I am irreparably damaged

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I think I have had too much damage to my soul to ever love again. I really thought I could overcome this. I truly believed that somehow I would be able to love in a healthy way. But I believe I am wrong. I truly believe that I am going to have to stay inside my cocoon, protected from others, in order to function, forever.

    Matthew is here visiting, and he is doing amazingly well. Yet I can barely breathe when I am around him. I feel like I am going to crawl out of my skin around him. I am deathly afraid it is all going to go South, and I feel frozen. I don't even feel like I can hug him, or relax and chill with him. And I am heartbroken.

    A guy asked me out the other night, and we had a truly wonderful time. Holding hands, laughing. I emailed him the next day to say I had a nice time - and he never emailed me back. I know what that means. I know. And yet I so desperately, horribly wanted a relationship with someone. I cannot go through this with someone else. My heart cannot be broken ever again, or I think I will die. And I mean that.

    I have been in counseling for 6 years - I have stopped since there are not any counselor in the town I live in. But I don't think it matters. I really don't. It is what it is. I am so deathly afraid of being hurt that I cannot function normally. Losing my sister, and Matt going off the deep end both last year, sealed it. I just know I cannot put myself out there again - but yet I so desperately want that intimacy. I want a normal life. The only way I can function right now is to work 12 hours a day, and come home and drink wine. That is so sad. And I know it.

    And Matthew. How I LOVE him. I adore him. He is my life. Yet I am scared of him. Scared to the core. There is a part of me that hates him for what he did to me these last 18 years. And that is a horrible thing to say. I feel like he has turned my motherly love into sheet metal - and I am raw and ragged now. I want to be loving and sweet, but I am so scared and edge, that I am critical and angry. It makes me ill.

    I want to have fun with him, and laugh, and instead I am hollow and sick. And that one feeling compounds the rest of things to the degree that I feel like I cannot function. I feel like I have been robbed of my ability to be a true mom. And by many failed relationships, I have been robbed from the ability to ever be a true mate. And by my sister dying I was robbed my closest friend that I will ever have, ever.

    Thank you so much for letting me vent. I had to tell someone. I come on the board every day and want to respond to everyone, and I get such PTSD flashbacks that I feel like vomiting. So I am very, very sorry I have not been there more for you all. I still think of you everyday, and always pray for all of you and your kids.

    And please do not tell me to get help - because I have been in and out of counseling my whole, entire life. I am on the 30 mg of Lexapro and Xanax. Therapy or different medications is not going to make this better. It is simply my life. And I have to accept it. However, I would like your ideas, support, and encourgagment - and most importantly your stories of how you have survived and made it to the other side of happiness.

  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    Honey, it may get better. It is okay to focus on you for now. It is normal to have PTSD around Matt. He did some awful things to you. And H's death was also traumatic (add in dealing with your parents about it). It is okay to pull back a bit from others. If you don't feel like you are ready to risk it again, there is no law that says you have to. Just take the time you need. Maybe it is a year, maybe its 5 years. You will know when you have recovered. You will recover but it takes time, often a lot of time.

    And you will always have us on this board.

  3. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I don't know if I have anything to offer you that willl help. I'm just sending a hug.
    I do know that the will to survive and live is strong in us mere mortals so that when you think you are down and out, that life force makes us keep trying to reach for that happiness.
    I hope you find your inner peace and start to like yourself and your life whatever it may be.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I will tell you the same thing I told my son who has been through more hell on earth than most kids I know. It took YEARS for you to be like you are. It will take YEARS for you to repair yourself and your psyche. If you are in, or have been in counseling that you felt did not help? Then you need to keep trying to seek out a person to help you fix yourself. You've been to enough counselors to know that if this one doesn't click with you - you need to find another one you can build trust with. You didn't get like this overnight - you're not going to be repaired overnight or in six months, or even six years. Trauma needs to be addressed with a professional you TRUST. The behaviors you are describing regarding Matt, your male friend? Are serious enough that they are impairing your lifestyle.

    So, when you tell me NOT to suggest counseling - it limits my ability to suggest things that I think you could benefit from like EMDR therapy which is a faster, more intense type of psychotherapy that works IF YOU LET IT.
    I'm sorry friend, I care too much about you to lie and tell you "Gosh Steely there IS a quick fix to your problems I'm just not going to tell you, or I could say well, you know if you just did EVERYTHING like I did you'd be better."...and then tell you what I did. I wish it were that simple. All I can tell you for certain is that the healing of your own soul lies within you, but you have to be able to trust at least ONE other person just enough that is a professional to get you to open up and start discussing your fears.

    I guess I could tell you everything that I've lived through, and done and why - but most of the horrific stuff and trauma I've lived through were so ridiculous I'm not sure I even want to revisit it since I started to heal. I can tell you that when you shut down, shut out suggestions you limit yourself on the right type of healing that COULD make a difference in your life. On the other hand if you've already blocked out therapy as a way to help you or this EMDR I'm talking about - that's just one more brick in your wall you will have to work through to get well.

    There are unfortunately no quick fixes or no lives you can parallel yours to that will make your life right again. I know - I tried. I did therapy with a 1/2 dozen people for over six years and I was so unwilling to give it one more chance with this last guy. At the thought of sounding redundant - I really think you should check in to this EMDR therapy. It was simple, painless...and gave me the tools to overcome a lot of my baggage. It was ALSO TONS better than sitting there listening to...."And what do YOU think about that?" I HATE THAT TYPE OF PSYCHO THERAPY. It's useless.

    EMDR on the other hand - taught me how to relive my life with a safety net in place and ME in control. Worked MUCH better - and I even had a chuckle or two once I got the remote control in MY hands.

    Hugs -
    Sorry not what you wanted to hear - but it's all I have to give.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'm really sorry that you are feeling this way. I don't have any suggestions other than maybe try to find a church, where you can get some counseling from the pastor....some pastors offer that.

    I wish I had some comforting words or more advice.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    My heart breaks for you, my dear.

    I wish I had answers.

    I may just be an IP address on a computer screen, but behind those digital signals is a person who really does care.

    Some days, all you can do is put one foot in front of the next. Sometimes that is all you can do. If work is what you need now, then work.

    Try to have faith that there is more out there for you. Even if you aren't sure you beleive it, at least try to tell yourself.

    Hugs, girl.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Oh, sweetie, I can feel the pain and agony coming through in your words. It is so hard when you feel so terribly broken inside.

    I know the feelings you are describing very well. I wish I could point you to some magic cure but I can't. Time is the only thing that will really help. Taking a break from therapy in the traditional sense may be exactly what you need. Do you have a pet that helps? If not, would you be open to getting one? There is very little like a dog or cat or horse to help us heal.

    I can remember how scared and terrified i was of males as a teen. My dad and gfgbro fought so much, and gfgbro was so abusive when no one else was around, that I froze up inside.

    Then our cat ran away. Friends gave me a wonderful gray cat named Squish (for the kneading she did with her paws). She spent so many hours in my arms up close to me while I cried or shook in fear and pain. Without her I would have killed myself before I finished high school. Not joking about it.

    Even with-o formal training to be a therapy pet, our furbabies are such a wonderful source of healing and connection. If you don't have one, or one that will snuggle/cuddle with you, then you might consider getting one. It can't be more expensive than weekly therapy sessions.

    Continue to journal your feelings as you can. Even writing letters you never send can help.

    It has all been so recent and so traumatic for you. Having Matt with you after such a terrifying period of time is bound to cause panic attacks and major PTSD. Be very gentle with yourself. think of yourself as a very delicate Faberge egg. You are that valuable (even more than that actually) and even more fragile. Treat yourself with the kind of true respect and gentleness that you would treat a newborn child. You are that special, that precious, and right now that fragile.

    Give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel. And to express it. I can remember giving myself 30 minutes to cry every few days. I hate to cry, but I was so broken that I needed it. I would hole up and sob. Letting it out made me see that it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be.

    Please know that if you ignore everything I said but know that I care - it is fine. As long as you remember I truly care, as do many others here, you can ignore all the things we tell you. Take what can help and ignore us on the rest.

    I hope the xanax can help you, same with the other medications. Be careful with the wine, but you already know that.

    Love you big bunches! Tell Matt I am glad he is doing better.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Star is right Steely. You didn't get to be this traumatized over nite, nor will you heal over nite. The point is that you're trying. You will get there eventually. Doesn't mean you won't guard your heart, cuz I still do to some extent, but you will find healing.

  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Steely, I didn't read any of the other responses. I didn't want to distort my own view, so if I repeat what anyone else said, I am sorry.
    Here goes:
    Life has never been easy for me. I was born to parents who were just kids themselves, and my birth did irreparable evidence to their lives. They were never able to be the people they could have been had I not come along. I lived with my grandparents from the time I was about 10---and although they loved me, I always felt like I was a burden. They had raised their children, and then because of my parents inability to grow up and act like adults, I felt like they "had" to take me.

    I married young, in a bar, to a very abusive (verbally and physically) man. I stayed there because I thought I deserved it. I had made my bed hard, so I forced myself to lie in it. Until I had enough.

    I married husband shortly after I came back to town. My divorce was final in Oct., I met him in May, and we married in August. Although I've never regretted that choice, it has brought me pain that almost destroyed me. His drug addiction has caused him to do things that ripped pieces of me away. And that ability to trust is completely gone.

    But, despite all of the horrible things that I have lived with, I go on. I go on because some part of me knows that life is good. For a very long time---I didn't socialize at all. I went to work, I pasted a smile on my face, I came home and dealt with an out of control difficult child and a drug addicted husband, and I tried to stay in control. I didn't think I was worthy of friendship---I had nothing to offer anyone. I was numb, blank, frozen inside.

    In the past few years, I have slowly come back to me. I recently got on facebook---and honestly, it has forced me to reconnect with friends from the past. I am living again after years of just existing.

    This site has helped a lot. I have learned so much. So has reading. Love is a Choice, Happiness is a Choice, The Secret, The Purpose Driven Life, Seven Habits: each of these books helped me tremendously.

    What I think I've finally realized is that my happiness, my joy, comes from inside of me. It was there, for years, buried beneath the damage that I had experienced. There are still days I have to force myself to be positive, but it gets easier with each passing day.

    I know that your life is going to get better. Trust in that.
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    You get to the other side and find happiness with baby steps. Teeny tiny baby steps.

    Being in a relationship, healing your relationship with your son, grieving the lost of your sister and best friend - those are big, big things. And that's not where you start.

    That may sound contrary to what will bring you happiness, but you have to start with the smallest of things. And work your way up.

    You have to get down to the very basics of existence and rebuild.
  12. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Sending hugs your way.

    I don't have any big answers for you but I do know that, after all you've been through, there are no quick fixes, professional or not. They say time heals all wounds. I'm not sure it heals them but in time we do develop enough scar tissue to get on with our lives and function.

    With Matt, you have a right to feel worried. I have to admit that, even when my two adult sons are functioning well, there is a part of me that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. That is natural. He is who he is. He will do what he will do. You can choose to worry about it and blame yourself or you can choose to move on. Easy for me to say, I know.

    As far as finding a significant other, I really believe that until we love ourselves, it is impossible for somebody else to love us. A real love does not fill the holes we have in our soul; they complement what is already there.

    You have had to deal with Matt's issues, your sister's loss, a major move, health issues, and lots of other stuff. That is enough to kill most people but you are still here fighting. You are strong but even the strongest of us can be laid low at times. Don't lose faith. It will get better.

    Working 12 hours a day may be OK right now; it gives you a focus. I hope that is not still the sum total of your life in a year but for now, it keeps you going.

    As far as wanting a "normal life" - I'm not sure anybody has that, and the people who do are probably bored silly. Sometimes the best you can do is just take the next breath and put one foot in front of the other. As long as you keep going, there is hope. Don't give up. When things are really down, just look up as the only direction you can go. Things do improve, even though at times it feels like it goes on forever. Try to enjoy the little things (the sunset; a flower; the funny customer). The bigger things will follow eventually.
    Good luck.
  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I don't have anything else to add to what the others have already said, but I want you to know that I love you, I'm concerned about you, and I believe you deserve every happiness in the world.
  14. lizanne2

    lizanne2 New Member

    I also do not have much to add. Sending good thougts.

    Perhaps this is different or the same. I fled to a dv shelter when difficult child 2 was 10 days old. That was lots of years ago. I right now am finally feeling some relief from that haze. And while a few areas of my life are full of love, others take time..... but please know.................with time, change comes and I believe it will be a good change!

    Hugs and hugs
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I am so very sorry. To a certain extent, not exactly the same, but there is certainly a thread of familiarity, I have felt your pain. I was badly abused by my father and have experienced many losses during my lifetime including the early and gruesome death of my beloved mother. I almost died giving birth to my son and so I adopted a daughter, and ended up with a difficult child child who has bipolar illness. I also experienced a very difficult loss in my love life, which involved his cheating...it made me feel like dirt.
    HOWEVER, there is light at the end of this tunnel. It took a LONG time and I still struggle, but today, it's a different world for me.

    For one thing...right off the top...who is to say exactly why this person didn't call you back. Sure, it's possible he didn't have a strong interest in you. However, it's also possible that something is going on in HIS life. Something that has NOTHING to do with you AT ALL. And, if he is not interested all that much in you, SO WHAT? Look at the grains in of sand at the ocean. That's how many men are out there. Just get your shovel and pick up another batch.

    Therapy, good books, tapes and action (hard work), has made all the difference in the world for me.

    I agree with the others, each of us (you toooooo) deserves to feel joy in this world. Sure, sometimes life hands us hardships, but deep down in your core, you need to know your inner value.

    To a large extent...you DO have to accept certain things. For example, that your son has a diagnosis. "It is what it is." Get him some help, but since he is 18...it is time to step back.

    Develop meaningful friendships elsewhere. Good friends, other relatives...go exploring.

    Counseling....I went through two or three, before I found one that I really liked. AND husband and I have seen off and on again a therapist, even though we get along very well. Why? "cause we knew raising a difficult child was sooooo very difficult. Therapy has helped us sooooo much.

    Also, although I have not tried it myself, I have a friend who did EMDR therapy...and it worked wonders for him.

    Go to the library...check out books on self esteem...honestly, it is so helpful.

    If you are not taking care of your body, please do so as best as you are able. Eat healthfully (at least more often than not), get in some exercise, at least take a multi vitamin. Just do the basics. For a LOOOONG time, I only went to the gym Tues and Thurs. Those were my exercise days, come hexx or high water. AND guess what? It really helped me. Helped me lose weight, helped to boost my self esteem, helped me get healthier both physically and emotionally. Just two hours a week....wow!

    Put one foot in front of the other....
    Consider going back to therapy. Consider a little exercise. Consider going to the library/amazon/book store and getting a book on self esteem. I also like the idea of journaling. Stay involved with people...especially people who have your best interest at heart...who make you want to SMILE!

    Also...husband and I have gone to a few Family Anonymous Meetings and have found them to be very helpful. Read the Serenity Prayer. It is not easy, but life gets better when you accept certain things and trust that certain things are out of your hand.

    Wishing you well.
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The others are right this will take time. You have been through so much hurt, it is understandable that you would worry about being hurt again. Be gentle with yourself. Know that we love you and care about you. Each day you and Matt are in my prayers.
  17. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Steely! I wanted to answer before I went to bed (it's been a tough couple of months) so I'm sorry if this seems scattered.


    You've been running on full tilt for 18+ years. All of a sudden, it slows down and you don't know what to do.

    You've got ptsd from Matty and now you're having some "I love him so much, so why do I cringe when I see him" thoughts. NATURAL!

    Your sister was stolen from you. There are no clear answers so you feel sad, depressed and lonely. NATURAL!

    You've been running like a nut, finally meet a nice guy that doesn't call you back - WTH? So now you're feeling like you're never going to put yourself out there again. NATURAL!!!

    First: give yourself some time to experience your feelings. You haven't had that opportunity in 18+ years. You've always been in "reactive" mode. For the first time, you can actually sit back and "feel". Consider it a minor case of arrested development. Most grown-ups get to still learn & process feelings, but you've been putting these feelings away in forever and a day!

    Second: I can see where H was your sister, your best friend and confidant and always there. But (and I'm not criticizing!) sometimes when we choose a sister or brother to be our best friends, we forget how to develope trusting relationship with others. Go slow. Meet a friend. Join some type of social group that brings in your interests. You'll make a bond with someone with the same interests.

    Third: The problem with e-mail relationships is that we can create this person and present it to others without ever meeting them. Then when we do, it's too hard to "stay the same". Bottom line: You need to meet these guys, no matter how nice they seem to be, as potential friends. No more no less.

    Relax, it'll all come into focus!!!

  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think you are over-thinking this. Start with something small, and see what you love in it. You'll find other things you love. I'm not sure about Texas, but here I love flowers and hummingbirds. You can't love big if you don't love small.

    Big hugs....
  19. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am impressed with how aware of yourself you are. You know what you are feeling (or not feeling) and can describe it. Have you ever journaled?

    I think it is a good sign that you can articulate how you feel. That means you can pick one thing and work on making it better. Even if it is leaving work an hour earlier every day for a week.
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    ANother thing that came to mind when I was thinking about you last night was what my therapist told me about 2 months AFTER Dude had left at age 16 for that group home. ALL OF A SUDDEN......I had NO stress.

    I thought and said "Well HOW can having NO stress be a bad thing?" and the doctor said that when you live in a perpetual state of chaos then have none? Your body will CREATE chaos. Which I found absolutely absurd. Create chaos? Why would you do that? Why would you dredge up things that were past? WHY would any sane person not LOVE peace?

    And he told me that our bodies get so used to the stress/chaos/struggle it becomes very much like a drug in as much as we start to crave the chaos. Without it we feel empty - like things in our life have stopped that we're no longer necessary - and everyone needs to be needed.

    I thought it was a weird statement to make but we started doing exercises to make me aware of things that I was doing to myself sort of a self-sabotage if you will - and it was almost too odd for words. I didn't even KNOW I was doing it. Once I learned the signs of doing it? I was able to stop, and redirect my thoughts to more pleasant things.

    This is what the beauty of EMDR therapy can do. I know you're probably sitting there going "I told you don't suggest therapy I'm done." and if you are fine, but this is the only way I know to help when someone said "I don't feel fixable." I agree with Busywend that it takes a LOT for someone to know and be as insightful as you - but you also have to leave the door open for healing. If you don't then in a way you are saying "I need X, but it can't be this, this or this." Don't ever narrow your options for healing.

    And you know what else......for all the quacks and quackers I saw over the years it made me furious that people who told their college "I want to help people get well in their mind." were chewing gum, staring at their text messages on their cell phones, looking out the window, doodling on a note pad - making notes about their own life when I was irreparably damaged. I wanted them to DO SOMETHING....I was there, I was trying I was giving it my all to get better for myself, my life, my child....my relationships and here they were getting paid - and not paying attention. Heck if that's what I wanted I would have stayed married. Know what I mean??

    So don't discount the entire carton of eggs just for a few bad ones. I finally got lucky and found a doctor that really cared if I got better mentally. Some times it only takes one person to say I really care that you get better mentally - and mean it, but YOU have to care too. IN caring you should allow yourself all the options that are available.