or care?’ and ‘Maybe I am the only one who this matters to.’  

And seriously, what’s the worst thing that can happen to me for writing it all down on my blog?  No one reads it?  I only help myself get through it?  Well, so what?  The whole point is to get me through it and if I happen to help someone else along the way, great.  If not, well, I will have still helped me.  It’s not like anyone is really reading my blog these days anyway.  I do need to figure out a way to increase my readership AND have people leave comments.  I want, no, I NEED to know that I’m not just wasting my time.  (Note- The blog I am referring to here is http://www.alittleofthisthatandtheother.blogspot.com and even before the attack I was having a bit of trouble posting on a regular basis.  After, I tried to go on as if nothing had happened, occasionally making a veiled reference to something, but never coming totally clean.  After I launched this site, I foolishly thought I could do posts on both.  That has not happened.)

19 November 2011

Slowly, but ever so slowly, I am realizing I have a very deep sense that I simply do not matter.  I, of course, l know this is ridiculous, and yet, the feeling is still there.  This was pointed out to me last Monday in therapy.  When I was talking about how mean my brothers were and how I got no relief from Mother until I took the drastic measure of running away from home, Susie asked me if I felt that I didn’t matter?  I said, yes, and I’ve thought about it a lot this past week.  I’m not sure why I feel this way.  Oh, I can understand why I would have felt it before, but not after Hoffman and all the subsequent work I’ve done to deal with my past.  Apparently, though, it is still there.  Rats!

The Hoffman gathering today was pretty powerful for me.  The topic was Gratitude.  My first thought was, ‘of course I am grateful for everything.’  And then I thought more about that and realized it was the perfect topic for me because, although I am definitely grateful for a lot of things, I am not nearly in the frame of mind I was pre-attack.  I can’t even thank God for my island anymore.  That has got to shift for me.  I am working on it, but maybe I really do need to ‘fake it ’til I feel it again.’  Kind of like the releasing resentment prayer that Mike sent me.  I’ve been doing it and I’m pretty sure I’ve done it for more than 14 consecutive days and I’ve yet to feel any less mad or resentful towards cockroach boy.   Still, I’ll keep doing it.  It certainly cannot hurt anything and may be helping me in ways I am not even aware of.  (Another note – the releasing resentment prayer I mentioned here is an amalgamation from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and says the following: “God, please help me show ____ the same tolerance, compassion and patience that I would cheerfully grant a sick friend.  This is a sick person God.  Save me from being angry and resentful.  Thy will be done.  I ask for everything that I want for myself to be given to him.  I ask for his health, his prosperity and his happiness.”   Say it for 14 consecutive days and see if it doesn’t help you release your resentment.  Remember that this is for your peace of mind and serenity, not his.)