Sunday, July 20, 2008

Family Ties

I'm at my Grandmother's house right now. She passed away March 31, 2006. Last time I came out here for a visit was Christmas the same year. It's been a year and a half since I've made the trip. And it's not even far. I just haven't done it. And I don't know why.

I told myself a few days ago that no matter how busy I am, I have to make time for my family, for these visits, because no one knows you like your family.

But now that I'm here again, visiting only for the second/third time in two years, I'm wondering if even they really know me.

I don't know if it's true that because you have the same DNA, you automatically understand and accept everyone in your family. But I'm wondering about the flipside: If I will ever be understood and accepted by all of them.

I want to tell them about the rapes and how things have been, but I can't - I come from a different culture... a culture where I would be blamed for what happened because women are supposed to be submissive and obedient... a culture where women have no say in their way of life... they just live as they are told.

I thought - I WISHED - I'd have different internal reactions to certain situations I knew I would be in... but instead, I'm realizing I'm just growing more and more frustrated at how some things will never change. But isn't the only constant supposed to be change?

I wish the fights didn't happen... I wish some would drop their drama and get back to their normal relationships... I wish some wouldn't go out of their way to make inappropriate comments at the wrong time in front of the wrong people... I wish I didn't feel like I have to hide stuff to just preserve the peace... but most of all, I wish I didn't feel like some people were so fake with each other...

I just get so tired of feeling like everything is so make believe around here... too tired to write more... going to finish my wine, watch tv and get some sleep.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Rule #1: Trust Yourself

I think it's safe to say I'm over this new guy I've been dating. I know I just wrote how much I liked him, but after I met with my therapist today, I know I have to trust my gut instead of what I hope will be... hoping because I think there's something I should do differently to make it work... something I should do because I feel like I have to fix everything... fix everything around me because I can't fix myself...

But I'm not broken.

My trust is broken - yes.
My motivation to try another relationship is broken - yes.
My faith that there are still good-natured, whole, real people out there is broken - yes.

Or maybe these are the things that don't necessarily need fixing... they just a little reconstructive surgery... a fresh outlook... a new beginning...

Ironically, my biggest struggles are the things I value the most about myself - is that even possible? The fact that I am a very trusting and loyal person - but I have such a hard time trusting others... My motivation to help others in their recovery to finding a better life after rape - but I sometimes find myself lacking the motivation I'm so ready and able to provide... And reminding others that anything is possible if you keep faith in your strength and courage to overcome anything... but I sometimes feel like I have the least amount of faith in myself.

I like this new guy, but I know myself much better now. I've done a shitload of self-reflection and emotional purging of my biggest, scariest life demons these past few years (as you'll notice from my early posts). I know I'm a completely different person - a better, safer, more solid woman and human being because I can FEEL it. I can feel myself actually experiencing Life in the moment. The emotion felt is besides the point - anger, happiness, sadness, pain, confusion, frustration, love - whatever it is, it doesn't matter. The point is that I am finally letting myself feel everything. That's when you know you are really alive, in my opinion... when you know you've earned your space in this World... when you can actually stop and feel yourself living every possible emotion Life throws at you. Not letting feeling my most horrific life experiences when they happened is what led to my last suicide attempt (my ninth or tenth overdose, I can't even remember anymore, there's been so many)... this one landing me in the ER.

That's what happens when you experience Life to the black, hollow depths of rape and abuse. You shut yourself down emotionally to survive mentally until you've been shut down for so long that you can't function anymore... long enough to see suicide as a step up instead of a step underground.

The things that bother me about this new relationship are things that can get better over time... if we actually stuck to our words and spent more time together. We always talk about how we want to hang out more, but it never happens. It's all talk, and I'm honestly realizing that I really don't know him well enough to keep trusting what he says. So I'm just over it. He'll say some nice little things here and there that temporarily make me push my relationship question marks aside, but in the end, when he says/does something that makes me question why I'm really pursuing this relationship, I'm back to my, "I should know better..." thought.

I've been through enough at this point... [clarification] I've survived enough in my life to know what I want... and who I want. I think we dated before, but I can't know for sure... still think about him from time to time, though... I suppose if it's meant to be, we'll find each other again. But for now, given all the recent drama I've had with all kinds of friends and boys, I think I just need time to let some nagging, bad-relationship vibes die so I can finally rebuild better, healthier ones.

That's all I can trust for now... just this invisible force that is pushing me to trust myself more than anyone else, especially a new guy that wants a relationship only when it's convenient for him... that's the exact opposite of a relationship. So it's done... I'm over it. And I feel much better... back to myself... and a little relieved, to be completely honest... relieved that I had enough faith and trust in myself to do the right thing for me, not for him.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Know When to Say When

It's definitely been a while since I've written... Life's been nuts since my last post, as you can imagine. As soon as I feel like things are getting better, something happens to spin me around again. The hardest thing about being a survivor, at this point in my life - 11 years since my first rape, eight months since I was raped again - is that no matter what, I feel like I'm still not accepted for who I am, inside and out. No matter how hard I try, I'm always doing something wrong, and blamed for this or that in the end... always leading to another damaged relationship. It feels like the ones I've trusted the most are the ones who end up hurting the most with their judgements and opinions regarding how I act, who I am, and the paths I choose in my life.

I've always handed others the benefit of the doubt, especially close friends, because in my book, the little shit doesn't matter if you're really that close and loyal. You don't judge the ones who mean the most to you. You support their choices, although you'd choose differently. I understand it's not my right to get down on others for living their lives the way they see fit, simply because I don't know what it's like to walk in their shoes... we all walk different paths, come from different backgrounds & upbringings... have different fears, hopes, dreams, anxieties... there are simply way too many factors involved that stare at you to accept what is, not to judge what is not.

I'm just sick and tired of feeling like I can't trust anyone anymore. If I share what is personal and important to me, I am judged and treated like a broken little kid for not healing in the ways they see fit. If I don't share these things, then I'm shutting people out and then that becomes an issue. Regardless, no matter what I say or do, there is always an issue that is created out of nothing... I feel like I'm becoming the target of so many people's insecurities and differences. I've run out of patience and am rapidly losing faith in people in general.

I don't know who I can trust because the minute I do, it feels like I just get stabbed in the back again. I don't understand how people, if they are really your friend, and if they really, truly care about you, can say such hurtful things like - I should just be friends with actual victims... I'm punishing them for living "normal" lives... what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

I'm beyond disgusted with the mentality of ignorant people, and even more disgusted that I've made such poor choices in who I thought I could trust. They say keep your friends close, but your enemies closer... and it seems like everyone who I thought was a friend has shown their true colors...

I don't know if this is making much sense, but I'm finally realizing how sad and disappointed I really am about all these friendships going wrong. I can't imagine using the most hurtful things about a person's life against them. I don't do that. I don't throw other's hurtful experiences in their face in a negative way to prove my own selfish point of view. I just don't understand it.

And I've been put in really bad situations at work lately, too. I've gotten yelled at by a few of my male co-workers for things that are their fault - one of them yelling his apology at me after realizing he was in the wrong, accusing me of fucking with his job - not appreciating that I'm going out of my way, above and beyond of what is my job to ensure all aspects of our project are running smooth for everyone involved, especially because some of their jobs have been threatened because they've fucked up. Another one yelling at me last week, threatening me that I haven't heard him yell yet, if I think he's yelling now - saying he's tired of everyone complaining and blah blah blah... when all I was doing was discussing how to better streamline orders, etc to reduce cost, especially because I am continuously asked why so much money is being spent on this or that, or why this person is making so many trips in one day to pick this up.

And then my boss yelled at me few weeks ago saying that I was controlling and didn't want to delegate things, simply because it's a control issue. Are you fucking kidding me? I'm running the office solo for a three year billion dollar project that is slated for final completion in six weeks. And when I asked to hire an assistant a year ago (when my last assistant moved away), I was told I couldn't hire anyone else, that I could handle it on my own. So at that time, I came to the conclusion that I HAD to find a way to just make it all work out somehow, by myself, no assistants, no help, nothing. And every time I entertained the thought of hiring another assistant, I knew I couldn't handle another year of potentials coming and going, considering the time it takes to interview, train, etc. only to have them leave just as soon I've invested half my time training... I just didn't have the time to do it... it was going to be much to take on at this late in the project... It all started when my co-worker (his status is just below my boss, but after my boss relocates soon, he will be my direct supervisor) wanted me to employ his wife in the office. This was a definite no for me - she hates me. She never talks to me, avoids me at company functions, is cold and uninviting whenever I'm around... why the fuck would I want her to be my assistant and more than that, do you really think she would accept me being her boss if she still doesn't like me after three years? There is no way it would work. So because of that, I don't want to delegate and am controlling. That's the biggest load of bullshit I've heard, considering my entire life has been about being put in situations that are without control... I lost a lot of respect for my boss after that conversation. In fact, I've lost respect for many people in my life lately, not just co-workers, but close friends who just disgust me now.

I know I can handle whatever is thrown at me, and I've had a lot of shit thrown at me in my life... but when is enough really enough? When do you draw the line from letting things slide off your back to walking away to preserve your sanity? What do you do when you are in a prime career position to make big moves for your future, yet you feel like you keep getting beat down time after time? What happens when you go out of your way to support your friends only to realize they were never a real friend to begin with?

All of these little things have been so frequent the past few years that they are piling up to an overwhelming internal confusing mess. I have never been this disgusted with the people in my life as I have been the past few months. On top of all this, I've been dating someone for a while now, someone I know I want to spend the rest of my life with... except I can't seem to trust him because of how much I've been hurt by the ones I thought I could trust. I know experiencing all kinds of relationships and knowing all kinds of people is a part of our Life's DNA... I just don't know what to do with it all right now. I just want it to get out of my life - all the bullshit, the drama, the assholes, the bitches...

Again, I have no idea what the hell I'm writing about... which is most likely evidence of how frustrated and confused I am with all these situations I keep getting thrown in. I feel like my communication skills have been challenged to the max lately, but again... when do you give up the fight for understanding & acceptance and just walk away from something/someone you've worked so hard for, only to see that, in the end, you were working all alone?

I've been a crying mess lately. The only one who made me feel whole again - my grandmother - is no longer alive, and I'm missing her now more than ever. She would be so happy to know that I've met someone I want to spend the rest of my life with, and she would say exactly what I need to hear in order to put things back in perspective... she would help me understand and wash it away to focus on the here and now. She would tell me how to let the hurt go. I've just been feeling really defeated lately... like I've been emotionally & mentally beat down so many times recently, one punch after another, that I've just given up on everyone.

Okay, rambling done.
Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing and photocopying, recording or by any other information storage or retrievel system, without permission in writing from the publisher.