Hello, I have not been here in a while, but I have to keep finding spaces for myself to think things through. One thinking tonight is about my wish that I pressed charges for something that happened. It actually might not be too late, but I know my mind would never make it. And the reason for having this wish right now is that I keep falling into self-blame. I honestly don’t know how to get out of it. I want help on getting out of it. And it’s very hard when other people don’t consider me or what I’ve been through. I feel really confused too about how to own my piece– poor boundaries– while also knowing I was a victim–I just keep falling into feeling like I am so bad, and so desperately need punishment. If I had had better boundaries the mess wouldn’t have happened. That is a fact. The fallout of the mess has effected my child. That is a fact. I need help with him that I have desperately been trying to get– for years I have been doing everything I can. The program he is in now is residential and, while things seem to have calmed down right now, yesterday my conversation with the director was about how they couldn’t handle him so I may have to come get him. If they are an institution and can not handle him, how on earth they think I, a single mother just trying to get healthy myself can handle him is beyond me…. though they do not think that. They do not think about me, and they do not care about me. I think focusing on my therapist who sees things my way, does care about me is what calmed me down, together with lots of ice cream and sleep and then a day of calm distraction. Now the thing with the institution has died down a bit, my kid’s trouble period passed. But I feel so beat up, and some things came out– like how SI, to me, appears as power– the last power I have when everything else breaks down. I suppose that I had never told my therapist that, which is odd. But he said that that disturbed him and he would never in a million years have that occur to him… but it seems so obvious to me that it is very powerful. He said he sees it a weakness. I mean…. maybe weakness is a sort of power…. but other than that, I want to come around to his pov, but I don’t get it– at all. If anyone can explain it, I will listen. There’s something else I want to understand too, but don’t understand– with the most immediate stressor (kid) out of the house a few weeks, I am having a chance to unwind. I have figured out that what is happening is that I am becoming less numb. I kind of think this a dangerous thing– to become less numb. Because the stressor will return and the numb was a buffer. It was how I was strong enough to deal. But, again, so these both have to do with power and what is strong and what is weak. The numb was effective. The SI is super effective… that’s not true. It makes me feel terrible. And the numb is… well… I don’t even know it’s there when it’s there but having some space now I can see that it was there because it turns out that there’s all this unfolding happening– sprouting social interests, getting exercise, cooking for myself– that stuff was not happening in the domain of numb. It seems like without numb I will not be able to cope, but my therapist saw that as opposite too… that numb is weakness, and with less numb I will be more powerful. But the last time I had a break then my kid came back I did fall completely apart. We were in the er a lot due to his drug use and his tantrums. It was too much for me. The system doesn’t listen to when I say I cannot take it. That was my last big SI bout, though no one other than my therapist knew it was happening. I don’t want to fall apart like that again– I don’t want to just not care.

Life shifts around a lot. I’m supposed to focus on– I am doing much better now. I’ve had set backs before. I will take it a bit at a time. And it keeps resonating– I was a victim– that’s how this situation happened. When I compare myself to other I can handle it pretty well– I see that I am much better off than many. And I see that I am way better off than women who experienced what I did in other time periods. I have everything I need, so it is impossible for anyone to have more– …… but this bad feeling– this I am bad feeling….

And– I have now held a full-time job for a bit over a year.  That is a miracle.  It was not at all clear that I would be able to do it, and I have and that makes me very happy.  I really am getting on my feet.  I can support myself and my child.  I never knew I have so much capacity.  It is a job that pays poorly, but no big deal– I can live and I have learned to have a job and I learn a lot there that will translate to more.  I am also getting more education.  I have finished my undergrad degree– …..just need to file the paperwork to graduate– this is amazing.  I am 38.  I started out an excellent student– went to college early… but then just couldn’t handle life, and had been a victim and became more of a victim…. There used to be posters in the mass transit– I believe they were for a college– they were about some single mother who gets up at 5 to cook for her kids, works full time, then goes to school at night.  The posters laud her.  Of course, they are trying to sell something– and these posers haven’t been around for about a year but they are really under my skin this week.  I am taking a certificate program now, which is actually important for my career in a learning way (the undergrad was only important in a check a box way)… and the class I am taking right now is hard.  That is good.  I am learning.  But I am not accustomed to feeling challenged — usually stuff is easy for me.  It was actually after I looked at a grade I just got that I came here, feeling bad about myself.  It might be partially hard because I just don’t have the energy to devote (though it is also just a challenge).  And that’s where the poster comes to mind– this lauding of a woman working herself to the bone to be a “good”– citizen? mother (for sure)– person really.  And I think it’s just soooooooooooo unsympathetic to women.  The answer to recovering from a life of poverty and trauma can’t be just work harder and harder and harder.  This particular class is on-line and I realize now that I might have an easier time absorbing info if it was in person.  I have fallen asleep as it ended the last two weeks.  If I took it in person I would have to take off of work… and I already miss a lot of work due to kid problems….. I feel a debt to the job– I could claim more space for myself though.  I could take off.  So, anyway, I have to resubmit my work for this last project because I didn’t understand something– I knew I wasn’t understanding it but didn’t have the energy to work it through on my own so I just didn’t– that actually sounds healthy to me now.   I didn’t strain myself– that’s a good thing.