Monday, July 16, 2012

Not sure I am ready for this

So, I have been going to counseling. This will be a good thing. I think. The first session was an intake. Why was I there, what was my problem etc. No big deal. The next two sessions were my therapist getting background information and history so she knows what to focus on in the sessions. 

She wants to focus on me being assertive. She wants to delve into why I have had relationship issues. She wants me to be ready to start with my earliest memories at Friday's session. As in, she said she wants me to discuss being 4 years old and what my family was like. 


She wants the girl who has lived in semi-denial/semi-awareness for 41 years to OPEN UP. 

I spent most of those 41 years without real anxiety. NOW I have it. And bad. Just typing this and I feel the tightness in my chest, the heat in my face, the increase in my heart rate and blood pressure. The fear. The panic. Its gotten so bad that even on Ativan my heart races to the point that I feel like I almost "choke" on my heartbeat when I try to talk...the words won't come out for a minute. I will have to pause. Regroup. Start over.

Maybe, just maybe if I "tell" you first, telling her won't be so scary. I'm not sure what I am afraid of...being 4 wasn't bad that I recall. After that, my memories get more intense and less pleasant.

So, I think I will "journal" for me here...To lessen my fear. Hopefully.

She wants my early years.

I'm old. They are jumbled. When I was about 4 and my little sister was a baby, we flew from FL to NY to stay with my Mema and Pepa because my parents either divorced or separated. I was never sure. (Long story) We were in NY for 6 months. I remember getting off the plane. I remember staying with and loving Mema. I remember being afraid of Pepa. He had a brain tumor and was crazy but I didn't understand that. My mother was very afraid of him. (I didn't find out why until much later) I had an uncle who was 7 months younger than I was and we had a blast. My sister had bad asthma. I recall lots of ER visits. I remember popcorn strings and Christmas away from Daddy, Snow Angels. Day care. Falling down the stairs, crying, Pepa getting mad and my mother telling him off. 

I remember Dad coming to get us and driving back to FL. We arrived on Easter Sunday. Snoopy was waiting for me. He was as tall as I was and I was afraid of him. He ended up being my favorite stuffed animal. 

Nothing traumatic. I think. Then we moved. Dad went someplace else. This I vaguely recall. But he never really went away. I do remember going places with him. But it seemed like it was only my mother, sister and I for a short while. Dad moved back in. THAT WAS NOT GOOD.

Though jumbled, the memories get more vivid. The police at my house because my dad tried to choke my mom. My mom sending them away and lying about what had happened. I think a neighbor called the cops, not her. My mom crying ALL the time. They fought a lot. At the end of 4th grade, my mom came to my sister and I and asked us if we wanted to move back in with Daddy. Now, my sister is almost 4 years younger than I am.

I remember the day she asked us like it was yesterday. We were in the room we shared and on our bed being silly. I knew my sister would agree with whatever I said, she was only about 6 and a half at the time. I was 10 and all I kept thinking was, Mommy are you crazy? The words that came out of my mouth were "of course Mommy" She was all excited about buying a house. I was scared out of my mind. My father was never, ever mean to my sister or me, but I was always afraid for my mom. Always. 

The year that followed was the year from hell. 

How's that for a start????

I KNOW why I have relationship issues and issues with men in general. I am no dummy. I have a degree in counseling. I have relived most of my mother's mistakes, just in less time. I figured them out much quicker and put up with less. I also had a much less traumatic childhood than my mother had. She suffered severe abuse, I did not. She suffered it at the hand of the man she THOUGHT was her father but found out at the age of 30 that he wasn't. My family is a mess. I have almost non-existent family relationships actually. Except for having the best sister in the world. I feel largely abandoned by most of my relatives. 

I s'pose this counseling thing is going to be good then, isn't it?

I know that I have made mistakes and we all need to be forgiven. But I am very, very grateful that somehow my daughter possesses the spunk and balls that I never had. She does not hide her feelings about people most of the time. If I lost my mind and wanted to move Mr. Brady back in and I asked her what she thought, she would yell at me and I would be PROUD of her. I don't want her to repeat my mistakes, I want her to watch me get healthy and strong and have my power back and NEVER LOSE HERS. 

I have been a tad random, if you are still reading...hey thanks. I will chronicle my journey to a healthy me and maybe along the way we will all learn a thing or two.




  1. ((((hugs))))

    Therapy is a bit like a form of torture you sign up for intentionally, then pay for at the end. It sucks...for a long time. I just have to warn you about that. You'll walk about feeling beat down for the first few times for sure. Having said that, though, it is cathartic.

    Getting it out, the good, the bad, the ugly and the horrific, is necessary for your soul. You can do this. You can.

    You already did, just now.

  2. I must say...I can relate on some level to your story...except, I don't have many memories from my childhood before the age of 8. I admire your strength, and ability to acknowledge the fact that you could very easily continue the cycle and make the same mistakes your mother made. You are a good mom, by not allowing yourself to put your children in a situation that you know is unhealthy, simply because you are lonely, or sad. Keep your head up, and give the counseling a try, you never know, you could be anxiety free after a while!

  3. Thank you both. The years that follow are progressively harder. I know that it isn't going to be easy. I am thankful that this counselor is making me work. The last one basically blew me off because I was smart and in a Social Work program. I was sooo disappointed. Just because I know the language and can diagnose myself does not mean I can counsel myself. I need this. Staying strong and having clear boundaries with Mr. Brady when I am so sad inside and I miss the good side of him so terribly is killer. But I do it. I get a little stronger every day.

  4. You wouldn't believe how much of what I just read is my own story. My dad was extremely abusive to my mom. Choked her, held a gun to her head... Cheated on her, drank and used drugs. She never made him leave for good until I was 12. It definitely can make relationships difficult. Keep writing...

  5. Oh Gena, Wait til my next entry. I think I could write a book about 5th grade.

    Thank you so much. Its so awesome to know I am not alone.

  6. get it out there mama, and move on! good for you for taking control

  7. Thank you Nitty. It's not going to be an easy road. But I've got this one way or another. Failure is not an option.


  8. Ican barely see now...tears for you...not of sadness, necessarily, but for the joy that you will find. And, you WILL find it. I had a messed up family too..well, they're still messed up..but I am an only child. So, only me, no great sibling or anyone else. Kinda went through a lot on my own, but told myself I would NEVER put my child through what I went through. And, if nothing else, I would set limits and boundaries and stick to them. And, I have. I have only one daughter who is 11 now. And she sounds a lot like your daughter. Sometimes she's a bit sassy with me, but I tell myself (and her), if you won't take your Mamma treating you that way, DAMN IT, nobody better everrrr treat you that way. You get my point. I can handle the mouth for the betterment of her adulthood.

    I respect you so much for your candid honesty. Thank you for being brave and sharing. It will be next to impossible, and it will get worse before it gets better (panic attacks included), but IT WILL get better.

    Write all you need to.
    Much love girl. & BIG HUGS!!! Cyn (aka A.D.D. Music Mamma)

  9. Yeah my daughter has some sass too...we butt heads, but I am glad that she knows her mind.

    My boys, well that's another topic for another day. They bring me great joy and grief.

    Lots of love. This is the biggest response I have ever received from a blog. I am humbled.

    Big hugs!!!!!!!!

  10. Good for you! Getting healthy will be great for you and your family! Hang in there!

  11. We are on a similar journey, getting in touch with the damaged little girls inside us. Not an easy thing to do. Damn scary actually, but we will kick this shit in the ass!