Thursday, July 14, 2011

The past week

I feel as though I've been all over the place emotionally in the past week. The anger that I discussed in my last post subsided and was replaced with state of alternating between desperation for help and feeling resigned to just be. I felt incredibly alone over the weekend dealing with some new and painful memories that I couldn't share b/c other parts were so adamant that we could not share the information. Parts were threatening self-injury and death if we told. Now, that may not have happened, but I've learned over the years not to take those threats lightly. I've never been in a place of truly wanting to share the pain I was in and feeling "bullied" into not being able to. Other parts were in that place while the abuse was occurring, but I didn't have that specific experience. I've not shared things in the past by my choice, but never b/c someone else wouldn't let me.

Monday's therapy session broke through a lot of barriers and diffused some parts who were threatening self-harm. I gotta admit. I don't think therapist knew exactly what she was doing, but she did some great work helping parts do a 180 in thinking really quickly. I actually think this is part of what makes her an awesome therapist. She does great work even when she's not fully sure what to do to help me. :) By the time we left her office Monday, safety was no longer an issue and we were able to share the information we'd been dying to share but were too afraid to share.

Over the next couple of days, my rational mind thought this was great. In some aspects I had more of my life back. My emotional mind was still a wreck. There's a lot of new pain setting in regarding the new information that was shared and the shifting taking place inside. Safety is not an issue but some of the pain still feels overwhelming. Several younger parts who are in a lot of pain noticed that we didn't talk to therapist as much and she didn't check in on us between sessions once safety wasn't a concern. This a+b=c thinking led parts to think that the only way to get the attention that they felt we needed was to threaten to or actually self-injure. We spent the next 48 hours arguing with ourselves about how self-injury does not actually equate to safety just b/c people pay more attention to us. We got to talk to therapist about this yesterday, and it was helpful. It didn't "fix" everything, but she helped put parts minds at ease that she doesn't forget about them or not care about them during the times we're not speaking to her - it's not an out of sight, out of mind situation.

Today I feel blah. Not having any self-injury impulses, thankfully. But I want to cry and I think I'd be very content to just lie on my couch all day. On top of all of this therapy stuff, I've had a lot of strong emotions regarding my husband. See, he's on his way home from his 2nd deployment to Afghanistan. He started his trip home Sunday and we thought he'd be home yesterday, but there have been delays, and as of yesterday he was still in Afghanistan. I haven't talked to him in almost 24 hours, so I'm praying he's somewhere in route home now, but I really have no idea. I'm so ready for him to be home, and the emotional drain of thinking he's on his way, then he's not, then he is, then he's not, and now I don't know is almost more than I can handle on top of all of the other emotionally draining situations.

I haven't blogged in several days b/c I don't feel I've been able to articulate what I really feel or want to say. I'm still not sure I succeeded to day. I'm really just hoping this entry makes sense at this time.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I feel like fighting... I don't care who. I don't care how. My frustration and anger levels are running so high today that I just want to fight. Luckily I am still grounded enough to know that nothing good would come from fighting. I've holed up in my house today and am avoiding basically everyone. I don't trust myself to not lash out hurtfully at people I don't really want to hurt.

Anger is just boiling under the surface and refusing to take it out on myself has me now wishing to express it externally. I got ready to go for a run thinking I could wear myself out. Usually exercise is a great outlet for me. Today, however, I feel utterly exhausted despite the emotional energy under the surface. My body didn't want to cooperate, and the run didn't happen. Part of my low energy yesterday and today may be due to adjusting my diet. My doctor suggested I cut out dairy b/c of some digestive issues to see if that helps. Dairy has always been a huge source of protein, calcium, and energy for me, so this is a challenge. It's only day 2, so I'm not good at finding alternates yet. It's a work in progress that will improve, but I'm probably failing at getting all of the nutrients I need right now.

I've tried busying myself with housework, and I've watched a movie. These things are keeping me busy but nothing has help. I spent some time in prayer and tried to work on a Bible study. The Bible study doesn't seem to be happening either. Satan leave me alone!!!

Gripe, gripe, gripe... Whine, whine, whine... Pity party. I'm so over myself. Can I get a break from me?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Balancing Life and Therapy: Part II

This is the second part of the last post. I broke it into two parts b/c I was afraid it was getting too long.


In the winter of 2008, I hit rock bottom. Everything I had tried to rescue my life and my future seemed to fail. I'd spent 10 years in therapy, 3 years totally devoted to therapy, and I was still in and out of hospitals and no more closer having the life I wanted than when I started.

I have to give credit to the changes that took place in the winter/spring of 2008 to God. Sure, I worked my tail off, but the changes for me happened when I quit trying how to figure out how to make things better myself and I turned the 'how' over to Him. In the past 3 years, I've manged to make some good progress in therapy and do things I never thought possible in my life. I got a full-time job and did great there. I met an amazing man, fell in love, got married, and am actually in a healthy relationship. I went back to school and got a 2nd graduate degree and enjoyed going to school.

I've needed to deal with some more serious therapeutic work the past few months as new events in life have awakened new triggers, memories, feelings, etc. I so wanted to be done with the space in my life where my past makes my present difficult. I wanted to get back into the train of thought that you can knock out this type of therapy and then just go on with your life like nothing ever happened for the rest of your life. What I am learning is that I now believe this type of therapy may be a life long work. Different phases in life will present with new blessing and new challenges and new triggers. If I fully wait to live my life until I get everything fixed, I'll be dead from old age before I can start living. On the flip side, I've learned the hard way how things just continue and continue to deteriorate if I try to just live life and not take my past and perceptions into account in my present day life.

The past couple of weeks I've been thinking back over the last almost 13 years of therapy and life.... I believe I've learned that there are times in my life when I will need to slow down, cut back, be more internally focused. However, this does not mean for years on end. At other times, my past won't be as pervasive in my present. In these life periods, it's great for me to do the things I want to do and desire to do with my life. I can do both life and therapy as long as I'm smart about it and recognize the signs.

The reason getting married and going back to school went so well and are not considered distractions from dealing with my past are b/c I wasn't running from anything at that time. It was a great time in life for these experiences. I'm even more fully aware of this because of the challenges and struggles I'm facing right now. Going to school right now or starting a family with my husband right now would be distractions to not have to work through the painful issues that have recently presented in therapy. It doesn't mean I will never have a family or get my PhD. It means not now, and I'm learning that listening to my body and to God on when to focus on what means a healthier life for me all the way around.

At times I feel I can't catch up in life for getting behind. My younger (and only) sister is pregnant. I'm thrilled for her, but I sometimes get hit with waves of jealousy. I'm 3 1/2 years older than her. I was supposed to get married first, have the first grandchild, etc. All of my friends are having their 2nd kids, are established in their careers... doing all of the 'normal' life stuff.

In these moments, I have to take a step back. I have to remember that the only timetable I have to be on is my own.. not society's. I'm getting better and better about learning to actually live my life and not survive it. It may not look how I thought my life would look at 30, but it is way better than I really dreamt it would be. My life is good. There are so major internal struggles right now. Lately, the days have felt almost impossible. Yet, I know this is a season and in the right time, my husband and I will enjoy a family, and I can have the job I've always wanted, and fulfill any other dreams I have in my life. For now, I need to focus on the current therapeutic issues enough to get back to a place where my current, external life holds more meaning again.

I know these last two posts have been long, but I guess I've just been thinking that if I've needed to hear this message so much lately, maybe others out there have too. So my big take away from all that I've written is: It is possible to have the life you want and to do the therapeutic work you may need throughout your life. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. You'll just have to learn the balance that works for you.

Balancing Life and Therapy: Background

When I first started therapy, I thought it was something I would do, work through, and then move on with my life. I started therapy over Christmas break my senior year of high school. I thought I would go to therapy for the 8 months before I moved away to college and then I'd move on with my life. Little did I know I would only scratch the surface during that time...

For lots of issues, 8 months is plenty of time. For child abuse and PTSD issues, I'm not sure there is a finite period of time. I did leave for college on time, and for undergraduate school, I managed both school/life and therapy pretty well. Sometimes school took precedence and sometimes therapy. Luckily school work came easy for me, so I could still pull good grades even during times when I didn't have the energy or mental capacity to do school as usual. I thought for sure that I'd be finished with therapy before or by the time I graduated college - that was 4 whole years after all!

Unfortunately, while I was definitely making progress in therapy, things were beginning to unravel in the same way that cleaning out a closet makes a huge mess before it's all put back together nicely and neatly. I chose to stay at my university and start a graduate degree b/c I would be able to continue to see the same therapist I'd been working with for the past 18 months, and I didn't know what else to do with myself. A dear friend, suggested that I was using school as a distraction from dealing with real stuff, and I should take a break from school and focus on healing. I'm not sure I agree with her in regards to my first semester of grad school, but she was completely right for the rest of my master's degree program. At the beginning of my 2nd semester of grad school, the therapist I'd been working with for 2 years terminated with me b/c she didn't believe she could help me enough. She referred me to a therapist who was an hour away who claimed to be an 'expert' in child abuse and DID. The new lady was a quack! And my world spun out of control. I buried myself into my school work. It was a total distraction, but in some ways it was my saving grace b/c it's all I had to focus on outside of the abuse and flashbacks.

After my second psych hospital stay in a 4 month period, it probably would have been smart for me to take a break from school and get stable again. However, I was stubborn, and I pushed on. I was young, and stubborn, and so angry! I was mad that my life was in some ways being controlled by abuse from so long ago and everything felt like it was falling apart. My way of retaliating was to tell myself that my past wasn't going to run my life and I pushed forward as if nothing was wrong and I wasn't affected at all. I did manage to graduate on time and with a 4.0, but the week after graduation, I was admitted to a psych unit where I stayed for 2 months.

Upon coming home, I got a full-time, high stress job in my field. Again, I wanted to prove that I could live a 'normal' life and not be controlled by my past. 3 months later I was inpatient again for another 6 weeks. After this stay, I went the opposite direction, totally putting my life, dreams, and everything but therapy on hold. I did manage to stay outpatient for a year, but I think that's more b/c I was out of hospital days than b/c I was doing well. I was miserable during this time period too. All of my hopes and dreams for my life and future were all but crushed, and I had pretty much been convinced by treatment teams and doctors that I should just apply for disability - that my life would never be better or anything near 'normal'. I spent 2 years in this space... giving up on life and mostly being ruled by my past and internal world.

By the beginning of 2008 (10 years after starting therapy), I'd survived (it wasn't really living) both extremes. I did life and tried to mostly ignore therapy and my past. I did therapy and embraced my past while not participating much in my current life and external world. I've heard theories on why either of these approaches may be good or better than the other, but in my experience, neither are a place to be long term. Sure, at times in our life, the past is going to be stronger, more influential, and require more time, and current life will sometimes require more attention and energy that therapeutic healing. I think this healing and growing and adjusting perspectives may be a lifelong journey; So, I want to balance this therapetuic work with living a real life in the present right now.

My new goal has been learning this balance. And that leads me to part II of this post.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'd Like to Forget Today

Today has pretty much sucked. Well, I can't say the whole day has been bad, but the bad things from today have definitely outweighed the good.

Last night I dreamt I was raped twice by a male friend that I actually truly trust. We've been friends for 12 years, and he's married to one of my best friends. He's more of a big brother to me, and has never been anything but gracious to me. Why in the heck would I have this dream??? And why am I dreaming about being hurt as an adult by one of the few people in my life I really do trust? Nothing in this realm has happened to me since this body grew up, and the man in my dream has never been remotely inappropriate towards me. So why?????? And why does it have to be one of those dreams I can't shake no matter how hard I try? Randomly I briefly spoke to my friend (the wife of the man in my nightmare last night) on the phone tonight, and I felt so awkward. I felt ashamed and like I had something to hide or owed her an apology. grrr...

Then I found out this afternoon that my grandmother has cancer again and we know for sure it's in her liver. She has to have more tests to find out if it's anywhere else as well, but it doesn't look good. She's had cancer before and has said she won't do chemo again. So I wonder, did my grandmother basically just get her death sentence today? Obviously finding out she has cancer today, doesn't change how fast or slow the cancer has been growing, but it's been nice living in denial this past week, letting myself think she had gallbladder issues.

I hope I get tired soon. I just want today to be over. Maybe if I sleep well tonight, I can have a better perspective on things tomorrow. Right now it just feels like everything sucks.... even though I know this is not true.... this is still how I feel.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Emotional Blockade

I realize I haven't blogged in about a month. That wasn't my intention. Therapist has suggested that I make more effort to journal with a paper and pen (like I used to do faithfully). It seems I am more free flowing in my writing when it's in a journal versus on my blog. I guess whether I mean to or not, I do censor myself in this type of forum. Anonymity just doesn't equate total secrecy (meaning no one sees what I write unless I choose to share it with therapist). I'm not planning to abandon my blog. I'm just learning that keeping up a journal and a blog isn't so easy for me, so posts my be sporadic until I get a better hang of things.

So lately I've noticed that I'm rather emotionally blunted. I'm crying less than usual (for me), and I've not had strong emotions towards things that should have evoked strong emotions in me. Granted, I may still be more emotional than many people out there, but it is much, much less for me. In some ways I'm feeling sort of numb, but I'm not really sure why.

A couple of examples:

1. Last weekend I walked the Overnight walk in NYC with Tempy and her brother. It was a walk to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They work to provide resources for those feeling suicidal and to family members who have lost someone to suicide. It was 18 miles of walking that left me exhausted and sore. I'm pretty sure all 2000 walk participants had lost someone to suicide or had struggled with it themselves. The emotional energy that night was high. I could feel it all around me. Other than a few tears during an emotional speech by a participant at the beginning, I mostly felt nothing the entire evening. In fact, what I felt most was the blisters that formed on my feet about 9 miles into the walk... physical pain - of course. I mean, it is way easier to deal with than emotional pain. I hated that I couldn't be in the moment more for Tempy. After all, we met b/c a mutual friend of ours committed suicide in 2004. I've lost another friend, a cousin, and struggled myself with suicide, yet I couldn't tap into any of those feelings. I wanted to be in the moment that night. Instead, I could have easily been walking 18 miles to say "I love dogs." I believe so much in the Overnight Walk, and it's so frustrating to not have been able to be emotionally present during the event for myself and for Tempy.

2. My grandmother is in the hospital. She admitted to me yesterday that she's been feeling bad for several weeks, but she hadn't said anything prior to our trip to the beach b/c she wanted to make sure she got to go on the vacation. She's afraid it may be her last, and she didn't want to miss it. I got a text from my mother this morning saying that my grandmother was in the E.R. and they were running tests. I don't know anything past this, but she's already beat cancer once, so I don't know how lightly we can take illnesses these days. Normally, I would be so concerned and tearful. Instead, while I am concerned, I'm feeling nothing. I've spent the majority of the day hanging out with friends, laughing, carrying on as normal.

I have therapy tomorrow for the first time in 2 weeks (courtesy of all of my travels). I plan to discuss this situation with her tomorrow. I'm not sure why I am so disconnected, but I know I totally am. On the other hand, numbing doesn't feel terrible at all. I like my emotions not really getting in the way. However, I am realizing that it leaves me not always responding correctly in certain situations b/c I don't have an emotional guide.

I'm not trying to figure this out now. it just seemed important to note what's going on.

Monday, May 16, 2011

5 Year Anniversary!!

5 years ago today I walked into therapist's office for the very first time feeling discouraged, defeated, but not completely without fight. I didn't really believe therapist could help me, but I knew finding a therapist was my only hope at survival at the time. If I couldn't find a therapist, I truly felt that my symptoms would kill me... and in all honesty, there's a very good chance they would have.

Therapist has been amazing from the beginning. She hasn't always been an expert on DID, but she read and learned and talked to people who had worked with DID and trauma longer. She grew professionally as I grew to trust her. In the beginning I was convinced that she was too naive to know that I would be too much for her, and it would only be a matter of time before she came to that realization herself. No other therapist had been able to stick it out with me, and I knew I hadn't even hit the worst of it yet. PRAISE GOD SHE PROVED ME WRONG!!!!! She has walked through more fires with me than all of my other therapists combined and never once hinted about needing to refer me on to someone else. She never once suggested that maybe she couldn't help me... even on days that neither one of us were quite sure what the best move would be. This commitment on her end was what I needed more than anything. Truly knowing that she was walking this road with me no matter how many road blocks, dead ends, and mountains we hit. See, we finally have this person in our life who knows our deepest, darkest secrets, who has put up with tests, games, and gazillions of questions trying to push her away before we got too attached, and still cares about us and even likes us! My brain says this shouldn't be possible for me, but she's proved it year after year after year.

Today we celebrated 5 years with cupcakes and milk! Every now and then it's nice to take a session to reflect on the journey we've been on together. Today I walked into her office, sat in my spot on the couch, and embraced the safety and comfort that her office has come to provide.... so different than our first meeting 5 years ago. I asked her why she returned my initial call and agreed to meet with me regularly when so many other therapists never returned my calls, refused to meet me b/c of my diagnoses, or bailed after a few sessions. Her response: "You sounded like you really wanted and needed the help." This is my paraphrase of her words, but I was amazed that her response was that simple. I needed help, so she wanted to help. I'm sure her decision making process was more complex than that, but bottom line is that she didn't see my desperate cries for help as a turn off. She wasn't afraid of my diagnoses. And she was up for an awesome challenge, that I truly believe has benefited both of us over the past 5 years.

Therapist is a true gift from God. I pray that every one in therapy can have such an amazing therapist. For those of you who are having trouble finding a good one, DON'T GIVE UP!!! Good therapists are hard to find, but it is so worth the effort and the search. We've seen infinite more healing in the past 5 years than we did during the years prior to that. I know we've done the work, but I know there is no way we could have done it without therapist's support and help.

So... Happy 5 years together Therapist!!!!! Thank you for believing in me... in all of us...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Still Plugging Along

Just wanted to say that I'm still plugging along. Had 2 therapy sessions this week. Both were intense but both were helpful. It's good to be informed and to be getting information from parts again, but there's a lot to digest too.

Yesterday I confessed my fear to my therapist of one day disappearing and not being forward and running my life as our healing process continues. I fear that as healing takes place, if we get closer to the core and as she heals, that she will take back over, and I won't be 'needed' anymore. I feel more than ever like I'm doing a 'job' instead of 'living my life'. I know this life is all of ours, but because I've been the one forward 99% of the time for as long as I can remember, it has felt like mine that I'm sharing with others. Now it kinda feels like I'm running this life for someone else and that I'll have to give it up at some point. Therapist says I'm jumping the gun. The core may never want to be forward, and we have tons of work to do before we even consider that. She also tried to reassure me that this life is still as much mine now as it was before I had this current information. I think my head agrees with this, but my heart is struggling to catch up.

Two of my best and dearest friends are coming into town this weekend. I am sooooooooo excited!!!!!!! These ladies understand me better than anyone in the world, and we're just gonna hang out, catch up, laugh a lot, cry if we need to, probably eat some yummy food, and whatever else we feel like doing all weekend. I think it's a much needed fun spot for all of us right now, but I feel so blessed that they're both hopping on planes and coming to me!

Despite all of my current internal struggles, I feel I am so blessed. As I type this, I'm sitting in my grandmother's hospital room. She's been sick off and on since November. Right now she's working to recover from double pneumonia. She's sleeping and my grandfather is in another chair in the room asleep too. They're snoring in unison, and I can't help but smile. I don't know how much longer I'll be blessed to have them in my life, so these little moments are sweet (even if they do take place in a hospital). They have taught me so much about love, family, and faith. The lessons they've taught me and passed on to my dad that he showed me, I know for sure have been a major factor into why so much of my life is "healthy and normal" despite all of the years of childhood abuse (by a neighbor) and the PTSD, DID, Major Depression, and any other diagnoses doctors may have labeled me with. I just pray that I do them justice passing on this love and these lessons to my own family one day. I want them to be as proud of me as I am to tell people that I'm their granddaughter.

Bittersweet moments all intermingled. I guess that does make my life pretty normal after all. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011


So, I've wanted to blog since Wednesday, but time and my mental state haven't allowed for it. I feel I should tell you up front that emotions may not be conveyed strongly in this post because I am feeling rather removed from all events at the moment, but I assure you they are there, and I fully expect them to be addressed in therapy on Monday. For now, numbing and distancing seem to be working well for coping skills, and since I'm spending the weekend with a TON of family, I'm not objecting. It's not the best time to have any sort of an emotional breakdown. Too many people, and I'd have to do too much explaining. A loving family is FANTASTIC! I wouldn't trade it for anything, but a downfall is the fact that everyone cares about you so much that tears require more of an explanation than they might in another setting.

So, this past Wednesday sort of felt like our most recent D-Day. We had a 2 hour session scheduled with therapist so we could hopefully get through some walls and figure out what was going on internally over the past month that caused parts to feel the need to put up a stone wall cutting off all communication. Our session turned into a 2.5 hour session, and while we gained a ton of information, it was incredibly draining. I got home around 1 in the afternoon and slept til almost 6pm... just trying to recover.

Brief rundown of what I learned:
1. There really is a core inside, and I am not it. I've known deep down for a very long time that I was not the core, but I always still hoped I was. I have the birth name and I've managed all of our external relationships for the past 20 years. This life is mostly the one I've built for us. So, while I've always known I was not the one who was "born", I guess I always hoped I was b/c it made my identity easier to establish. While this doesn't necessarily change anything in the way I live my life now, it has led me to do some identity questioning, and there's a lot of sadness I'm not tapping into right now over this. I figure this is pretty normal for anyone who's been in my situation though, so while it's not fun, I'm not too worried about it.

2. I met a new part who calls herself the Gatekeeper (really hoping she'll pick a normal name soon). Apparently it has been her job all of these years to keep the core safe from any more hurt or damage. This girl is tough. She's not letting anyone through. She's the one who put up the wall in the first place b/c she decided A. had been talking too much to therapist and was sharing too much information. I guess the rationale is that the more information is shared, the closer therapist will get to the core, and that is not acceptable to the Gatekeeper.

So, obviously there was more leading up to that, but that's the gist of what went down on Wednesday. We ended with therapist promising not to actively push to reach the core and the Gatekeeper agreeing to not immediately put the wall back up. So, my head feels more "normal" again, but it's still reeling from more new stuff than I know how to process yet.. hence the numbness.

For me, the scariest part right now is remembering how strong A. was before therapist broke through to her. If A. was the first line of defense before the Gatekeeper, it is scary how much energy and power this part may have and may use if she feels threatened.

Guess all I can do for right now though is try and enjoy my Easter weekend, and bring all of my thoughts and concerns to therapist on Monday. It's scarier than I care to experience, but I am relieved to finally know what's going on inside.

So, anyways, there's my update from the past week.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I need words that I don't have.

I am having intense, almost overwhelming feelings, yet I have no idea how to express them. Therapist just asked me if I wanted/needed to talk. I turned her down, because I have no idea what to say. I would LOVE to talk to her, but that's just the problem, I don't have the words. Sitting on the phone with her, just sitting there doesn't really help her know better how to help me.

The only words I have found are that I am struck with an intense anxiety. The kind that has your stomach doing flips constantly. In the past, I would have easily popped an Ativan or a Xanax by now. I don't have a Rx for either one of those anymore, and as much as I'd like the help, I'm glad. I worked so hard to get off those meds, and I haven't needed them in so long. I DO NOT want to go back on them. I gotta find another way to stick this out. The anxiety has been waxing and waning for the past few weeks, but on Thursday morning it hit, and hasn't left.

I haven't let the anxiety stop me from doing anything. Although, I will admit all that I want to do is curl up under a blanket and hide from the world. I'm still making myself get out and do things. I'm not giving into this, but it's getting harder.

The most frustrating part is that I have no idea who internally or what is causing this intense anxiety. It's hard to work on making it better when no one will tell you what the issue is. Having intense feelings and having no idea why you're having them is the worst! It makes me feel so stuck.

So yeah, I can vocalize this part, but this is all the words I have. So, as much as I would love to talk to Therapist right now, I'm not sure there's anything she can do. Plus, it's Saturday. No reason to tie her up sitting on the phone with me. She should at least get to enjoy her day, right?

I've been praying for God to take this away, but He hasn't yet. I do trust that His plan is bigger than mine, but this is still oh so hard! So, all I know to do in the meantime is just to sit with it.

Man this sucks!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A little shakey

Can't place my finger on what's going on inside of me, but I know I'm feeling a little shaky. It's almost like being on an emotional roller coaster ride again, but it's not quite as intense and it seems to be affecting me more than just emotionally.

One minute I am doing well. Another I am in tears. And another I'm almost literally shaking and questioning myself on everything. And then I'll get back to a place where everything feels like it's going pretty well and I'm doing pretty good again. The rapid changes and unpredictability are getting old quickly. I'm just feeling unstable even though I don't know exactly why and it's hard to explain.

I know there's some stuff going on inside that's creating an undercurrent of these feelings, but I believe the intensity is rising. Today in therapy I was talking to therapist, and she asked me a few different times how I really was doing. I kept saying okay b/c at the time I felt a lot better than I did when we talked on Monday and b/c I don't even have the words to explain well what I feel and what's going on. I did wonder why therapist kept asking me. I'm not used to her doing that. I guess b/c I usually fear that if I don't find a way to come right out and tell her everything I'm thinking and feeling, then she'll never know anything is going on. On some level I'm sure this is very true. However, I guess, working together for the past 5 years gives her a window into me than many others can't see. She could tell from my eyes today that there was more stuff going on than what I was sharing, and she actually put words to some of it better than I'd been able to.

I am so glad to know that I don't have to do any of this alone. I have a therapist right there to help me through this, and I have a loving God who is with me 24/7 reminding me that even when I feel utterly unstable, He is forever stable and I rest in His arms. That's a hope and peace I plan to do my best to cling to during a time period when I feel very unstable.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Great Therapist Makes All of the Difference

So... nothing's any better than yesterday. Nothing internally or externally has really changed. In fact, today was a pretty crappy day all the way around.

Late afternoon I had an appointment with therapist. I was hesitant to tell her some of the things bothering me because the issues aren't really related to any of the reasons that brought me to therapy and aren't any topics therapist and I have ever talked about before. Mostly b/c in order for us to have a real conversation about them, I feared it would ask therapist to share more personal beliefs and or experiences that would be appropriate for me to ask her to share.

By the time we talked, I was so desperate to talk to someone who has never made me feel judged that I opened up to her despite fear that she wouldn't understand or that her personal beliefs might greatly conflict with mine.

She was amazing. I shared everything I felt I needed to without worrying whether my thoughts were right or wrong. She helped me think through a lot of it never telling me I was right or wrong and in a way that was supportive without revealing much of anything about herself or her personal beliefs. I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for therapist, but today brought a new level of respect. This was an area of my life that I knew therapist respected as incredibly important to me, but I wasn't sure it was an area we could discuss in a dialogue format. I'm soo happy to know that it is because therapist rocks!! It feels so amazing to know that there really is no area of my life that I cannot discuss with her. Everyone needs at least one person in their life like that.... Even if you don't tell that person everything, just knowing that you can brings an immense level of peace and security... which as a trauma survivor, are two very important and helpful feelings to have.

It still amazes me how one conversation can change my thinking from an impossible situation to one that feels do-able even when nothing in my life has changed. I don't understand it, but I am so blessed and I feel so thankful for it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Feeling Alone in a Sea of People who Care

Looking at my life it makes no sense. I am so loved by family, friends (near and far), and by a God greater than I can even comprehend. I have a therapist that has never failed me and will never abandon me as long as she has say so. I have an amazing husband who goes out of his way to show his love for me even while he is in a war zone on the other side of the world. Yet here I sit.... feeling so alone. It's a feeling that has been growing over the past couple of weeks. I can tell you the things that are making me feel more lonely than usual. Maybe it would be helpful to put it all out there. However I'm feeling a little gun shy from even my anonymous blog right now. See, I tried to talk to my mother today, and I tried to talk to a dear friend who I've known since I was 6. Both conversations were failures. Mom didn't seem to understand why things were so upsetting, and my friend didn't see the importance of making the time for me and ended our conversation a bit abruptly while I was mid-sentence. Another part of it could be that I still need to work on choosing better words to express what I'm trying to share. I know that is lacking, but today was the first time I've tried to vocalize any of this.

I just want to talk to someone and share my struggles and not feel judged... No one flat out condemned me today, but I feel like sharing my true feelings wasn't okay either. I was being corrected... asked why I was feeling that way... told how to make things better... And as much as I'd even like to vaguely address the issues weighing heavy on my heart, at this point I'm wondering if I am making a big deal out of nothing... I've considered myself a huge proponent recently about the importance of not keeping things inside and to oneself. When it's inside of you and no one else knows about it, satan can grab hold and pull you down with those issues. There's no one who is able to help you reality check and see things in true light. But what do you do when you feel shot down and invalidated when you finally share? Even if the comments family and friends made turn out to be truths, how do I get the guts to keep talking about things to be able to process things? When you feel shot down by the people you trust the most, who do you turn to? And what about when there are other people that you trust and you know love you that may have compassion but you feel aren't in a space or don't know enough to be able really talk things out with you? I want someone to talk this stuff out with me. I don't want someone to just listen.

My mind is telling my feelings that God hears. God understands. God will deliver. I do believe this. I truly do. But oh how I'd love someone who I can touch, hear, smell, see, etc. to be available to talk with me and not judge me. So tonight, despite knowing I am loved and cared for, I feel utterly alone, and I'm scared to reach out again.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Flashbacks from Dealing with Pain/Intense Emotions

About a week ago Tempy, from Crackers & Juiceboxes posted a blog entry about how being suicidal (whether you ever attempt or not) is in itself a traumatic event that can continue to haunt you even after you are no longer suicidal. Click here to ready Tempy's post. The truth of this realization and concept really resonated with me. Being someone who was chronically suicidal for close to 5 years and who prayed for death years before that, I am filled with intense anxiety any time I have feelings that are remotely similar to those I felt when suicidal.

Yesterday, I spent a lot of my session with therapist talking about something I've recently realized and how it's proving to be a challenge to me in my current life. My realization: feelings feel the same no matter what the situation. Sadness feels like sadness no matter what the situation that caused the sadness. Excitement, anxiety, fear, happiness, anger - they always feel the same even if the situations evoking the feelings are as different as night and day. For example: Anxiety about starting a new job resonates the same way in me that anxiety surrounding a memory or flashback does.

As a result, days that I am sad or depressed due to (sometimes normal) present day issues, can lead to panic attacks and irrational fears if not cognitively challenged because the association of these feelings with the low, scary, nearly impossible place I was in 3 years ago is sooooooooooo strong. Because these feelings were associated with me just trying to stay alive for so long, the association is automatic. I have to consciously make myself separate them out. I have to constantly remind myself that a bad day today does not mean I am automatically headed into another 5 year stint of being chronically suicidal. Panic tends to set in quickly when sadness, anxiety, or depression are strong b/c there is a HUGE fear of returning to the place that we were. My initial reaction is to think I'd rather die than go back there again. I'd like to differentiate that I am not suicidal when I have these thoughts, but more it just shows how huge our aversion of living like that again is. In these moments, it's almost as if I'm having flashbacks and some PTSD around my adult years of trying to work through my past and surviving my present.

Last evening I had the honor of talking to a friend of mine who has lived through things that I can't even imagine. Our lives are so different, but oddly we always seem to be in the same general spot in healing. I do believe her feelings and struggles are more intense than mine b/c she lived through more years of abuse and more intense abuse. I don't say this to downplay what happened to me, but more to validate her struggles. Sometimes I believe she feels like a failure in her fight b/c she compares her functioning to that of other abuse survivors who just didn't live through the same intensity and severity of abuse that she endured. Last night my friend was very panicked and she was having trouble being grounded. It was hard for her to form her thoughts, but the more she was able to share what she was feeling and thinking, the more it felt like she was living what I'd just been talking to therapist about an hour earlier. Most of her sentiments revolved around saying that she couldn't go back to that life of being chronically suicidal... of day in day out struggles to just breathe. She had experienced some rough feelings and memories recently (she's going through more tough therapeutic work). I am not an expert, but it appeared to me that the depression, anxiety, sadness, etc. that she was feeling seemed to be panicking her more out of a fear of returning to the place she used to be than b/c the present feelings were too overwhelming. It appeared as if she was in a flashback from 2 years ago when she was barely alive more so than that she was in a flashback from her childhood.

Speaking to her last night validated my belief that surviving memories, feelings, and therapy as an adult can have traumatic implications that may often times get overlooked b/c even clients don't give their struggles as an adult enough credence. Please hear me. THE PREVIOUS STATEMENT IS NOT BASHING THERAPY. I would have been dealing with all of this whether I was in therapy or not. Therapy and the care, concern, and respect of my counselor is what kept me alive. I merely am just trying to share my realization that the intensity of what one may feel as an adult when having to deal with childhood abuse can be traumatic in and of itself. This realization has actually helped me combat some present day panic attacks b/c I can reality test and call my feelings what they truly are - not a backslide, but a fear of backsliding into that hell hole of a living space. It's for sure not a magic cure, and it doesn't work every time, but many times it can help to keep feelings manageable and not overwhelming.

I guess calling a spade, a spade truly does have it's benefits.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A new wall goes up

Yesterday in therapy, I was telling therapist that it felt like there was a ton going on in my head - parts running this way and that way - and it felt pretty organized. I also told her that I wasn't able to see what was going on in my head - like it was being blocked from my view. I was having some anxiety about it yesterday, but therapist and I were both hoping I was overreacting... that it would turn out to be nothing...

Well, it's definitely not nothing. I'm not saying it's the end of the world. I don't know. This could have a relatively easy solution, but I have no clue right now. All I know is that in the past 24 hours, a massive wall made of stone has been built internally separating me and a few other parts from the rest. It appears to be soundproof, and I haven't found a way over or around the wall yet. Those left on this side of the wall are those of us who "run our external life" on a daily basis. It appears as though everyone else has voluntarily gone or possibly been forced to go to the other side of the wall.

I find myself in a mixed space. On one hand, I can think a lot more clearly right now than I've been able to in weeks, and I'm not feeling overwhelmed by any feelings or memories. This is nice. On the other hand, when things like this happen, it's usually followed by a wild and tumultuous ride. So far we've survived them all, so I have hope for this one too, but that feeling of dread coupled with not knowing exactly what or when something will happen or how easy or difficult it may be is rather anxiety provoking. I hate being left in the dark!

Yesterday I was telling therapist how I am learning that I do just have to sit and wait with this stuff. I can't make anyone share, process, or heal any faster than what they choose. I had a lot more control the first 'go round when we were primarily dealing with my stuff even though I didn't realize it then. Dealing with memories and feelings that aren't originally mine but belong to another part of me is a whole new ballgame... new rules to learn apparently... and one of the biggest of those is patience. I've gotten used to attacking issues head on, and these I cannot until the one holding them chooses to share.

So for now, I'm going to try and enjoy my weekend. If nothing has changed by Monday afternoon, I'll talk to therapist about it and get her opinions. Going to do my best not to push anything for now. Maybe letting everyone be for a few days and leaving this new wall as is for now is the best way I can be helpful.

I swear sometimes understanding my brain is like trying to find your way through a maze in the dark with no flashlight.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Slowing Down and Relaxing

Hey everyone! I'm still here. It's my Spring Break, and I've really been taking time to slow things down a bit. I've used the past few days to catch up on things I'd been putting off and to rest. I've also not delved into too much internally. Everyone and every thing's still there, but I've allowed myself some time to recuperate. There is much work to be done, but I am learning the importance of downtime and not always barreling ahead into the next task/issue to overcome.

It's okay to rest and I don't have to go out of town to do so. This is such a hard concept for me to grasp. In the house I grew up in, downtime was wasting time. You could lie down if you were sleeping or if you were sick. Otherwise, there were things to do and resting for 'no good reason' was wasting the day. While I believe in being a hard worker and being productive, I am learning that downtime is just as important. I think many times I apply this same "go, go, go" attitude to my therapeutic work. As long as there's work to be done, I shouldn't be resting. I can rest when it's all done. This approach to therapy does NOT work. It runs me into the ground. I become overwhelmed and exhausted.

I wish I could explain why I always feel I'm on a time crunch with therapy. Things will be worked through in good time. Healing will come. Yet somehow, if it's not on the time frame I feel it should be on, I naturally assume that I'm not working hard enough on healing myself. Sometimes I really wonder where I get these crazy ideas.

My life is good. I have so many blessings. I really am okay with where I am in my life right now. What am I trying to rush through? Where am I trying to get? Sure, I'd like to get through these most recent struggles and memories, but why am I racing with myself to do so?

Anyways, I'm trying to use this break as a chance to just let myself rest. If things need to be discussed in therapy, we'll discuss them. However, a break in my job doesn't mean that I have to amp up the therapy work just because I have the time. I'll post again soon. Until then, just know that I'm here, trying to rest and not be so hard on myself.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why I don't want to be a School Counselor...

I wanted to write this post over the weekend, but I never found the time. Now I think I’m glad I had a few more days b/c I have even more clarity on the topic.

I graduated in December with my School Counseling degree. I got my Master’s in Counseling back in 2005. Individual and small group counseling is what my heart’s always been drawn towards, but for many years my own issues kept me from being in a place to truly support my clients like they deserved. I worked an administrative and research job for 3 ½ years after graduating in 2005. The job was okay, but my heart wasn’t in it. I still wanted to do counseling, but after several hospitalizations and warnings from my inpatient treatment team that pursuing mental health counseling as a job could be very detrimental to my well-being, I gave up on the idea of using my Master’s degree.

Still wanting to be in some sort of counseling, I went back to school and obtained my Ed.S. in school counseling. It’s a stressful job, but in very different ways than mental health counseling. While I was in school, I had a graduate assistantship in the counseling office on campus. Since I had my master’s degree, they set me up in an office and had me counseling college students. I'll admit it. I was nervous about doing real counseling, but my heart still wanted to give it a try. I LOVED it!! I liked the one on one time with my clients. I liked getting to know them. I liked being able to talk to them for a good 45 minutes to an hour. It turns out, I’m not too shabby of a counselor either. I for sure still have TONS to learn, but it’s cool knowing that I helped some people during my time there.

For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been working as a school counselor at a local high school for a counselor who’s been on maternity leave. I don’t mind this job. I like the people I work with, and schools desperately need school counselors. With that said, I know without a doubt that this is NOT what I want to do for the rest of my life. Last Friday and yesterday gave me a tangible example of why this job will never be satisfying for me.

A student brought a doctor's note in on Friday on a prescription pad. The doctor had written a prescription for this student to listen to her iPod whenever she wanted due to severe anxiety and depression issues. Obviously schools don't allow this, so as a guidance department, we had to inform the teachers and work out a plan so this student could listen to her music when she got overwhelmed. After only 5 weeks on the job, I found myself rolling my eyes at this doctor's prescription. I automatically assumed this student had her doctor snowed, and I assumed this doctor must be a quack. See, as a school counselor, you're forced to make judgments about students all the time. You must decide who is really in crisis and who just wants attention. You can't talk to a student just b/c they walk in and want to talk b/c every minute you spend talking to them is a minute they're not in the classroom running. On top of that, you have about 400 students you're in charge of and have to meet the needs of. Students need to know you're there, but you must have even more strict boundaries about what that means. All we have time for is "band-aid" therapy. If students need extra help or long-term therapy, we refer them to a community counselor or social worker.

Anyways, I didn't think much about it that morning. I didn't personally talk to the student, and I was running in a million different directions that day. Later in the day, I received a call from the principal asking me to call that student up and talk to her. This student had her cell phone taken up b/c she had it out and our school has a strict 'no phone' policy. Our principal was enforcing the punishment, but she did want us to check on the student and make sure she was okay. I called the student up and talked to her for about 15 minutes. My heart sank. This poor girl really does have major anxiety issues.. and not faked ones. I could see so much of what I feel a lot of the time all over her face and in her body movements. She desperately needed someone to care and support. Obviously I couldn't reverse the punishment, but I let her talk. I asked her to share with me what helps her anxiety decrease and we worked on simple stuff like deep breathing and reality testing in my office. I did call this student's mom for her. The mom agreed to come by the school at the end of the day and pick up the girl's cell phone. If a parent comes and gets the phone, they can get it at the end of the same day it's taken up. Otherwise, the student doesn't get the phone back for 2 school days (in this case it would have been over a weekend too). I was able to send the student back to class a little less shakey and with a small smile on her face. I thought this was enough to convince me that I didn't want to be a school counselor who barely got to be there for the people she works with. I wanted to be a counselor who really helps people work through their issues and helps them help themselves through it.

Yesterday, I saw this student again briefly. It was for a completely unrelated matter, but she walked in my office, sat down in a chair and smiled at me. I got the chance to ask her about her weekend and make sure she was able to get her cell phone Friday afternoon. It's obvious she still has constant anxiety issues, but I made a small difference for her, and I could see it in her eyes on Monday. I want to be able to do this on a regular basis - not on the random occassion that my job allows.

This job ends on Thursday. I don't have another job lined up, and husband and I are moving to another state in 5 1/2 months, so it may be awhile before I can get a counseling job, but I know it's what I'm being called to, and I look forward to walking it out with others when God says the time is right for me to have a job like that again.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The past few days I've found myself questioning everything in my history... I'm pretty sure it's because a new string of events/memories has started surfacing internally... These memories don't feel anything like mine. It feels like I could be telling another person's story...

In therapy today I found myself confessing to therapist that I'm starting to question everything in my past again. I find myself wondering if the abuse really happened? If so, is it really to the extent of these newest memories... or even the older ones? Am I sure I'm DID? Maybe I just have a great imagination. Maybe I'm a fabulous liar.

I expected therapist to roll her eyes at me like she does (playfully) when I am being irrational. It doesn't change the way I feel, but I can recognize that she disagrees with my thinking and work to understand where the disconnect within me is. Today, though, therapist just looked at me with sadness in her eyes. She said this is what trauma does. Trauma blurs everything and has you questioning your reality. It's so true. I can't tell what is truth and what may be me just filling in gaps. Therapist says I don't have to tease out every little detail and run it through the microscope of fact or fiction. She's confident after 5 years of working together that I wouldn't make stuff up just for the sake of making things up. I wish I had her same confidence.

I wish I could explain why it feel so important to me to know every detail is the truth.... to know I can fully be believed b/c I believe myself. One of the biggest fears that I still hold is being disproved by my abuser. What if he comes around and proves my accusations false? What if he can poke enough holes in my story to prove that I'm a liar? What if my entire life for the past 12 years has been a continuous lie I've created for myself? And what kind of person creates their own hell on earth and perpetually keeps themself there?

Trauma or no trauma. Abuse history or none... It sucks to feel my reality being shaken so drastically again. Mentally I understand this is part of the process. More parts other than A. are starting to express feeling and memories, and it's just shaking things up internally a lot. So much so that I don't feel like I'm doing a great job expressing myself tonight.

This is for sure rough, but I still feel very blessed. I'm not struggling with any major self-injury impulses, not every moment of every day is horrible, and my God is continuing to sustain me in ways I never expected. This road is not and will not be easy, but I know the end of this journey does exist and it will be totally worth it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Insurance Co - Win, Patient - Lose

After a 9 month of petitions, correspondence, phone calls, e-mails, faxes, and waiting, my insurance company finally responded to my request for them to cover Therapist. Well, they're response is to not respond. Therapist finally got to talk to someone yesterday afternoon who gave her a direct, indirect answer.

See, my government health insurance divides the US by regions. When I moved to live in the same city as husband (even though I'm still in the same state), I was considered (by my insurance) to have changed regions. Now I live 10 miles outside of the region that Therapist is covered by. I am 40 miles away from Therapist, but if I lived 10 miles further South, they would allow me to see her and cover me. Now, it's taken 9 months to get this much information from them. The only reason we know this much is because Therapist continued to contact them b/c they were not responding to any of our submissions - either from her or from my PCP. When Therapist talked to them yesterday, she was told that they would never have contacted her or me or ever sent me a denial letter. Apparently my request is just automatically voided because I live in a different region that she practices in. I can't even get a denial letter. And we wouldn't have gotten any explanation if therapist hadn't been so persistent. I now know that for them to approve her, I will have to get written documentation from every provider in my region saying they can't or won't treat me. So, if someone 5 hours away (but in my region) agrees, I can drive 5 hours to therapy and they'll pay, but they won't pay if I drive 40 minutes in the 'wrong' direction to see Therapist who I've been with almost 5 years.

What pisses me off more than anything, isn't that they won't cover me (and that pisses me off A LOT). It pisses me off that for 9 months we haven't been able to get a direct answer out of anyone, and they think an acceptable answer is no response at all. Just ignore the request and hope I give up eventually? See, if they give me a denial letter, I have the right to appeal and submit paperwork to present my case. But if they don't respond at all, then I can't appeal and they don't have to grant coverage either. Glad to know the government is really looking out for the mental health of deployed soldiers' families like they claim to be...

Maybe government health care is more affordable. I can go to the doctor whenever I need to and not worry about cost. I do appreciate that. However, I didn't get to choose my doctor - any of my doctors for that matter. And when I really need specific help from a specific provider that my insurance recognizes in another region, I'm not even given a chance to present my case. Heck, the people reviewing my case probably don't even know what DID is, so how are they gonna understand the importance of working with a therapist that we trust?

I think I need to stop for now. I'm liable to post some not nice things that I'll wish I hadn't later. I'm feeling bitter about a lot of so called support I'm supposed to be getting while my husband is risking his life to keep our country safe that I'm not seeing, and this is just kind of the straw that broke the camel's back.

I don't regret the life my husband and I have chosen. I am so proud of him for what he does. It's just frustrating to hear the government say they're gonna cut you a break, and instead feel you're being treated like a number and that money is more important to them than me. It'd be easier if I was never promised anything. I wouldn't know any different.

I just think this whole thing is stupid. If I'd gotten this answer back in August, I'd have adjusted and budgeted and wouldn't be in huge debt to therapist right now. Therapist is cool about the money I owe her. I can back pay her as I'm able, but if either of us had known this would be the end result, we'd have made other provisions a lot sooner.

It makes me a little sick right now looking at my insurance card. In big letters across the top it says, "The World's Best Health Care for the World's Best Military." Forgive me if I don't agree with their statement about being the world's best health care right now.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Satan's Tactics

Last night I had a horrible dream. I've always been a vivid dreamer. My dreams are usually so intricate and detailed, that I am unable to tell that I am dreaming until after I wake up. Many times it takes me awhile after I wake up to fully realize that what just happened was in a dream and not my reality. This morning was one of those mornings. I woke up shaking. I could tell I'd been crying a lot, and for a good 5 minutes, I was convinced my dream was real. Only when I was able to truly realize where I was and what was going on around me did I begin to realize it was a dream and be able to calm down.

Last night I dreamt that my husband was home. He'd been home from deployment for a bit and was daily walking through my current therapy struggles with me. Long story short, in my dream he told me that he'd had enough... that my crazy and my issues were too much for him... he was done.. it was over between us... and there was nothing I can do change his mind. I was heartbroken. The man who has done more to understand than any other man in my life; The man who promised me forever; The man who I adored was walking out. In my dream I was thinking if he wouldn't stay, no one ever will.

Praise God this was only a dream!!! Even though it was a dream, I found myself having a hard time shaking the feelings this morning. I wanted nothing more to call hubby and have him put my mind and heart at ease. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that since he is deployed. Fortunately, I serve a God who is always available. As I turned to God to relieve my pain and fears from this dream, I got hit with a couple of realities:

1. I didn't reach for God first to calm my fears. I was looking for human comfort first. Now, I believe human comfort is good and very much needed. However, I've been learning over the past several years that human comfort doesn't compare to the peace and contentment that God can provide. I'm not beating myself up over this, but it was a good reality check and a good opportunity to refocus my mind on God first and on my family and friends second.

2. Satan uses anything he can to undermine anything positive and healthy in our lives. When I think back over my life, dreams/nightmares are a way that satan has always reached me and tormented me. It's pretty creative and sneaky to attack me in my sleep.. to plant doubts, fears, and horrors in my mind while I sleep. These type of attacks are so much harder to recognize and combat than the obvious and blatant ones. I have no doubt that satan knows this and uses it to his advantage.

These two realities, while not fun, really helped me to regain focus this morning, reality test the dream and put satan back in his place. I ended up having a pretty decent day today. In the past, I would have stayed debilitated internally by a dream like this, but today we let it go and trusted God that he was watching over us, our husband, and the truth.

I count this as a victory, but I wish sometimes there weren't so many battles to fight. The only promise any of us have been given though is that God will see us through all of them and He has won them all. Praise Him for that!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hubby's birthday

Today is hubby's birthday. His work schedule is such right now that it's hard to catch him online. He's asleep when I'm free, and I'm asleep when he's free. I did get to talk to him for a few minutes, and it sounds like he had as good of a birthday as one can while deployed in a war zone.

I on the other hand hated not having him around today. I couldn't give him his gift on his birthday (the USPS has it somewhere in the Middle East, but it hasn't reached him yet); I couldn't cook him dinner and make his favorite dessert; I couldn't plan a party for him with all of his friends; and I couldn't even give him a birthday kiss.

Tomorrow will be 5 weeks since he left. I keep thinking he should be coming home soon. All of his trainings over the past year lasted an average of 3-4 weeks. I'm ready for him to be home, but instead it's still just the beginning of this trip. In another week or two we'll adjust to the idea that he's not coming home soon, and the feelings will lessen. I'm thankful for that, but today I'm sad that he's so far away on his birthday and that I can't be with him.

Wow, I'm kinda feeling pretty sorry for myself tonight, huh? Well, I do know I'm more sensitive to EVERYTHING right now with so much internal stuff stirred up. I'm going to choc it up to that and actually not beat myself up over something tonight.

Time for some mindless TV to get lost in and help turn my brain off.

Monday, February 28, 2011

It Feels Like I'm Starting Over

It feels like I'm starting therapy all over again. My mind knows that I am not starting over. My mind knows that where I am is progress. My mind knows that I am now strong enough to do the work I was not able to do before now.

Today, however, I found myself in therapy discussing struggles, feelings, and memories that I spent a lot of time dealing with in therapy almost 5 years ago. I mean, I get it. I'm DID. Just because I worked through my part of it and some other parts worked through their feelings regarding certain memories and issues, it doesn't mean all of me has worked through it.... and it really appears as though A. may not have worked through much of anything yet.

In theory, I'm okay with this. It makes perfect sense on paper. What seems to really be the hardest for me is how many of these feelings are be re-triggered in me. Issues that I thought I'd put behind me have been back in my face the past few days, and I'm feeling them like they just happened yesterday. I feel like I really can't believe I'm about to do all of this all over again. I know it's not all over again, but it sure does feel that way right now.

I just gotta remember that we've done this before. We can do it again. And we're in a better place to handle it this time. Better internal resources and better, more consistent external support.

Am I still allowed to say, "ugh!" though?

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Weekend :)

Too tired to write much, but I just wanted to let everyone know I'm still kicking. I have a couple of blog posts in the works, but working long days coupled with intense therapy sessions and constant internal work between sessions has me drained tonight.

So instead of finishing and posting one of those blog entries, I'm putting this little thing up to say 'hi', and I'm going to spend the rest of the evening watching a movie and hopefully get a little phone time with a good friend I haven't talked to in awhile.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. After a bit of rest, I'll post my latest updates and observations. Take care all!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Husband wrote me back!

Well, I guess I spoke a day too soon. Hubby responded today to the e-mail I sent him about my current internal and therapeutic situation. His e-mail was so sweet. I will never understand why this man sees me the way he does, but I am incredibly grateful. This e-mail made all of today a lot more bearable. I copied and pasted it below b/c it's too good the way it is to try and paraphrase it.


Like I mentioned briefly the other day I am very greatful for
letting me know what you are going through and what you are having to
work through. I might not understand it all the time, mostly because I
have a hard time relating to what you have had to and currently still
have to overcome and work through. Regardless, you are one of the
strongest gals I know and have been since we met :). More and more,
with everything we do and more I get to really know you God has shown
me just how luckly I am to have you in my life. So let me know how
can be supportive and praying for you as you have been.

Xo, Love You -

Now I just have to figure out how he can be supportive and how I want him specifically praying. ;) One step at a time though, right? And this step - me sharing specifics and him responding in love and confidence - just squished a bit of the lie that those who truly know me will come to hate me and be disgusted by me. Yay for huge, small victories!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sent E-mail to Hubby

I finally created an e-mail I was okay enough with to send to hubby Saturday night. I had decided I wasn't going to say anything about it and let him bring it up when he was ready to talk about it. This has worked well for us in the past. After 2 conversations with him post sending the e-mail, I cracked. I was so nervous of his response that I finally just asked him if he'd read the e-mail. His response, "Yeah, I read it yesterday. Thanks for being so honest and for working so hard to keep me in the loop. I'm definitely praying for you." And that was it..... subject changed.

It totally wasn't what I expected, but I'm not complaining either. I figured he'd have more questions or want to talk about it, but he seemed perfectly content to know I was keeping him in the loop and that I didn't need him to do anything other than pray. This man continues to surprise me. He understands very little about emotions, behavioral health, etc. yet he never seems to waiver no matter what new info or crazy situation I send his way. It is truly amazing, and I feel so blessed. Now, I like to talk, so I would have liked a conversation about the e-mail I sent him, but I'm not going to complain that this is the outcome. He hasn't treated me any different since and for whatever reason, he really really trusts me. If I say I'll be okay, he takes it at face value. It's kinda new to me to have someone this close to me take my words at face value. It seems most people (including myself) are looking for deeper and/or hidden meaning in what I'm saying or not saying. It's an odd experience for me but very refreshing at the same time.

In other news, we saw therapist again today. She checked in with me a bit and then spent most of the rest of the session with A. Bless, we have our work cut out for us. I continue to be amazed at the amount of work and progress that therapist is able to make with A. during our sessions, however, we always seem to have to re-teach and go over some of the basic things A. learned or accepted the last session. Permanency in what she learns these days is still lacking. Still it is progress. And while it's progress that feels like it's ripping my guts out, I am very thankful to have therapist and a couple of good friends I can talk to about all of this instead of feeling utterly alone and without a clue how to progress towards healing.

Therapist gave A. a tiny little bear tonight to keep. It's something from the present day. It's something that was not around when were a child. It's something that will hopefully help keep her grounded and out of flashbacks more b/c it is a gift from therapist that requires no gift or payment in return (a new concept for A) and it is something that did not exist when the body was being hurt. A. is already pretty attached to the little guy/gal (keep switching back and forth on whether it looks like a guy or a girl stuffie). I posted a pic below so you can see. I have a feeling it's going to be going everywhere with us for a little while, but I don't care if there's the chance it can help to calm things down inside for a bit.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This is Tough

So, I'm still here. The past 4 days have been tough. Moving A. into a room in the common area has allowed us to take better care of her, but her emotions are so painful and so intense, it's really taking a toll on everyone inside. Externally I'm still functioning and participating in life rather well. Internally, the anxiety and sadness is almost overwhelming. I'm able to still reality check well, and that's been invaluable this week b/c nowhere feels safe anymore. Everywhere feels too exposed - even therapist's office, which has always been a safe haven.

Saw therapist today. We spent a lot of our session talking about where I feel I am and how I can continue to cope okay externally while allowing A. and other parts to do the work they need to do in order to heal. I was pleased that I could tell therapist that I feel I'm still doing better than just surviving from session to session. However, I do have to admit that I'm not really 'living life' right now either. It's somewhere between the two. I'm okay being here now knowing that it's temporary. There is fear that if the feelings last too long at this intensity, we will fall into the state of just surviving. However, at therapist's suggestion, we're not going to worry about that right now. Right now things are still manageable, so that's what we're going to focus on.

The time between sessions just feels really hard when I'm at a place where the therapeutic work needing to be done isn't really something I should attempt on my own or outside of a session. We're dedicated to helping A. through this process, but I so don't want my life to return to a place of revolving around therapy again - even temporarily.

I'm also working on coming up with an adjective to describe the state I'm in. Words seem to escape me. Therapist won't let me use the term 'crazy' unless I'm 100% joking. I know I'm not really crazy, but many times I feel that way still, so I can't use that word. Irrational doesn't do the situation justice, so I can't use that word either. Therapist said I'm in a 'traumatic state'... My symptoms are classic PTSD. Maybe so, but that's not an easy term to say to other people. "Don't mind me right now. I'm in a traumatic state." LOL! Soooo much easier to just say I'm crazy for right now.....

The last thing therapist and I talked about today was how I can fill hubby in on what's going on. I don't want to keep him in the dark, but I don't want him to worry about me while he's deployed. We never get to talk long enough or have a clear enough signal for this type of conversation. I don't want him to miss something I say and get confused or overly concerned. So, we've settled on sending him an e-mail to get all of the information to him, and we'll hopefully be able to follow up with phone calls and Skyping so he can see that I am okay and that while things may be rough, I'm still progressing.

I wish so badly husband was here to walk this with me. How ironic that this latest set of work was triggered by him leaving... Going to work on that e-mail over the next couple of days. I want to do my best to keep him in the loop and have him share in this with me without freaking him out or making him feel guilty for leaving. He is such a blessing to me. He's always loved me as I am, and I want nothing more than to continue to share the 'scary' parts of my life with him. The love that husband shows me, even I think he should think I'm crazy and he should run away is a gift I never thought I'd have. Sometimes I think I cherish it so much, that I do get afraid I'm going to still run him off... So, I will spend forever crafting this e-mail to make sure it portrays the real issues, but in a way that will make sense to him and still highlighting all of the positives.

For now though, we need sleep. More to come.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

She Used to Appear So Big and Fierce

This post is sort of a follow-up to the last post in that it's an update of what took place after Monday's therapy session, but it also delves a little bit more into my DID world and into the history regarding the part I discussed in the last post that is struggling so much. To make it easier, I'm going to call this part "A.". That's the first letter of her name. I realize that giving you her name probably wouldn't give too much away, but my anonymity with this blog has always been important to me, and I want to treat her with that same respect until the time she decides she wants to share her name with anyone. So, thanks, and I hope this doesn't make this post too confusing.

Until very very recently, A. has always presented as larger, taller, stronger, and more fierce than any other part or any external person in our life. In all honesty, since we've met her she's appeared internally as large and as strong as the Jolly Green Giant - except she wasn't green. She's also appeared in adult form on the inside. I never knew her age b/c time doesn't mean much to her, but she spoke and talked as an adult and had quick wit. She towered over all of us and had the strength to take over the body at any point and do as she pleased. For many many years I was very afraid of her.

Over the past couple of years, it's continued to be like pulling teeth to get her to really share anything, but what I have learned has been invaluable. While she has mostly presented as a part whose goal has been to harm the body, in reality she is probably one of my strongest protectors. She was present for the worst of the abuse. She struggles the most with the mind games he played. She protected the rest of us from him during the worst moments. As we began to share about the abuse as an adult, she would lash out - hurting us emotionally and physically. I've come to realize though that in her mind, she was protecting us. He told her telling would mean that everyone would hate us... telling would mean we'd have to go live with him forever... Off and on throughout therapy she has presented at times to 'protect us' from lies he made her believe. This protection has always been brought about by fear, force, and injury to the body on her part up until I got married last May.

She sort of went silent around wedding time. She was so against the wedding and I was fearful that she would sabotage not only the event but my future with the man that I love. At the time I assumed she was so resistant b/c the thought of willingly having sex freaked her out. Now I know it runs much deeper than that. She's pretty much stayed silent the last 8 months. I would wonder about her, but I was loving feeling mostly good and being married, so I didn't take the time to look into it too much.

After husband deployed 3 weeks ago, I immediately started noticing an increased level of activity inside and a spike in my anxiety levels so extreme that I thought my heart my burst. Until Monday I was still in the fog about the exact reasons why. I knew it had to do with A., but I had no idea how or what bomb she was going to drop this time. Monday she told therapist that we were no longer safe. She told therapist that he was coming back to get us. A. told therapist that he told her multiple times while hurting her that she belonged to him. If we ever grew up and got married, we'd broken our covenant to him and he would come find us and make us pay. With hubby home for the past 8 months, this fear hadn't made it's way to the surface b/c we felt safe with hubby - almost like he was an external protector, and I think A. felt like he would protect us from the bad man if he did show up. Once hubby deployed, though, all bets were off. Hubby is gone for a long time. A. felt abandoned and wide open for an attack.

A. crumbled in fear and sadness in therapist's office on Monday, and even with therapist close by, A. never stopped shaking. It took the 2 hours to get A. out of freak out stage and to begin the process of trying to convince her that he will not be coming to get her or any of us b/c we got married. It's going to be a long road.

After therapist brought me back forward and got me stabilized enough, I drove home. It's about a 45 minute drive to my home from therapist's office, so I had a lot of time to think and talk to myself. I got a report from other parts that A. never made it back to her internal house (for as long as I've known her, she's been unwilling to share a house with any other parts) and there was a fragile girl around the age of 9 that no one recognized lying on the ground close to A's house. I let another adult part drive the car home safely, and I went to investigate. Looking closely, I realized it was A., but she barely resembled any other form I've ever seen her take. The eyes are really the main clue that gave away that it was her. She looked so frail and tired and she just lied there and quietly sobbed barely even acknowledging any of us.

I couldn't leave her there. Seeing her like that was breaking my heart in a way I've never felt before. I picked her up in my arms, and surprisingly she didn't resist. I took her to the large house where everyone else hangs out, and put her in an empty room with a comfy bed all her own. Since that time all she's done is sleep, cry, and stare at who knows what. She will briefly respond to you if you talk to her, but she won't converse.

How does the part that was the strongest, largest and fiercest go from that to one of the weakest and most fragile parts in the system? And wow! what a turn around! Guess we really are going to have our work cut out for us for awhile. My head is reeling from the internal shift, b/c even if she is fragile right now, she is still very strong emotionally and it's very hard to not get overpowered by her emotions and try to support her where she is right now.

Wow. This post got way longer than I meant for it to. I'll stop here for now and pick up again in a bit.

Ask Me How I Know...

Amy Grant released the song 'Ask Me How I Know' in 1991 on her Heart In Motion CD. For a few of different reasons this song has been going through my head almost constantly for the past several days. First of all, in 1991, Amy Grant was my most favorite singer on the planet. I knew all of her songs by heart. I'd seen her in concert and had an autographed picture framed and on my bedroom wall. Secondly, the first time I heard this song, it struck me in a funny way. I had blocked all memory of my childhood abuse at this point, but I still found myself strangely drawn to and repulsed by the lyrics in this song at the same time. They struck a painful chord inside of me that I wouldn't understand for about 6 more years. In the past several days, this song has been playing through my head b/c more painful feelings and memories have surfaced again and these lyrics seem to fit oh so well. Below is the first part of the song:

I see her as a little girl hiding in her room
She takes another bath and she sprays her momma's perfume
To try to wipe away the scent he left behind
But it haunts her mind.

You see she's his little rag, nothing more than just a waif
And he's mopping up his need, she is tired and afraid
Maybe she'll find a way through these awful years to disappear.

Ask me if I think there's a God up in the heaven
Where did He go in the middle of her shame?
Ask me if I think there's a God up in the heavens
I see no mercy and no one down here's naming names
Nobody's naming names.

Having DID can be quite interesting at times. While I have made so much progress in therapy and in my healing, other parts inside of me stay buried deep most of the time and are stuck either in the past or still in the place of hopeless despair that I found myself in 3 years ago. On Monday, therapist talked to one of these parts. Our session turned into a 2 hour session of stopping flashbacks, quieting old tapes and messages, and trying to help this part begin to get some sort of footing in the present. While my faith in God is strong and runs deep, somehow she has not been blessed to know God or His healing grace yet. The first part of Amy Grant's song really reminds me of where she is right now. She wonders where was God? She wonders where was anyone? Why did no one tell and no one save her?

This part cried harder than I'd ever seen her cry before. She actually grieved her pain and what has happened to her in front of therapist. While it has been incredibly taxing on me and the entire system, it's kinda cool that she is finally opening up to someone about what she really thinks and feels after 12 years of therapy. It's very hard to sit with her feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, sadness, etc., but I'm doing my best to be okay in this space. I can't expect her to catch up on the past 21 years of my/our life in 3 days or develop a solid faith in God that fast to provide her with peace. I definitely feel the resiliency from other parts and myself who have found differing levels of healing, and that is a HUGE help. However, this is still wickedly painful, and while I truly believe this is worth it, I think we're going to have a long slow road going forward for a bit.... but praise God I'm at least moving forward, right??

The 2nd half of Amy Grant's song basically shares this same thought. The girl in the song is not fully healed. She still struggles with fear and mistrust, but God is bringing her healing. God is giving her a new life. The life she never got to have as a child.... and while it's a tough road, it's a pretty, stinkin' awesome one.

Now she's looking in the mirror at a lovely woman face
No more frightened little girl, like she's gone without a trace
Still she leaves the light burning in the hall
It's hard to sleep at all.

Still she crawls up in her bed acting quiet as a mouse
Deep inside she's listening for a creaking in the house
But noone's left to harm her, she's finally safe and sound
There's a peace she's found.

Ask her how she knows there's a God up in the heaven
Where did He go in the middle of her shame?
Ask her how she knows there's a God up in the heavens
She said His mercy is bringing her life again.

Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heaven
(How do you know?)
Where did He go in the middle of her shame
(Where did He go?)
Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heavens
(How do you know?)
She said his mercy is bringing her life again
She's coming to life again.

He's in the middle of her pain
In the middle of her shame
Mercy brings life
He's in the middle
Mercy in the middle.

So ask me how I know
Ask me how I know, yeah
Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heaven
(How do you know?)
Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heavens
(How do you know?)
Yeah, ask me how I know
(How do you know?)
Ask me
Ask me
Ask me how I know
(How do you know?)
There's a God up in the heavens
Ask me how I know there's a God up in the heavens.

This is the video on Youtube if you'd like to hear the song.

So Much to Say

Hey everyone. I've wanted to blog so badly the past 2 days. I have several blog posts just sitting in my head waiting to be typed out, but the past couple of days have been really busy, and I've been forced to do a lot more coping and distraction than allowing my feelings to be in the moment and truly feel them until it's close to 10 o'clock at night. When it's this late, I don't want to get into any of it because I'm exhausted, and it has the potential to take me to a place where I don't want to be right before bedtime and increase my chance of nightmares.

All of that said, tomorrow late afternoon/early evening should afford me the time I need to post a couple of blog entries. Therapy yesterday was 2 hours long, intense, and really eye opening - in a good but very painful way. I'm hoping to post a couple entries on that and what has happened since the session in an effort to help me think through things more clearly and give a voice to things that have never had a voice before.

Also, I just wanted to say thanks to those of you who take the time to read my blog. I know I post infrequently and sometimes about random thing. My blog is not as focused or as topic oriented as many people's, but it is my life. It's kinda cool to know that total strangers and friends take the time and stop to read my words as if I have/had something important to say. Anyways, just thank you.. to all of you who read and to those of you who sometimes respond to my entries with your thoughts and feedback. It's nice to not feel all alone even when you are alone. :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And the Nightmares Return

I had wishingly hoped my nightmares had stopped forever. I've always been a dreamer. Six our of seven days a week, I can tell you what I dreamt about the night before. Forever they were nightmares or flashbacks in my dreams. However, over the last year or so, most of them had been silly or nonsensical dreams - and usually based around something going on in my current life.

Three nights running now I've had nightmares again. The kind that are a mix of flashbacks, current people, and stuff that hasn't or doesn't currently exist in my life. So, on one hand, when I wake up, I can tell that these dreams are not totally real events that occurred because past and present and fiction are all blurred together in one dream. On the other hand, the nightmares feel so life-like that I've been waking up in the fetal position, shaking in fear, with a level of anxiety and depression that I haven't felt for a couple of years. Grounding and distraction have helped me get up and get through my days, but nothing is fully shaking the anxiety and looming sense of doom.

I'm getting a better picture of where this may be coming from internally and where this may be headed, but most of it is still very foggy and just trapped in feelings. What I am aware of tells me this isn't going to be the end of the world, but it's gonna be a beast of a ride for a bit. :P

I am still in a much better place with this going on than I have been in the past, but I must admit that I'm wondering... Will I ever talk, heal enough that new waves won't keep cropping up?

I want so badly to talk to hubby... to tell him what's going on... to let him walk this with me to feel supported but to also help him understand some of what I went through before we met. But he's on the other side of the world putting his life on the line every day. The last thing I want is for his attention to be focused on me or worrying about me. I need him to focus on his job so he can come back home to me in one piece. I also am not sure how much he can understand via e-mail and occasional video chatting. Part of me is wondering if telling him will make it harder instead of easier if he can't understand b/c of the distance and lack of communication between us right now.

I can't believe this hurts so much and I feel so alone in this. We've done stuff like this before. We know we can get to the other side of this. But it's been almost 3 years since we felt this badly. I really really thought that part of my life might be over with. I really am ready to move on with my life. Goodness knows I still have enough day to day issues that were keeping me in therapy. Do we really need to go back and cover more of this stuff??

God, please just take this part away. I don't want to go through more nightmares, flashbacks, and memories. I get what happened to us. I haven't tried to deny it in a long time. Please don't make me relive all of it. I feel like I know and have felt enough. Please, please just take this away and replace it with your peace... Your miraculous peace that passes all understanding. Please.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lack of Words

I've been around the past several days. I've had plenty of time to blog. It's snowing way more than usual this year, and this State isn't used to handling this much snow, so everything's pretty much been shut down since Monday night. I got a bit stir crazy today. The mix of ice and snow made things not safe to get out on unless you had to, so I stayed in today. I only got out for a couple of hours yesterday, and it's questionable if I'll be able to get out tomorrow. Praying that the street scrapers will at least have the main roads cleared tomorrow.

Anyways, all this to say I've had plenty of time to blog, and there are things stirring inside that probably need to be blogged about, but so far I have no words, so I've just been avoiding my blog. Feelings usually come before words with me. It usually means they're someone else's feelings (internally) and I don't have the memories or insights to go with it. It's a slightly scary place to be. It leaves me wondering if I'm about to blindsided by something unexpected. Sometimes these 'dark' feelings inside end up not being as huge as I fear they'll be. Other times they've knocked the wind out of me. It's been awhile since I've had feelings this intense, so it has me a bit nervous. I wish I knew how to better gauge these feelings. I know it'll all come clear with time, but part of me doesn't want it to. I want to push whatever this is back down and continue on with my happier life - the one where my main depressive feelings are related to missing my husband and not rooted in trauma or the abuse.

In all honesty, God has blessed me with a nice reprieve. I do have more energy reserves, and I've had a long period of time that's been relatively good, so I probably have the strength and coping skills to get through whatever this is - big or small. My distractions are less right now too, so it makes more sense that I would be more aware of things internally.

I eluded to as much in therapy on Monday, but I felt very far removed from it felt I might be reading into something that wasn't there. Each day that goes by, things inside are getting harder to ignore. I even spent some time listening today, but all I "hear" is the pain I feel. I have no words, memories, pictures or anything to go with the feelings yet. I like not having those parts of it, but I know I can't work through this and get the feeling out of us until the issue(s) is addressed. I'm really hoping some of this will come out in therapy tomorrow. Maybe if parts won't tell me, they'll tell therapist.

Or maybe if I close my eyes hard enough, it will just all go away.... okay, kidding there.... that one hasn't worked in a really long time...

So I feel like I just wrote a lot and said absolutely nothing. Oh well, at least I put it out there that there's some dark stuff stirring inside of me right now. That's more than I've admitted out loud to anyone else...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Heavy heart

My heart is heavy today. The pain of hubby being away really isn't letting up. I'm just finding that I can distract from it for periods of time.

I have a little good news. I got a temp job yesterday, so starting Friday I'll have at least 6 weeks of employment. Gotta start somewhere, and I'm trusting God to either turn this into a permanent position or provide me with something else when this 6 weeks is up. It was very hard to make this decision without being able to talk to hubby first. I'd been hoping another job was going to come through, and I guess it still might, but I got offered this temp job and I still haven't heard back from the other one. I'm tired of being jobless, so I'm going forward with this, but it was hard decision to make knowing it affects both hubby and me, and I couldn't talk to him about it first. I have talked to him since I made the decision, and he is supportive, but it was just another reminder of how things are going to be very different for awhile and how much I miss him.

I think I blogged last week about a very close friend of mine admitting that she had an affair. I've spent what I could of the last week e-mailing with her and talking through this with her. I don't condone what she did at all, but she's my friend and I love her. I want to do everything I can to help her get back on the right track... whether her marriage is salvageable or not. We talked on the phone as recent as last night and she was telling me all the steps she was taking to improve things and that her husband had agreed to go to a 911 marriage seminar with her to see if there was any chance of their marriage surviving... A long way to go, but they all felt like positive steps.

Today I got an e-mail from her asking for forgiveness and prayers b/c she had continued contact with the man she had an affair with all last week, over the weekend, and even saw him yesterday. She says it was to say good-bye and cut ties. She says she really is through and really wants to save her marriage. She says she knows she's let us down and lied to us again. This e-mail felt like a huge punch in the gut. After getting over the initial shock and hurt of being lied to for months, I reached out and have tried to help her in any way I could. To find out today that she was still lying and non-repentant breaks my heart. In her e-mail, she says she is broken and repentant now, but I don't know why I should give her the benefit of the doubt and believe her.

It's going to take lots of prayer, but I will forgive her. We are commanded to forgive even when the same sin is committed against us over and over again (Matthew 18:22). Rebuilding that trust with her is going to be a much longer road than I ever anticipated though.... And, it just breaks my heart that satan has her in his grips so tightly. With God, we know she can over come this, but she has to want to. She says she wants to, but she said that before and wasn't even remotely trying to. It's hard to know if it's truth this time.

I really wish hubby was here. We are not my friend and her husband, but hugs of reassurance and being able to talk to him face to face about this would be so comforting. God this has to be in your hands. It's way bigger than me, and I don't know what to do.