Mr. asked me when I was going to start "writing my stories again." Because he "likes (my) stories." Here's the start of a story. (Bumped post from November 2011)
All this time I thought I was making blog posts, when I haven't really been making BLOG POSTS. My entries are mostly about stuff: products, things, material THINGS, and I've not written about life (or a lack thereof) in a long time. Why is that? Why am I perfectly okay to share eight hundred words about a chewable vitamin, but I am about to stall out at less than one hundred about myself or my situation?
It may be that I am acutely aware that these type of posts get more eyeballs on them, and it makes me a little wary of what I write. No, a lot wary. I know that "it doesn't matter what other people think," but you know damn well it does matter when other people have any influence on your situation. Why do I worry?
Because I do. I worry what you think sometimes. I worry what you might think if you read updates from my real life and judge me.
I depend on this blog and it's affiliations for my sole source of income. Maybe that's it. Maybe because I've lost some, and I worry that over-sharing will lead to losing more. In the summer, when I divulged some very personal family information, I lost readers. I lost ad income. I lost page views. I haven't discussed much of anything since that point, because I was waiting for hate, to be honest. I became super sensitive to anyone attacking my "job."
Why does it matter -- it's just a BLOG -- it's just a hobby? Just quit doing it.
Like I said: Blogging is my SOLE source of income. I moved out on my own in August of this year, and for August, September, October and November, I've paid my bills with the income I earned related to the blog. I have realized just how hard it is to keep up. In fact, earning the money to pay bills without a steady job with a guaranteed pay check is hard enough -- but when you fail to remember to pay the actual bills -- that's super!
Even on my own, I need Mr. to help me remember to pay the bills, or I will be without lights in thirty days. My short term memory is nil, I live moment-to-moment, and he understands that since he's lived with me since I seem to have lost my brain. If he weren't available, I'd likely not be writing this post. My internet connection would be cut, because I'd have forgotten to pay it, and then there's 49 other reasons why it would be harder to fix it without his assistance. "What, how do I pay this right now? I don't use credit cards? Check by phone -- what?" He's always done our household bills, so I am a bit like a deer in the headlights -- and if something can't get paid online -- it's too much work! There you go, feeling judgy, see? Living on my own, getting to the bank is a big deal. That's one walk, and two buses down, two buses back -- but the bus doesn't stop near my bank -- so we have to walk through McDonald's parking lots, a car dealership, and various stores, down to the plaza where MY bank is. So, no, it doesn't happen or at least hasn't happened since I moved out.
I've been here -- in this apartment since August 15, 2011. I thought being here, would somehow make it easier to be connected -- to get places, to see people, to get them here. Aside from bringing myself and the kids to the bus and around town, it's not. Aside from my parents, nobody has been here. (And Wendy, all the way from Jersey!) Extended family members haven't been here at all, in fact, I don't know if they know where I live.
Who DO I see? Mr.
I moved out of his house. I left. If you don't know why -- don't bother asking. It's in the archives here somewhere. Since I left, he's been dealing with life. It hit him upside the head and flipped him upside down and shook the snot out of him. He's done amazingly well, considering the situation. I think we all have. (He's okay with sharing, he wants me to share even though this makes me twitch a bit.) He's been going to therapy, and it obvious that it works for him, and we both agree that he could have benefited from therapy years and years ago.
Why? What's the matter? At some point between 2004-2008 something snapped inside Mr. At some point after weight loss surgery and during maintenance and during all of my health drama, something was triggered.
I don't know if I can use the right verbiage to explain it, but he just cracked at the seams somewhere. It was obvious something was bubbling up out of him, and it was manifesting in stress, and physical twitches. He developed a jaw tic, it's always been there for as long as I've known him, but at some point it become super-evident and started becoming a reaction to bad news, stress and life drama.
You could see him amp up, and then he'd start tic'ing -- at times there would be a slight verbalization. It's gone on for years, and in the last year or two became pretty much a daily problem. I often asked him to get help -- medication -- something. But, it's stopped, very recently, and only occurs with a DEFINITIVE trigger. I can point one out like clockwork.
Without dragging years of details into this: it boils down to this -- something was wrong, very wrong. We started realizing bits of things that were just not right about his behavior and reactions to other people.
He was aware of this -- acutely aware at times -- and it was making him crazy.
Why did he feel this way? Why did he have this tic? Why did he feel choked if someone hugged him? Why did he feel like he was imploding if someone else yells? Why did he have less friends than so and so? Why... this... that...? All signs pointed to therapy. In the first few weeks of this process, I thought the best thing would be that I left. I thought that he was headed in a different path -- and it made sense to back off and start dealing on my own. It was clear that I would support him, 110% because at the time I was sure he'd lose familial support. And I did.
Weeks later -- into the therapeutic process -- he came to me with information that I'd been asking him about for years. When I met Bob, he was a child, but he was mature beyond his 16 years old. He's always been -- but -- there's always been a wall around him -- to EVERYONE. The only time you'd see the wall broken down in the least is with our children when they are little -- and can't be mouthy. He would be gentle and soft, but otherwise, he was ... disconnected. Always. Forgive me if I don't explain this well, but it's all that's coming to me.
He was disconnected -- and cracked.
I asked him very early on in our relationship if he'd been abused as a child. We had various conversations over the years, and all signs pointed to yes. He often explained that his memories of childhood are missing -- that he just doesn't remember anything -- especially anything positive. There's nothing. He has some stories -- but they are all negative. He said the other day that he doesn't remember a single birthday. Now, I have poor memory, but I recall birthday parties. I recall going to my friends' houses for parties. I remember getting a cassette tape player for one birthday. He sits and can't pull up anything -- until his teenage years. (And, then there was me, and I have lots of memories -- good and bad. So.)
Through this process of therapy, and confronting some who would know, it appears that we were right. Yes, I am being vague. But, the moment he was given the "yes," it was like a ton of bricks was lifted from his shoulders.
And, he's screaming on the inside. "IS THIS WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!?!?"
He's looked at a thousand checklists, articles and websites -- and every one he is left nodding --
Lisak, D. (1994). The psychological impact of sexual abuse: Content analysis of interviews with male survivors. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 7, 525-548.
- Homosexuality Issues
- Isolation and Alienation
- Masculinity Issues
- Negative Childhood Peer Relations
- Negative Schemas about People
- Negative Schemas about the Self
- Problems with Sexuality
- Self Blame/Guilt
Common Symptoms in Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse:
- Physical Presentations
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Gastrointestinal symptoms/distress
- Musculoskeletal complaints
- Obesity, eating disorders
- Insomnia, sleep disorders
- Sexual dysfunction
- Asthma, respiratory ailments
- Chronic headache
- Chronic back pain
- Psychologic and Behavioral Presentations
- Depression and anxiety
- Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms
- Dissociative states
- Repeated self-injury
- Suicide attempts
- Lying, stealing, truancy, running away
- Poor contraceptive practices
- Compulsive sexual behaviors
- Sexual dysfunction
- Somatizing disorders
- Eating disorders
- Poor adherence to medical recommendations
- Intolerance of or constant search for intimacy
- Expectation of early death
In the weeks since he was given a partial confirmation, his entire self seems to be changing. It's a real-life metamorphosis.
Things that he would have NEVER, EVER cared to fix, are now important. He wants to know WHY he overeats. He wants to know WHY he reacts to certain situations with anxiety. Before, it was just reactions, compulsions, and cycling through them. Things are connecting -- and it's making ... sense.
What now? He's clearly heeding therapy advice -- and following some steps to healing -- and he predicts that there may be some chaos as he disconnects. I trust that he's been truthful, and by allowing this information to be known, I think he's serious.
Where do I stand? Well, I am still here, waiting on your judgy comments.
I didn't run home, but I did ask him to move in here and get the family together full-time. It's more about the kids, than he and I. No, we won't fit, but we are dead broke running two households. Being together is more important anyway, this back and forth crap is no fun. The house is an issue because I don't own any part of it, and he signed the mortgage with family members, and we need to get it out of their names on the ASAP. It appears there may be a very large house with one acre of land available for sale soon.
Update - I moved home in December 2011.