Keeping on being happy

New Year Fireworks, Athens

New Year Fireworks, Athens (Photo credit: RobW_)


I am basically happy. I used to be:

  • sad
  • unmotivated
  • stressed out
  • desperate
  • impatient
  • worried

Those feelings used to own me. It is not like that anymore. I don’t go around all day with a big smile or anything, well, maybe some days. 🙂 And I feel good and calm. What used to cause real anxiety, worry, and upset me, doesn’t make me drill down into chaos anymore. I am more like “oh well, how do I solve this?”

If you have followed my blog from the beginning, you’d know I was quite intense and energetic. I posted almost every day, and I had a lot to say. I never really planned it, but writing turned out to be my breakthrough. Writing about all those bad things, made the symptoms disappear. It was probably not the only thing happening. I am not sure. At one point I felt finished. My deep dive into bad emotions and even worse memories was done.

I have been ok since then. Almost all the time.

I am very grateful that this happened.

I started thinking about next year today. What hopes I have, what I wish for to happen. I think I will put together some new years resolutions, not like the usual ones, but some thoughts on how to grow. How to reach my goals. How to continue having control and be at peace.

Thanks for reading everyone! 🙂

Some colour to brighten up your day?

Can you remember opening a brand new box of crayons? I can. I would just look at them, see how the different shades of red shifted into pink or orange, and then to yellow. My brother would just throw them all in a big cake tin we had. Mix the old ones together with the new ones. I could never do that. I would keep them in the exact same place in the original box, and open and close carefully, so that it wouldn’t get torn.

If it was a big box, I would perhaps make a small dot, marking the specific spot for each of the crayons. So that they would get back where they belong.

Amazing how colours can affect your mood. Black is for sorrow, white means clean, orange (my favourite) is energy, red is both love and affection, blue… well blue.

Don’t know why yellow got such a bad rumour, at least in my country, it means cowards, and green is new. Sometimes in a negative context.

I had to think about colours today… Feeling a bit down, as one of my aunts are very poorly. There are only two of my father’s siblings left, living here in my town. This is not the one who attended the summer party, though considering the amount of wine an 89 year old women can pour down, she probably felt rather… blue… the day after. This is about the oldest one, and the way it looks now, she won’t see much of the summer coming up. They told me she might die anytime. But they have said that before… So I don’t know. She is 94. We haven’t spoken for years, I have some problems dealing with his family, and so I just don’t. This is where I should probably investigate my feelings on forgiveness. Someone did know, maybe not to what extent wrong things happened in the old house with the large garden, but I can’t help thinking that someone could have done something. She was the next door neighbour.

My youngest daughter told me that when they were kids, I had a really large box with crayons, watercolours, felt tip pens and colour pencils. She remembered it as a lovely childhood memory. She might be a bit like me, that one!

Update:
Just as I was publishing this, my old aunt died. How strange is that?

Me and all the others

child abuse

Child abuse (Photo credit: Southworth Sailor)

I am different. Aren’t we all… I thought about that today, that feeling. Nobody can understand me, because I am different from them, the others.
It was something I read about helping young people with addictions, that got the thinking going.
We seem to think that we are unique. And I am, but there are not six billions different personality types. Something must be similar other then the fact that all humans have a mind.
When I was a child, I defined my whole being, on the “different” part. I saw people being happy, but had problems relating it to my existence. Of course I had moments of happiness, breaks, Christmas, my secret places. But I saw families and other children with lives so different from my own.
I guess that was what made the distance so enormous. When others tried to get near me, I’d back off. I was so different that the idea of being like them was a concept impossible to understand. The idea that someone could help, wasn’t there at all. For me as a  child. Guess I am growing up now.
Following this was the understanding that nothing could change. I was stuck (as the only one in the world) in my situation, with negligence and abuse, and a life outside of the ordinary.
I was way out. When I sort of cleaned up, and got my life together, I used patterns and behaviour I had watched and learned. I did what people expected me to. I hid away the abused child, and what had been me. Put it in a huge locked box and threw away the key. And for some years, I was probably nobody… Well, I know that’s not possible.
I guess over the years I have found me again, and started working out how my experience has shaped me, and my life.
Sometimes I am very strong, feel like I know what I am doing, and love my life. Sometimes I feel very scared about what has been, scared of those feelings that sort of can take over my whole being.
Sometimes I am just scared. But I’m not all that different anymore.

Related:
The end of childhood as a Horror movie 

How are things at home

The end of Childhood as Horror movie!

Heroin syringe

Heroin syringe (Photo credit: Thomas Marthinsen)

Explisit!
I am not sure when he stopped.

My therapist has asked me several times, if I was scared of getting pregnant. I don’t remember. Pain in my childhood covered my memory and made so many things disappear, just to reappear as fragments. Not all of them are frightening or dangerous, or in the PTSD-category, like some of the things I have described earlier. Most are just undiscovered memories, as if you would look through old photo albums. That’s ok.

So I don’t remember if I was scared of getting pregnant. At first I guess I didn’t know how one did get pregnant, it wasn’t included in my sisters version of the flowers and the bees. As I got just a bit older, and understood more, I was also able to get away more easily.

My day would be like:

  • school (not every day)
  • going to town for music lessons (as much as I could) or to the library
  •  just going to town, hang out with people I thought about as friends, usually a lot older than me.
  • getting home too late, and go straight to my room.
  • if he was home, and not one of his travels, I’d think twice (at least) on what to do. Sometimes I’d just get out again through the window immediately. Sometimes I’d wait for a while. Sometimes I tried to sleep. If I got out, I would come back at 4:30 or 5, and get two hours of sleep before having to start another day.

I always had top grades at school, even though I never made an effort, and in periods, I couldn’t have gone more than every other day. Sometimes teachers would try to talk to me, and they said they would call him. My respons would be “so what?” People must have known though. Someone in school, the pill-pushing idiot of a doctor, someone in that very very sick home I had.

I ran away several times. Once my sister saw me, she was going to work on a very early morning shift. Saw me, ran to grab me, and called him. I couldn’t believe she would do that!

Once I told my friends at school that I was going to far away, to another country. For like forever. After two days, they told the police that. After two days, even he got worried. I was in my hiding place by the sea. I don’t recall what happened as I got back.

At 13 I met this boy who lived by himself. He was 18. Which meant free alcohol, many funny pills, and the introduction to smack (H, skag or whatever you call it). I did only one serious suicide attempt, the plan was to pop all the pills I could find, and top it off with a shot. Problem was that the pills were still in their packages, so I had to press them out one by one. I started taking ten, and then ten more… when I woke up again, I had the syringe in my arm, and there was some blood. Some 26 hours had passed. So it must have been a close call. After that, at 16, I came off hard drugs, on my own.

Last term at school, I had put my life together, sort of. I was normal, like the others. I thought so anyway.

These last few weeks of writing has been quite intense. If my mind doesn’t come up with more ugly flashback, the things I have told about here are the worst. It’s not all. but maybe it is the parts that needed to be told the most.

At 16, I met my first husband, we married when I was 18. At 25, my father died on one of his many journeys. That was when I started remembering. I had some 25 years of f***ing up my life, and by next year, I have use 25 years trying to mend. The story is not over.

Burnt child

One of my friends and her family went to visit her uncle. I got to come along, being the girl without a mother that people felt sorry for. It must have been one of the school holidays, it was more than two nights. But there was a weekend during those days we spent there. A house on the countryside, as the fruit trees blossomed. Sunshine.  A farm. I am scared of cows. They smell bad too.

We borrowed two really huge mens bicycles to get a couple of kilometers to the petrol station, it must have looked ridiculous, we didn’t reach the pedals. It was all downhill. We wanted ice cream and sweets, maybe it was a Saturday. Day for treats.

I went to the to the back, to go to the toilet. I didn’t realize I was followed. Couldn’t get away either. He put one hand over my small breasts and the other down my panties. He said I liked it. He smelled of petrol and grease and tobacco. He let me go again, and I don’t remember the way uphill. Don’t remember any ice cream. Never told anyone. Not until now.

That night, we went to a party, or, no, not a party. Kids (though some over 18) getting together, playing music. There were a few beers there, and as the older ones got a bit drunk, no one cared about me, or my friend. Well she did, I probably told her to shut up or something. Or went on talking to someone else. Then some real booze came on the table. Nobody could just go buy it, it was expensive, and hard to find someone over 18 to buy. So it was homemade, and awful.

That didn’t bother me much. I drank until I was unconscious, woke up vomitting, drank some more. It was my first time.

The next day we sat talking in a field. My friend and me, and some of the others, probably agreeing it was a good party last night. One of the real cool boys sat in a tree, I liked him.

Then I set fire to the dry grass, and it spread very fast. I burnt my hand. Fire engines didn’t come for more than half an hour.

The others covered for me, but I was never invited again.

The smell of summer

English: Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Blu...

English: Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Bluebell). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We used to have our vacations at the house where my family originated from. My granddad moved to «town». Before that, before WW2 the family lived in a little house in a little place, in a bay, surrounded by high mountains. We had the north winds coming in every afternoon. It could be a bit cold. I remember the smell of all the flowers and the grass in the field. The smell of summer. I picked bluebells. That little house used to give me a break from the terror at home.

We went fishing in the river nearby, for large salmon and trout. My granddad told stories of a bear hunt, from way back. I never believed it was true, imagined it was something he made up just to make a good story. Some years back, I found that it was actually true. There had been a real big bear in the area, and it got shot, not by my granddad, but by someone nearby that he knew. (Probably relatives, it is a VERY little place). It was a good story!

I loved swimming in the river. I put on a diving mask and fins, and snorkel for hours in that ice cold water, snow melting water. I swam up the river, some hundred metres, and drifted down again. Sometimes I saw salmons more than half my size. I wouldn’t move at all, and we were just eyeing each other out, before she would hurry upstream, and I had no chance of following, drifting downstream. My body not shaped for that purpose at all.

We used to have boiled eggs for breakfast.

We went fishing in the sea too. My brother and I went out with the dinghy, it wasn’t that small, we had an outboard on it.  Once we found ourselves in the middle of the boiling sea, I had never seen anything like it. Pollock swim together in large flocks, and then sometimes, something scares them from down under, and they surface. There were thousands. Like the area of a soccer field, boiling with jumping fish. Imagine sitting there on a sunny day, with a lazy fishing rod outside the boat, and suddenly everything was total chaos. We caught about 60 of them, before they went under again.

I remember my mother coming to the house by the seaside. I sensed she was on edge; I couldn’t have been more than five. She wanted me to wear a life vest all the time. Once, she took us out in the boat, not far, and we lowered a little anchor to have the boat stay at one place when fishing. When she started the outboard again, she’d forgotten about it, and the propellers cut the rope.

She started to cry. I imagine she was afraid he would get angry. I cried to, because she was afraid.

When I got older, must have been 12, we had a new and larger boat. My brother and I had an argument on the boat, I have no idea what it was about. But it ended with him saying he was going to kill me.

I didn’t go out fishing with him for a long time after that. Once he asked me why. I told him, and he said he never meant anything by it. He had probably forgotten about it.

I went swimming instead. No one saw me cry.

They all went away

I felt nothing.

We were a big family. My mother and him, my sister and brother. His six siblings and parents, My mothers’ sister, my three cousins, my mothers’ parents.

By the time I was ten, so many people had died. My mother. My grandfather died just a year later, his wife died just some months after that. And then my other grandfather died, he was the missionary. My mothers’ parents and the rest of her family moved away.

He wouldn’t have anything to do at all with either of the families. So from being part of family celebrations with 20-something people, we were four. And four important people in my family died in three years, when I was between seven and ten.

Hardly a family left. My brother was always out with his buddies, my sister got a boyfriend so that she could stay away as well. I never stayed at home if I could find something else to do.

We never did family-stuff, we faked Christmases, we passed by each other in a strange way, as if we had masks and costumes on and it was an absurd Italian comedy.

Everybody would put on a smiling face if we had visitors.

We had a live-in housekeeper.  She blended in.

I felt nothing.

How are things at home?

I really liked that teacher. He started at my school when I started fourth grade. He would ask me when I didn’t turn up for school. When I got into fights with the sixth grade boys, that’s something you don’t have to do very often. He would ask me when I fell asleep during class.

That feeling, when you have to stay behind after all the others go for a break and some fresh air. It doesn’t take more than that to feel different. I already knew that I was very different, and usually thought that I didn’t care. But it hurt when the others in my class wondered about what was going on. I didn’t want to be that different.

He’d never yell at me or anything, he would start by saying: “You know it’s not ok to beat up anybody, I wish you wouldn’t do that.” And then he would use about three minutes convincing me that I should tell this boy that I was sorry. Which of course I never did.

I need to say that this boy, was kind of like the cutest one in school. And he was a bully, going after everyone smaller, weaker, with glasses… He had this fan gang gathering around him all the time.

At one time, it just happened. As everybody was in the hallway, he passed me, I put my foot out, and he fell. They were laughing, most of them thinking he got what was coming to him, some thinking of what on earth I was getting at. As he tried to get up, I kicked him real hard in the stomach.

I have no idea why I did it. I was a short girl at ten, he was two years older and quite big for his age. Maybe I was angry about something, or maybe I saw an opportunity to give him a few scratches when everybody would look. Maybe I needed to let everybody else know not to touch me?

The day after, he and two others were waiting for me as I walked home from school. My lessons in pain must have scared them. I didn’t cry, I didn’t scream, it hurt like hell, I asked them if they were done yet. I got a black eye.

My teacher wanted to see me the day after. He asked me what happened to my eye. I said “Nothing”. He would be daft not to get the picture, but he didn’t ask anymore. Instead he told me that he understood that something was going on.
“How are things at home?”
I couldn’t answer.
“How come you fall asleep in class?”
“I’m tired”
“Don’t you get to sleep at night?”
No answer.
“Do you feel safe at home?”
Definitely no answer!

He talked about bad things sometimes happening in families, and that it must be hard not to have my mother around. He said that he was worried that I spent so much time away from school, but very happy that I did so well with all the subjects. He asked me what he could do to help.

He asked me if he should talk to him.

That must have been the closest I ever got to getting help. I walked out of the classroom, out of the school and once more to my favourite place by the sea. It rained slightly. I cried, I cried myself into a terrible headache, and then I fell asleep.
He tried again and again, that teacher. For years. It must have been the first time someone saw me, and it didn’t feel like a threat.

Oh, it just felt so good!

Two little pills, I got to relax, sleep, and I didn’t feel any pain. I guess I had been on edge ever since my mother died, no, before that. Ever since I got into the habit of hiding. Ever since we moved to the large house with the big garden.

I told the doctor that I had fallen, he asked why I came alone, I said there was no one who could follow me.

He waited outside in the car, impatient, I imagine.

The doctor called to find my parents. I knew where he was, so I had no worries about that. This was before mobile phones… But I didn’t want the doctor to speak to him; he might think I said something wrong. It was a nice doctor, he held his hand on my shoulder and told me it would be ok. For an instant there, I believed him, and started to cry. He found a nurse to take me to x-ray, and promised that he would see me again, afterwards.

My left arm had broken, just over the wrist, not very serious really.

I just had to get out of my room, he was in there. I was sitting on the bed, he sat on my desk chair, I made a go at it. I had to get out. I wasn’t fast enough. So my arm broke.

He took me to the hospital, he didn’t speak in the car. I was just sliding into pain, and letting the pain in my arm be me. I had learned how to do that, indulge in pain, being silent and numb, out of reach.

I remember the warm lovely feeling of getting the cast on, the nurse told me how good I was doing. I really didn’t want to go out of there again. Before I went, the doctor gave me a glass of pills to take home, he said to give it to my mother to have her look after it. I promised I would. I could take one pill when the pain was too much, but no more than twice a day. And two pills at night.

The first night I put all kinds of things in front of my bedroom door, so that there would be a lot of noise if he was to come in. I slept.

The second day I endured the pain all day, to be able to take more pills as the night came. I sneaked out quite early, and didn’t come home for bed time. I slept like a baby, probably for the first time since I was a baby… At one of my hiding places by the sea.

I was ten. A child, a grown-up. I knew how to take care of myself.

Only safe when I was alone, only safe when I trusted no one.

How memory works

We are visiting the small town where my husband grew up. As we walked through the streets, passed the school, he told me the stories. ‘When I started school, we were 24 in my class, we had the classroom right there, the third window from the left. The house we lived in are not here anymore, but this was the view I had from my bedroom. We used to go to to the store here on the corner for ice cream every summer.’

Things like that. I realize (again) that I don’t have those stories, things went very wrong before I can remember, and I have used most of my life trying to keep everything away, only to find that it does come back, uncontrollable, horrifying.

Boats are still looking for the missing 19-year old, we are watching them from where we sit right now.
I don’t like this place. Had a really bad night last night, and feel some desperation over bad sleep creeping up on me. Feel a bit blue today.

We are leaving now.

20120518-123259.jpg

Grey, sort of

Cool grey

Cool grey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Managed to set up this blog on its own… Anonymity is very important for what I am going to publish here, so I didn’t want to use the same author as elsewhere on WP, or have anything in here that can identify me. I blog a lot, have a very visible social media profile. My occupation demands me to not use those channels with full name to be too personal. So this can be my free space:)

A bit paranoid perhaps. But check “about” if you wonder why. Or continue reading!

A bit of background; I am suffering from complex PTSD, and have done so for what must be about 25 years. 25 years… that is kind of scaring. It is almost all my adult life. I do not have flashbacks every day, and I can have long periods of time without or with just few symptoms.

The reason for my PTSD is childhood abuse. I suffered a lot. And I managed to make my life quite complicated not getting help, not getting the right help, doing drugs for long periods of time, and really messing things up. I am still a bit messed up, but think that my life has never been as promising as it is now. So maybe that’s the reason for this blog, finally I can begin to recover, and as I do so, writing is going to help me.

This is not going to be a story of complaining. I already did that story, in a blog only visible for me, a diary with all possible garbage from my twisted thoughts. There is no value in that, and it really doesn’t help either, to try to describe all those bad dark feelings.

This is going to be the story of my attempt to get things on track. I finally have a platform in my life that can make me get on. Something solid. A better place to start. And I am not religious or anything:)

Follow me if you want to know more!

This Sunday is rain and wind. Sort of grey. I love the wind in my hair!