Weapons of Silence…

I’ve been very cautious with my words lately. It is frightening to speak, and to write. It seems when I do, something happens to silence me. But I’m beginning to feel a pressure build up. My head is too full. My feelings too strong. I’ve lost the ability to fully dissociate and pack things away for long lengths of time. It’s exhausting. The voices inside my head are loud and other parts of me are taking over more and more, intruding into my life, wanting to be seen and heard. I push back hard, attempting to silence them. I feel like I’m losing control.

The other day an image from my childhood came to me. I feel much like the pheasant being hunted in the Disney movie, Bambi. She is hiding in the grass, knowing the hunter is getting closer and closer. She feels terror and can’t stay still. It’s too much. Other birds tell her…don’t fly…don’t fly…but she can’t take the pressure and she flies out of the grass and she exposes herself and is shot and dies. That is what I feel and fear will happen to me.

I’ve had many warnings when I have tried to “fly.” I have learned not to speak. Not to expose. Not to tell the secrets of my soul. They have mostly worked, as well. I felt strong and brave once. Not anymore. So, I don’t speak. I don’t know how long I can do this, though. I’m restless. I’m scared. But I can’t take it much longer. I feel it in my bones. I know they’ll come after me. I know it will hurt. But…the pressure…

Truth. Exposure. I must fly. I don’t think I care anymore if i die.

Rainbows and Butterflies…

I was walking outside yesterday and started listening to a podcast. Lavar Burton, a famous actor, was being interviewed. I was thinking as I listened it was weird that I didn’t recognize his name given the amount of accolades this man has earned in the television and Hollywood worlds and his connection to shows that were a large part of my childhood. I didn’t get very far in the interview, however, before I reached my home and shut it off.

Later in the day, I was sitting in my car waiting to pick my daughter up from school. It had been over a week since I had spent any time online reading news updates. I surfed around and eventually opened twitter. The first thing in my feed is a long thread about…Lavar Burton. This was a very weird coincidence seeing this man’s name twice in only a few hours when I had zero recollection of ever hearing about him before. This immediately peaked my interest…because I know, when these types of things happen, they are not really coincidences.

As I read through the thread, tears started flowing. My heart raced, and pictures of torture flashed through my head. I was chained to a bed. I was strapped to a chair. Lights flashed as my body seared in shock and pain. Bright lights flashed around me. I was naked and running. I was holding a bleeding baby…and then the music started playing through my head…

“Butterfly in the sky…I can go twice as high…”

…Images of blue butterflies, rainbows, and swirling black lines spinning in a spiral danced in my brain. I saw images flash of a woman with long, straight, dark hair sitting in a chair across from me. She quizzed me and punished me if I didn’t respond the way she wanted me too.  I had to repeat numbers, listen to ring tones, repeat phrases in a language I can hear in my head but do not understand today. Command after command after command…

I don’t know what any of this means. The things I see in my head are so out of this world sometimes but also so familiar and command so much attention. Once the images arrive, they never go away. I see them continuously. I sift through them as my days go on trying to understand what my brain is showing me. I don’t know what to think about myself anymore. I can’t put together a full picture or event, which just leaves me more confused and scared. I’m tired. I want to understand what I am feeling and seeing. I don”t know how.

Speak Little Ones…

C’mon baby girl…just cry.

C’mon little one…it’s ok.

C’mon sweet child…hold my hand.

C’mon teenager…you can be brave.

C’mon young adult…fight through the fog.

C’mon beautiful, strong woman…you can do hard things.

I know you feel stuck, because I do too. I know you have so much to say but are too scared. I’m scared too. But I want to know our story. We can do this. We can get through this. We can find safety and be free. Tell me what I need to know. Help me put the puzzle pieces together. Show me everything. I don’t want to be confused anymore. We can do hard things together. We can write a new story for ourselves. We can be free. Don’t be afraid. Just speak.

I’ve Had Enough…

This past week has been very hard. My body is worn and hurting, as is my emotional and mental state. I am trying to calm myself down as best as I know how, but also allow myself to feel what needs to be felt. I am still numb and feel like I’m just a shell of nothing. I feel disrupted and off balance inside and the voices in my mind have decided to share with me more things that have happened in my past. I’ve resisted listening and accepting for the most part, and have forced myself out into the sunshine daily, to the gym, and the pool with my kids as distractions. It has helped some, but the event of last week still stings.

I was walking today and was approached by a man who appeared to be in his 60’s, driving a dark blue, mid sized SUV. I didn’t recognize him and thought maybe he was a neighbor until he rolled down his window and said “I’ve been watching you walk around. I have a message for you…” Instinct kicked in immediately and I knew this was a bad situation. I looked straight into his eyes and said fiercely, “I do not consent to anything. I refuse to comply with any command you attempt to give me. If you don’t leave me alone, or follow me again, I will use every power and resource I have to blow the roof off of this bullshit operation and will start publicly naming names.” I spun around and walked away. I don’t know what happened to him or where he went. I never turned around to see. I was too afraid of what might come next so I just kept my eyes focused straight ahead and went home and locked all the doors.

My entire body burned with anger…BURNED. I am tired of the pursuits. The assaults. The  manipulating attempts by my family, my husband, and whoever these people are, to scare me into submission and silence. I am done. DONE. I want my life back…I want my life! I want freedom and safety and calm. The assault in my home last week has been eating at me, and this and that experience have really opened the floodgates of emotion and rebellion inside of me. I do not want to live in this fear anymore. I do not want to be controlled. I have to escape all of this. Somehow.

I wish I had engaged a little more…because now, in hindsight, I’m curious about what he was going to say to me. But deep down I know that would have been playing with fire. I know in my childhood, I was taught to behave certain ways on command. I know I was trained to do things I did not want to do. I know I am still  accessed and triggered today to self harm, comply, react, and recoil into silence. I’ve accepted it and haven’t really fought it. I’ve felt that I could never win or get away. I tried so many times in my past only to be chased and reigned back in.

I’m not going to shut this blog down. I’m not going to stop talking about what my body is revealing to me. I am not going to shrink into a ball (as much) anymore and bury things deep down inside. At one time I could. It was immediate and natural. Now my body fights me when I do. It doesn’t stay quiet. Even when I desperately want it all to just go away, it refuses.

I feel the need to say I am not suicidal. I am not willingly or purposefully acting in self destructive ways. I am not planning to run away or disappear. I love my children and will not intentionally leave them or abandon them. If I disappear or go missing, it is not on purpose and should immediately be considered suspicious. I need all of this to end. I need to heal and find health and freedom and safety. I need to figure out how to get away from this evil.

The Girl In A Cage…

A little girl talked to me yesterday. I was sitting on my bed deep in thought and was surprised by her presence. I wasn’t sure what to do or say so I lay there silent, with my eyes closed, and listened. She told me a story of something that happened to her. This is what she said…

“In the underground there are cages. It is dark and cold and scary there. It is sad and painful. I cried a lot. Not out loud though, because if you do, that is bad and you get in trouble. You can only lay down with your legs curled up to your stomach. You can’t talk to the others who are next to you. If you do, they will take you and do things to you. They burn you. They eat you. They cut you open. They tie you up and put things inside of you. They scream in your face. They hit you and don’t stop until you stop making noise. I don’t like it here. I can never leave. They will chase me and take me back. I have to do what they say or they will cut me. Or burn me. No one will help me. Everyone forgets about me. I try to tell them what’s happening but they all stop talking to me. They are too busy.  I don’t think they believe me “

When she was done talking, she cried.

This story took the little life that I had left out of me. It has frozen me in a way that I have not felt in a very long time. I feel stuck in that cage again. With no power and no will to fight for freedom. I can only sit there and obey. It is the safest thing to do. I want to help her but I don’t know how. I want to save her but I don’t know who she is or why she came to me. I want to talk to someone about this but no one is there.

Moon Baby…

In the darkness of the night I stood in front of the stone table. I was led there with no clothing on, blood dripping down my legs, holding an infant. The man with no hair nodded to me and I placed the baby onto the table.  There was a fire burning underneath.

This image has reappeared over and over in my head. My body goes numb, shuts down, every time it appears. And for days after I feel sick to my stomach. I vomit. My head hurts. My heart races. I cannot sleep. I cannot eat.

Each time it returns I close my eyes in fear. Pushing it down as hard as I can, trying to avoid the unavoidable overwhelm. A voice in my head repeats over and over “She’s burning. She’s burning. She’s burning. She’s Burning…” And the glow of the fire fills my eyes and covers the image. I’ve screamed. I’ve panicked. I’ve cried and fallen to the floor praying no one finds me.

Oh God. What have I done?

…the fire burns…I am praised…I am tied…I am touched…I am used over and over for celebration…

My gaze goes up and I float into the top of the giant trees. I hide and rest in the canopy, hoping no one will find me and make me come down ever again. But they always did. Over, and over, and over, and over.

Secret Friendship…

In the underground rooms there was a young girl like me who I now know was in labor. I was in the room next to her and I heard them through the door say “she is ready.” I could hear she was in pain. I heard footsteps and a door open and close. I know they had left her alone in the room. She cried and she moaned. I got up from my bed and I peered through the door. I saw her laying there alone and afraid, wearing nothing. She rocked back and forth, side to side.

I was sad for her. I knew the pain she was in. I made a dangerous choice and walked through the doors over to her. I talked to her and held her hand. I started to cry with her and I rubbed her belly in an effort to comfort her and soothe her pain. I told her that I hated it when they touched my stomach and asked her if she hated it too and she said yes. We smiled at each other and cried together. She groaned and began to vomit.

A flurry of black and white rushed into the room towards me. I froze while I clung to her hand.  There was yelling and words I could not understand. My head whipped backwards and my body was grabbed from behind.

I can feel the fear of that moment in my throat. I can hear the grunts of my own voice as my body jerked backwards and violently shook. I don’t know what happened after that. The pictures in my head disappear. I never saw her again.

Cycling…

My body is experiencing sensory overload. It’s overwhelming. I’m forced to shut myself down and numb every last cell of my being. It works for awhile, until the images push their way to the front of my mind. Tears leak. Hands shake. My heart pounds loud and fierce. Fear and anxiety fill my soul. I fight and shut it down again. I need to forget. The cycle repeats over and over. See. Watch in Horror. Fear. Anxiety. Overwhelm. Numb. Repeat.

I watched as they laid his small naked body on the ground. His arms outstretched and wrists bound. His feet and ankles entangled in ropes that made the shape of an X around them. Eyes wide in fear, he is erected high. The knife touched his chest. He screamed and cried out. I remember how his body shook so violently, his eyes and mouth so wide. I stood, rigid, and still, frozen, watching the blood stream down his belly, his legs, to his feet. His head dropped down. They opened his stomach. They opened his legs. They opened his arms. They said he was an angel. His skin pulled to make his wings. My hair blew in the wind. My knees shook. I knew he would never come back down from there. My stomach feels sick. I do not move. I know not to move. I wonder if I will become an angel too. I wonder this to this day. When will they come for me?

My insides are full of evil. Gruesome. Unbelievable. Unimaginable. What has happened to me? When will this end? I don’t want to see this anymore. Close my eyes. Push it away. Breathe it out. Forget. I have to forget.

No. Open your eyes. Stay alert. They are coming…closing in. I cannot hide forever. I am afraid. I am overwhelmed. Stuff it down. Numb it out…

I am evil.

A Slow Suicide…

The self harm game is strong right now. It’s fighting a fierce battle to take me down. I’m spiraling. It was a subtle swirl that started a few months ago. I didn’t notice or recognize it at first. But in hindsight, I see it rearing it’s ugly head. Tightening it’s grip. And somehow, just like that, it’s programming has taken over and I am it’s prisoner trying fiercely to get free.

I had gained a lot of headway in my life last fall. I had taken control of my health. I had reversed illness that had plagued me for years almost to the point of complete body failure. My anxiety was under control. My body was the strongest it has ever been. Emotionally, I was steady and grounded. Therapy was productive and introspective, hard, but tolerable and progressively helpful. I was taking steps forward. So I thought. But somewhere in that process of healing, things went awry. My healthy habits of eating well and exercising turned compulsive and into an eating disorder with a frightening diagnosis of atypical anorexia nervosa. Exercise turned into an addictive drug and eating became a punitive practice, a means to relive past trauma in a covert way.

Feelings that had been stuffed and buried under the guise of my new leaf on life began leaking. My body is trying desperately to purge the memories, to make sense of them, to bring them to my awareness. I don’t want to see them. I’m scared of what I see. I don’t understand. I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel in control. And the more I try to “be in control” the more out of control I become.

In therapy a couple months ago, I began moving my fingernails back and forth on the top of my hand. Digging deeper as the distress and memory erupting from inside intensified. I was completely shut down as I recounted what happened with my therapist and after I got into bed later that night my husband pointed out the cuts across the top of my hand. Like a perfect four lane track…bloody and raw. I had no idea I had done that. I didn’t feel it. I was still numb. And then it happened again in therapy a few weeks later. This time, my therapist caught it, but not before I had dug so deep into my skin I now have a scar to remind me daily of the turmoil that brews inside of me.

I haven’t cut myself since I was a teen…over 25 yrs ago. Now, I have to fight the automatic response to do so when I feel overwhelmed and go numb. Is it a way to try and ground myself? To feel something? A punishment I inflict on myself for telling secrets I’m not supposed to reveal? I don’t know. But I want to stop doing it.

When I was a child, food was both restricted and tightly controlled. It was also offered as a reward for compliance. Eating became a confusing practice. I was punished and food was withheld if I did not obey or if a lesson needed to be learned. But I was rewarded with food of I did obey or my training was successful. It was used as bribery to do things I did not want to do. It was used as bait to lure me into vulnerable situations where I became trapped and used. When I realized my eating was becoming an issue I sought out help and the anorexia diagnosis followed. I agreed to more therapy. And I started. But then something weird happened. I did a full 180 and self-sabotaged/self-harmed again. I stopped exercising. I stopped all self care. I stopped eating well. I stopped every “good habit” I had put in to place and went backwards. I stopped restricting and ate everything. I ate all the foods given to me to lure me into abuse. Ice cream, candy, fast food…whatever it was…things I have long avoided and refuse to even look at, I eat and relive my trauma. I also suspect now as I contemplate this, I was trying to regain control. Trying to prove there was no eating disorder, I got this, I’m not wasting away, I’m not restricting on purpose, I’m not punishing myself…

I’ve made myself sick again. I’ve spiraled down fast and furious, after I swore I would never go back to feeling that way. Every day I subconsciously look for something to do to hurt and punish myself for being so awful, for failing, for remembering, for telling my secrets. I don’t know why I do it and I don’t even know I do it sometimes. It happens automatically. Like a different person has taken over my body. I don’t feel like me anymore. I’ve lost myself. I feel so much shame and guilt. I feel like a failure. I feel small and vulnerable and afraid. I’m afraid of myself and what this might escalate to next. I’m alone in a darkness I haven’t seen in a very long time.