Saturday, June 18, 2011


Edited from an email I sent earlier to a fellow traveler in recovery: 

The depression seems only to deepen and it's too early to tell if the neurofeedback is working (only one session) and I'm terrified that I'll end up in that fun-house of brain meds. I get it that they work, and that it's a possibility that must be not just entertained but embraced should it come to that, but I also get it that medicines for the brain are an inexact and tricky science. They too often don't work quite right, or deliver as many side effects as relief, or that many struggle for months and months with their doctor trying to land on something that actually feels right and good, and while they wait for the balance to be found, they struggle because whatever state your brain is in? THAT'S your goddamned reality for the moment. 

And yet, while I wait for whatever it is that's going to work, my family is falling apart around me and I don't trust myself to do or say the right thing, ever, because I don't trust that I could even know what that right thing is given my state of mind. That I'm dysfunctional is an understatement, and while I appreciate that my therapist, or my readers, or my sister, or whoever thinks I'm swell and intelligent and therefore I'll get through this, damage is being done RIGHT NOW. What the hell have I allowed to grow and fester in my family, in my children because of the damage that was done to me? Damage that I didn't, for so long, even recognize as damage. Just something I overcame and patted myself on the back for, only to collapse over and over into piles of rubble under the weight of various new abuses and traumas. Every time, I picked it up, patched things together, and marched on. Marched straight into the same old battle telling myself I would be stronger than the enemy and only just now realizing I can never be stronger than the enemy of myself. 

This depression really started three years ago with a double trauma that I've not been able to recover from despite applying all that had worked before. I have grown weary and tired of myself this way. I am disgusted with myself this way. I am angry at Roi, at my ex-husband, at people whose care I was entrusted to when I was too young to know how to defend myself, at the sensitive constitution I was given, at life circumstances, and yes, even my children. But I'm angry at myself too. It doesn't work to tell myself this isn't helpful because there it is. There it bloody is. And it's all arising from a cesspool of sickness and not knowing the right ways of being. 

I've been thinking about the ways in which Roi conned me, then slowly eroded my control through manipulation and deceit, and of course I'm angry. I can't convince myself it isn't justified. But I can't ignore either that my thinking was so distorted. That when the first real betrayal was revealed, I let him excuse it. I excused it. And I wondered why he didn't love me more instead of wondering why I would want the love of someone who betrayed in such a way. I punished myself and I punished him, but it never crossed my mind to care about myself. To take care of myself. 

And that, THAT is the fundamental problem. 


  1. Oh honey... big (((hugs))). I relate to this on so many levels-- dysfunction enveloping me every which way I turn and it started from birth. And then... God gave me not one, but two children with neurological impairments. Bad luck? karma?

    maybe just fucked up genes.

    Its so difficult to see one's way outta the muck when we're up to our eyeballs in it, but I see in you a strong determined woman and I do believe that you will find your way.

    Sometimes, I have found when I'm completely overwhelmed and I don't know if this will help you or not, (and as always, any "advice" that I suggest that doesn't feel right please ignore) ;) but if I change only ONE thing... and for me its the one thing that is wearing the most on my soul--(that makes me feel like a total loser for not doing) and its something that is easily within MY power. In my case, right now, its focusing more on my work by creating a new website (so that I can make some fucking money) that was that ONE thing... and then each day that I spend hours working on it, I feel like a (more) worthwhile person. Don't worry if it takes months to make even that ONE change. (it did me!)It can also be something really small, but just one change. I have found that focusing on ONE behavior to be helpful when dealing with our autistic son, as well.



  2. I am taking care of that one thing, which is the only thing I can focus on right now, and that's dealing with the depression and trauma. From there, learning how to be more resilient, more whole, and more protective of myself born out of knowing what is good for me and what is not.

    Thank you for your comment Lexie.

  3. I just saw what you said to Jez and THAT is exactly what I meant. Focusing on depression and trauma are TWO things ;) and also very broad subjects. But, making that one change like you were just talking about could inadvertently bring about the changes you are seeking without clutching onto it all so tightly as this thing to overcome. Its not that it will provide all of the answers, but it might provide the impetus and forward movement that will get you to a higher point where you can begin to see the answers more readily. Does that make any sense?

    When my son with autism was younger (about 8) and tantruming constantly throughout the entire day, where I thought I would lose my mind, I just wanted it all to stop and it was all so overwhelming, but when I focused on dealing with just one behavior that was the very worst thing... (dinner, at that point), it spilled over into the entire day in a positive way. best ~ Lexie

  4. Treating the symptom (depression) while in the middle of the problem (insert something to do with being enmeshed with an abusive person here) is such a conundrum. It is like swimming upstream in the rapids wearing a life jacket. I know. It's basically what I've been trying to do with my depression and Jermaine.

    Have I made progress? I've been able to prevent being pulled under and swept downstream, yes. Am I exhausted and sometimes only artificially afloat? Yes. Would it be better if I was not in contact with Jermaine at all? Yes. Right now, our situations are almost the same as a kidnapper providing a victim a therapist while they are still in captivity. It might do an ounce of good, but it is hard because the problem is still very much there.

    The good news (after all my rambling) is that you are actively, and thirstily, seeking help. Damage has been done, in theory to my family-my child, too, but the healing will come because we are working so damn hard to heal ourselves. That's a fucking fact. It might not have crossed your mind to take care of yourself then, but you're thinking about it now. Some people never do.

  5. Kelly,

    "It is like swimming upstream in the rapids wearing a life jacket."

    Precisely, yes, how it feels. I have to close myself emotionally to him, even to my children, while simultaneously learning how to open to various pain and wounds in order to give them some air to heal. I have to behave in new ways while those around me are stuck in old dynamics, some of them my fault (I'm not beating myself up, just being realistic), but my new ways are shaky and not informed yet from a healthy foundation. I am having to act as if while not being at all sure about what even the as if should be.

    Trying to figure out how to drive a wrecked train when I've never known how to drive an unwrecked train.