If I never get better

What if, it never gets better. What if this is all there is? Can I learn to accept that I might never feel better? I might never feel worthy or worth it, I might always feel like a burden. Though this happens less, it still happens. Dealing with my trauma and healing from it makes it wax and wane, but it’s always there.

It’s there in the smile that I missed, in the kind words I didn’t hear. The feeling has nothing to do with my actual worth, and more to do with my illness, but still it remains. As I heal it can get better, but the truth it it’s like any recovery: it’s forever. No matter how good a handle you think you have on it, the universe finds ways to throw you that curve ball.

So I ask myself again, can you live with yourself? Can I go on forever knowing that I will always have this feeling that I am not good enough. That I may never believe anyone will love me unconditionally? That because I don’t have the ability to trust myself, I won’t be able to trust others? What if this is who I am now?

It’s not, right? It’s not because even as I go back now and look at my writing the weak caterpillar, yes woman, blinded by success and money is no longer there. I’m in flux, I am changing, I am capable of change… and I have to see that. If I am ever to break free from this cocoon I must remember a few things:

  1. The only constant is that everything changes
  2. That recovery is forever but it gets easier with time
  3. The time it takes for you to grow is the time it takes, it cannot be rushed or forced
  4. Before you can feel unconditional love from another, you need to have it for yourself
  5. I am a flawed human and will make mistakes
  6. That in the cocoon only at the very beginning and the very end do you know what you are
  7. The in between is just messy goo, self digested and ready for rebuilding
  8. Until I can digest all that was, I will not be able to start putting it back together

Back to eating shit for a while I guess… but hope renewed. Even if I never feel better, I will at some point learn to love and forgive myself for issues that will come up. That I will learn from them and move on. And that even if my trauma wins, I have already done so much good work, and so much good for others, that I should be proud.

If I can learn to have half the compassion that I have for others, for myself, then I am going to make it. You will too.

 

 

Sister

I wish I could peek in your mind and see what you hide

There are moments I see where the real you resides

My dearest half-sister we are so far away

not just in our age, also in how we behave

But there are actions of yours, opposite of mine

that lead me to think it’s finally time

For me to reach out and actually ask

about the awful things in our past

But your telling me no, and refusing my help

saying I need to leave you to yourself

So now that the past is affecting your present

you want me to be there, but I won’t consent

I too am broken, and need some healing

I just can’t be here when you aren’t listening

I’m afraid that what I’ve done is just too much

that you’ll never be open to my rules and such

But I want you to know, if ever that changes

that I will be here to listen to all of the rages

Not just to theirs, but to mine as well

even when I hurt and the tears start to swell

Should that day not come, and our bond break

I hope you know that it is never too late

I am still broken, but now I am ready

to be the support you need to be steady

What happened to us, is not our fault

we don’t have to pretend our heart is a vault

That the lies we’ve been telling are not the end

that we really are worthy of the love that we spend

You are a human with faults and trauma

who always seems to be starting the drama

but if you ever decide to give that up

To open the vault and let it erupt

I’m here to listen and honestly say

that I’m sorry our family treated you this way

That the shit in our past doesn’t negate

all the awesomeness we have innate

You’re strong and great, it’s time you know too

that Ashlee I am actually very proud of you

The fact we survived, is more than most

and I will never forget the hurt we host

This gift I give you is the wisdom of time

even if it came in this strange rhyme:

Don’t let your past define your future

You dear are stronger than our abuser

 

 

Small Miracles

A small shout out to my Fairy Godmother, Frigg, whomever… thank you.  Sometimes you get so busy with your life’s journey that you forget there are side quests to be completed.

Months ago this blog was set up to be a writing space for my husband and I to work on our marriage and our book, but as soon as the ink dried on my account my husband decided to walk away.

Not just from the book, or the blog, but from the marriage as a whole. I was shocked, but it wasn’t deterred.  Rather than just revel in my own pity, I decided to make the most of this and write about the deterioration instead.

Well, thank you world for the slap in the face I needed. Thank you for showing me how far away from my center I was, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to grow and learn from it, no matter how painful it has been.

In the last several months I have been on a journey, and I am still in its midst. I am growing beyond the cocoon of trauma I was forged in… and the results must now be visible to others.

How can I tell? I just lived a small miracle… my husband said to me on Sunday “you know we should really write that book”.  And I’ve never been happier… or more terrified.

hes-not-wrong-you-know

From Savior to Villain

Have you ever hear the saying “You either die the Hero or you live long enough to become the Villain.”? Well I could write the book on that if we’re being honest.

I have been there for my family in ways one should not, I have covered up some of the most devious of actions for family members, ignored trespasses, and lived in my own personal hell for most of my life. Why? Because I was the Angel, the Saviour. I always was able to swoop in and save the day for everyone. It wasn’t just with the big stuff though, it was with everything. No matter how small or how large “Chrys” was there to save the day.

I know, in the story the hero sacrifices themself for the greater good and is exalted for it. Happy just to be able to help. But this is not that story and I have said many times this does not and will not have a fairy tale ending. In reality I am human, and I am a human who has gone through quite a bit of trauma. Someone who was in fact abused by family members, someone who has been used and thrown off to the side, and someone who ALWAYS made sure they did what they could to be there. Bent over backwards to step up and care for the family…

I know, Heros are not out for a thank you. They are selfless… and I tried to be. But again, I am not a super hero, I am a broken human being and from time to time I need some help too. Or just a little consideration? Or maybe just to not make my journey more difficult?

I know… it’s been a long time coming but it finally came. I ran out of steam. The hero buckled under the pressure of 25+ years of carrying the load on her shoulders. When she sacrificed LITERALLY everything, my marriage, my job, my savings, my home, my future happiness, all to “save the day”… she didn’t even have the family there by her side. She was alone. She set fire to the ruins and walked through it. She danced and let the fire baptize her. She learned to say No.

No… simple right? But when you’re used to hearing “don’t worry I will find a way”, No doesn’t make sense. It’s Cruel… or at least what I was told. That drawing the line in the sand and expecting grown ups to now act like grownups is Evil. How dare I let them down? How dare I ignore them? How dare I not help? How can I leave them in their time of need?

I’m evil, I’m now the Villain. Simply by putting up boundaries to try and fix my own life I have ruined thiers. I am the Evil Queen in the story of my family now… and if that is what they see then that must be what I am to them right now. But just remember that there are two sides to every story. One day I will get to write my own “Wicked” or “Maleficent” for all to see. So the world will know I wasn’t always this bad guy… and that I am capable of heroic acts.

I was the hero in your story, now it’s time for me to be the Hero in My Story…

 

Anxiety or Instincts?

Mental health and trauma can affect you in ways one would never expect. Where once I thought it had the best “intuition” on the block, now I see that my negativity and anxiety were creating the perfect environment for my worst fears. But still, I was right!? So was it my mind creating the negative outcome or was it my amazing intuition?

Well? Do you know the answer? Because I am faced for the first time with the inability to determine what is my amazing instincts kicking in… and what is my anxiety and self-doubt sabotaging me?

I knew that moving forward in my mental health would cause a ripple effect through my entire life, but I thought once I settled into therapy I would start to feel better pretty instantly. And, well I guess I started too… but now that we are unpacking boxes with the words PTSD on them it’s starting to get messier.

PTSD can mess with your brain in a number of ways, but one of them is that it creates coping mechanisms in order for you to move forward. Two of mine I struggle with the most are Hyper Anxiety/Obsessive Thoughts and simple avoidance. If you have ever been one who prays, or does visualizations, or even just tries to put good karma out there, you know how energy works. You understand the power of thoughts and intentions… so riddle me this:

At what point do you go from intuition, to allowing your HA & OTs to create the energy/environment for your worst fears to come true? How do I begin to trust the voice in my head when I don’t even know if that’s my instinct or the PTSD talking?  What if they are one in the same?

Retraining your brain to new pathways in tough, and reviewing gut instincts for backup documentation is even tougher right now… but I refuse to just tap out. If I have to run each gut check through the paces then that is what I will do. I just wish I had more answers right now than questions.

 

The Letter

My Dearest,

You always write for me, but I have never really returned the favor to you. In small ways I’ve written a few things, way way back… but you deserve so much more than that. I have been a shitty wife for several years, and I want to acknowledge and formally apologize for treating you terribly. There was a long time where I forgot just how amazing you are, and what my priorities are.  I will work daily to ensure that I never take you and our love for granted again.

I’m sorry for hiding my hurt behind anger, one-upmanship has been a never ending cycle of who can hit the hardest and we both lose.

I’m sorry for putting you at the bottom of my priority list time and time again. You should have always been at the top, and very often you were at the bottom.

I’m sorry for cutting you down and not being in your corner always. My low self-esteem makes me want to cut you down so you won’t realize you are so much better than I.

I’m sorry for neglecting our time and our sex life. I got so busy dealing with everything else that I forgot how necessary it is for both our moods and marriage.

I’m sorry for not attending his services. I will never be able to go back and push harder to take the time, I only hope I can help you continue to grieve.

I’m sorry for my family and what it has done to us. I am working every day to be further and further away from them and to add more close friends to my circle.

I’m sorry for being fake and letting myself get so wrapped up in shit that I didn’t even realize I didn’t care about.

But most of all, I’m sorry I hurt you and made you feel lonely in your own home. No one ever deserves that.

I hope that my continued growth as a person is still someone you want to be married to every year from here on out. I will just be me, and treat you the way you should be treated by a wife that adores you. That is proud to say she is married to you. A wife that puts her man in his place when he needs it, but only behind closed doors. Who holds him up and falls into his arms just as easily.

I LOVE YOU

Always yours… Mrs. Chrysalis

 

There is only before this, and after this

There is a time when one is so destroyed by something, that they believe there is nothing worth living for. If you had asked me a year ago, what my biggest fears were I would have a very short, precise list.

  1. Bees/Needles
  2. Losing my husband
  3. The death of my Grandma
  4. Disappointing my family
  5. Not succeeding at work

I’d like to think this would be similar to most things 30 somethings fear, the normal things I obsess about (other than my neurotic anxious obsessions). Let’s save those “others” for another post if anyone ends up interested. If any one of these had happened, the old me would have just taken a knee, given up on life and lost herself in depression. And I did, for a while. And I still do, every now and then. But I’m ALIVE.

In the last 6 months 2-6 have come true, I have in less than a year lost everything I hold dear. I have shed multiple layers of expectations, fears, and discovered a new person under here. Still broken, still battered, but stronger. Any one of these scenarios could have brought be over the edge, but all of them together? Okay all but one, still have not been stung and haven’t had a shot in years.

I saw a meme or  saying on Facebook,  that stated essentially that there are events in one’s life that are so big, that they are used as markers. There is only before, and after this event. Like AD to BC. Like caterpillar to butterfly. I am in Chrysalis… there will only be before this time, and after this time. When I finish my regrowth I shall be a new person, I already have a new list of fears…

  1. Bees/Needles
  2. Not finding my true self
  3. Letting Fear hold me back
  4. Death

Now time to get to work. My first order of business? Explaining how I got here, so I can figure out where I am going.