A wave of tiredness

Yesterday’s realisation I was a love avoidant addict has hit me hard and last night was tough. I dissociated pretty badly after writing my blog post. A few things preceded this. S and I are going to hang out tonight, New Year’s Eve. I am going to a CoDA meeting and then we are going to catch up. She texted me and asked me what I wanted to do. I said I didn’t know and referred to her to decide, jokingly saying my response was so codependent. She asked why that was so and I said it’s common for codependents to not know what they want and that I was just hyper aware of my thoughts and actions at the moment. So she gently encouraged me to just think about what I would like to do and gave a couple of suggestions. I said that sitting on a picnic rug would be nice and watching fireworks is always good, and then I admitted I was so embarrassed to be writing this- like I was going to get into trouble. Anyway we made plans and I thought it was weird that I wrote “I was going to get into trouble” just for saying what I wanted. I started to feel dissociative lying in bed and then intense feelings began to arise. So I wrote:

“Why can’t I say what I want?

Because I feel like I am going to get in trouble. To say what you want is sooo bad cos someone always died. You choose, they die. It’s better to be confused and how do you know if you make the right or wrong decision cos they could grow up good or bad ones so you just never know”.

Hey this is Rachel, the writer. Or wannabe writer. Two parts just came out. Ah one was little and was being taken away in a space ship and then went ssh and said someone was coming. She curled up in a ball and tried to hide. But then they came, so Miss Death took over. She lives in a cavernous vault and it is good. She kind of has a body, but not really, meaning she could never move or walk, except maybe in a space suit, but she wouldn’t want to try. She had never really spoken to anyone before and we Pretended S was there to talk too. Miss death was prob as old as the body, but had never really thought about it. It felt so good being Miss Death. Everything was silent and quiet and calm. She felt good and liked living where she was living. It was nice for her to have company. She has never had it before. I decided to come out to write about them both. Miss death knows about me, which felt good. Everyone inside knows about me… well most people. They think I am like an investigative journalist. I’m not really, I actually like writing poetry studs. But it feels nice that people inside know my name.”

Today I feel really tired, I went to boxing and came home and just hopped in the bath. I could sleep all day but I will just potter around and try and get a few things done. I am on holidays so it is okay to take it really easy. It just hurts being in my head for too long.

Love avoidant addict

Tonight I went to a sex, love addicts anonymous meeting. It was a small group, women only. The women were in their twenties, pretty girls, two had been in the sex industry. For one woman, she said stripping was her way to reclaim control over men. She was addicted to it. Fascinating. It wasn’t until I got home, after listening to a podcast, that God led me to the term “love avoidant”. I am highly uncomfortable with emotional intimacy. I find it difficult to consider my partners needs and wants as I don’t know what to do with their deep feelings. I fear they are going to reject me either way and so prefer to sabotage. I say I want to be alone, but secretly prefer when they are around, but when they are, I clam up and feel trapped and suffocated and want to be alone again. Aaagh! That’s sick. That’s why I live in the fantasy- if I was with her, no, with him, or by myself … I seek comfort in the fantasy of my head. I just want to be normal, but then when things are normal, I think I try and cause chaos because this is what I know. Fuck. Sorry to swear. My CoDA sponsor said SLA would be like getting punched in the stomach… and oh my gosh, this is what it feels like. I didn’t expect to have such an intense reaction or identification. I am oscillating between dissociation, having a panic attack and wanting to cry. I feel ashamed. And the hard thing is, I feel unable to clearly pin it on someone/ something. Like obviously it comes from my primary care givers (my parents), but because of the amnesia I feel blank when I think about what they were like. Intellectually I get my Father was avoidant, I mean he was just mean. He abused us, but it’s not hitting me emotionally. Like I feel disconnected from that. My mother – well she met all my physical needs very well, but I don’t really remember love. Maybe I felt responsible for her… like I could make her happy or better, enmeshment… but then I rejected her too… or did she reject me? I don’t even know. I wish I had a narrative to wind this all up and get some clarity. I do desire a healthy, loving relationship – but what if I am not capable of it? Sorry to be all doomsday, but what if I remain this cold, distant, aloof individual. I can see all my patterns clearly now- how in each long term relationship, the longer we are in it, the more I have tried to escape. Being non committal- even in a committed marriage!!! Go figure. I feel sorry for anyone who has ever loved me. What a time waster I am! How cruel and mean, discarding people. I can’t even care about them when they are down! How selfish. The key to change is becoming vulnerable, but as soon as I do, I start to dissociate. This process of self discovery and healing really hurts. I feel embarrassed and ashamed to write that and selfish. I’ve gone back into judging myself for feeling. I viciously eat myself.

Why do I want to control?

Partly from me and a part:

I want to control because they hurt me and I feel so damn unsafe and scared constantly inside, that it is the only way I can feel any sense of safety. I want to control because I want to master what they did to me and I want to be the one in charge of the situation, cos then I can change it and stop it from happening, even tho I know I can’t, cos it has already happened, but secretly I think maybe I still can stop it. But I can’t and I hate that and that’s the bit I need to surrender to God, because i am tired and it’s not working the way it was meant to – meaning, I was meant to fix it and change it and make it better and make them stop and then it would all just go away.

They stripped me of my power, they broke me and I guess naively I have thought I could “show them up”, but I’m not accepting what’s happened and somewhere in my heart, I understand that is the key and that my greatest revenge is to heal and stop the perpetration of self and therefore others and to love and help others. This feels hard when I feel utterly helpless and smashed and in so much pain when I think of what they did and so to try and control that pain, even just a little bit, makes me feel a tiny bit safe, even tho I know that is false, but it still makes me feel as tho I’m not going to go insane or die, like they said I would. Who am I going to keep believing? The scum bag abusers or a loving, powerful God?

Top line and middle line behaviours

I am sharing my top line and middle line (unmanageable) behaviours in case anyone finds useful.

My top line ones relate to self care and are the things that are good for me. They include:

  • Having a bath
  • Going for a run, boxing or doing some other form of exercise
  • Writing reflectively- blogging, poetry or journaling
  • Painting or drawing
  • Taking the dogs for a walk
  • Praying
  • Reading the bible
  • Going to a recovery meeting
  • Having a day off and staying in my pyjamas
  • Sleeping in or going to bed early
  • Going to the movies
  • Writing a gratitude list
  • Reading affirming bible verses about living in the Spirit of God
  • Going on a bush walk
  • Calling a fellow Christian to pray for or with me
  • Spending 30 minutes a day relaxing
  • Dressing in way that makes me feel smart and professional
  • Putting on makeup
  • Writing about my feelings and praying to God to help me through them
  • Cooking something nice to eat
  • Identifying how I feel and accepting how I feel, then writing about it and setting a boundary if necessary
  • Deep breathing
  • Being honest
  • Laughing
  • Listening to a podcast
  • Doing service
  • Holding off making a decision for 48 hours.

My middle line behaviours, or behaviours that are unmanageable to me are:

  • Controlling myself or others
  • Manipulating people to get my own way
  • Self justifying
  • Ignoring how I feel or suppressing my feelings
  • Withholding expressions of appreciation
  • Getting confused, especially about who I am and what I want
  • Dissociating
  • Looking to others to provide my sense of safety
  • Loneliness
  • Fantasising
  • Being bitter or resentful
  • Isolating or being avoidant or withdrawing
  • Lying
  • Worrying
  • Being anxious
  • Hyper vigilance
  • Being fearful
  • Negative thinking about others or myself

When I am in middle line behaviours, it is highly likely I am going to act out, either by doing those behaviours or in my relationship, by hurting my partner. When I am in middle line behaviours, which is quite a lot, then I need to practice my top line behaviours, particularly asking God to help me focus on Him, His love and who He desires me to be.

Emotions are like a wave; they come up, they come down.

I am still chewing over the realisation I have no boundaries. A podcaster spoke today about a child being raised in an environment where there is an absence of the ability to think or believe your own thoughts or actions. I identify with this. I was brainwashed with their beliefs and distorted thinking and behaviours. If I tried to reject them I got punished, they split me till I complied and until I accepted them.

For a long time there I did not know how to think for myself. I couldn’t articulate what I wanted to say, I didn’t feel as though I had an original opinion (I still struggle with this). I second guessed myself, I looked to others for the answers. That’s why I always got into relationships with older people. They always knew more and had the answers. I’m stuck therefore in this cycle of not trusting myself, not knowing what I want, how I think or feel. It keeps changing- daily. Just when I think I have a grasp of things, it slips from under me and I get all confused again. I rebuked the spirit of confusion today, but it is still here. I am gaining more of an awareness of my behaviours and patterns and it’s hard to not judge myself or sit in feelings of despair. I’m trying to practice self compassion, see this as an opportunity to grow and create boundaries and healthy relationships. Still, deep inside me is a voice that says I don’t deserve this. It makes me feel sad and weak, as though I am not strong enough to stand up to it. I know that’s the enemy’s lie, but that’s how I feel. Defeated. I’m strong, it won’t last, but at this moment I sink into it.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and writing about control- how much I try and control situations, people, places and things. I know it’s not healthy. The control has been about trying to master the effects of the trauma I guess. I’m still untangling it. I gotta give the control to Yeshua. All my unconscious actions have been about trying to get control of some aspect of the trauma. When I did phone sex as an 18 year old- the desire to master the words they said to me; to be in charge. The unconscious pull to be a prostitute (Thankfully i never was), but it was all about enacting out the abuse to master it. It’s about the enemy too trying to keep me stuck in those patterns and ways and not living in the Kingdom and power of Christ.

The last six years I have had the most stability I have ever had in my life, which has been so good for me, but it’s like I just can’t sit in any place of serenity. I don’t know whether it’s because I am genuinely unhappy or if it’s because I am unhealed and this is the process I need to go through to enable more healing and change. On the outside looking in, things are okay, but interpersonally and deep within me is such sadness, despair and confusion. I wish I could hold on to my identity for more than a day. I just don’t trust myself anymore. How can I be a warrior for God when I am like this? I guess I just gotta wait and keep doing the work until He shows me the way forward. It’s very difficult for me to believe that God accepts me for the way I am. It’s like I am not enough. I can’t see how I could be enough for him, holding that thought confuses me and makes my mind go fuzzy.

Sitting with self

Tonight it has been difficult to sit with self, but I did it. I have made work an addiction and love and fantasy my escapism to avoid self. Why am I so afraid of me? To sit in my skin? It hurts, that’s why. It’s a hurt that I find so hard to describe. A deep, irritable existential pain that permeates my being. A sense of disgust that wraps my body in shame. I feel suffocated by it. I want to escape this feeling so bad. It hovers around me. I dissociate quickly before I get swamped by it. I feel lonely, I know it won’t last, and it’s probably high time I learn to sit with it, but it also hurts. Like everything is going to crash down before me. I’m afraid. A fear that I am unloveable I guess. I want to be loveable. I want to love, but I don’t know what it is. I have to learn. I feel like a small child again. I remind myself God loves me, He can show me how to love. I keep forgetting this. I wish it was my default. Instead it’s shaming myself and beating up on me. I know that’s not nice and I have written this down as my bottom line behaviour- simply, something that is going to affect my mental and emotional health poorly and cause me to act out- anything to escape feeling/ thinking that way. I have agreed to not beat up on me for two weeks. Instead, I have to sit with the dis-ease of the feelings, unpack them, tolerate them, write about them, allow them to pass.

Boundaries are there to protect me from getting hurt- physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I have never had them before. I didn’t really even know how to define a boundary. My boundaries were completely and utterly violated. That’s sad, but there’s not much I can do about it, other than learn how to set them and start protecting myself (and therefore others).

self parenting

For a long time I could not fathom the idea of self parenting. The concept of being a “mum” for my parts was a difficult one to swallow. I likened “mum” with witch, cold, evil, killer, mean, distant, crazy. I didn’t want to be that kind of mother to my parts, I just couldn’t reframe the “Mum” thing as being anything, other than those negative things. My T has been trying to get me to self parent for a while now and it’s only since going to CoDa that I feel ready to consider doing this. I’ve gotten myself into enough pain, I don’t really have any other choice. I tried to get my husband to do it and he did pretty well there for a while, but ultimately could not give me what I needed. I wanted S to do it and again, she was amazing, but it was an unrealistic expectation and burden to expect she could meet all my parts needs, particularly when she had parts herself and was not yet well equipped to deal with them.

I sought my prayer minister Pat, who did become my spiritual mum, but that didn’t last. And so now, it’s left with me. No more running or hiding. I can self parent by identifying feelings, accepting them, writing about them so my parts feel heard. Perhaps putting a boundary in place, or giving myself a self hug or saying affirming things. It sounds simple when I write it out like that.

I got through Christmas okay. I think because it was at our house and that made me feel safe and in control. I liked hosting and I had my dogs around who were beautiful all day. I feel a little dissociative tonight but I’m okay. It might be my last Christmas with my husband as we will likely separate next year. Every year is a new Christmas adventure as I no longer spend it with my family and I redefine what the day means and where I am at on my emotional and healing journey. Either way, it is just nice to have some time off. My body and head is tired and I want to be in Gods rest.


Today the church I have been going to had a Christmas service and then lunch. Everyone brought a plate of something and I did too. I arrived a little late and there were lots of people there (it’s not a huge church) and the worship team were singing carol songs. It was truly beautiful and very touching. For as much as I roll my eyes about worship music, I am starting to enjoy it and appreciate it as a time to bathe and rest in Yeshuas love. The sermon was interesting as the pastor wasn’t shy about saying how Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas, but that the Old Testament prophecies his birth. He took us through quite a few books and verses to explain and it was really interesting. Then at the end the pastor thanked people for their contributions throughout the year and it felt like a nice big wrap up. It was so dissimilar to any traditional catholic service I attended as a kid. Such cold, formal and oppressive experiences. Today everyone was laughing and being silly and were so relational. I received two Christmas cards and they were thoughtfully written, it was really lovely. Everyone ate lots and I had a great chat with the pastors wife’s mum! She asked me heaps of questions about how I got saved so I shared a bit of my story. She was very interesting to talk too and warm hearted. She was 70, but seemed so joyous and active. When God is with people, their age is kind of irrelevant because He just shines through them. There was lots of that today.

I felt blessed and thankful that God has led me to this church and I think I am going to stick around.

My head feels good the last few days, since closing things fully with S and also understanding that it is imperative that I believe Gods truth about me, otherwise i am operating in unbelief and calling him a liar. And I don’t want to do that.

I hope this feeling lasts for a while.

Backwards programming and other revelations

A penny dropped last night after reading some CoDA literature on shame and also after attending bible study with some members of the church I now go to. I realised that I made my abusers God. Yes it was unconscious, but it makes a lot of sense as to why I have not been able to believe that the true God, Yeshua, loves me and finds me worthy of His grace. I was bound to the maladaptive beliefs belonging to my abusers. Everything they told me was backwards. I have a feeling I have backwards programming. A part says “it’s simple, everything you think and believe is opposite to what it really is. It’s a type of confusion programming. So if things are good, then they really are bad. If she/ he loves you, they really hate you and so on. You will never get on top of it or break free because things will always not be what they are supposed to be”.

Back to God though, a man said at the bible study that by not believing God, then we are calling Him a liar. And we know that God only tells the truth, He doesn’t lie. So by me not believing He loves me and that I am made in His image, then I am doubting Gods truth. And this is impossible. And I don’t want to do this. Understanding this has helped me enormously and I know I need to keep repenting each time I experience thoughts of worthlessness and self loathing.

Today was a good day knowing this. I felt happy today. All day. I feel like something has shifted. I hope it lasts. I am so glad this year is over. It has been very difficult, with a lot of change, turmoil, confusion, pain and depression. On the flip side, it has been a time of massive growth and discovery. God alway turns things into good and I have to keep remembering that.

Feel the feelings

I definitely feel as though I am in early recovery again. So, so tired. Emotional recovery work is draining. A few things I learnt today:

– I was never validated.

I knew that I was never emotionally validated by my parents. I felt I had accepted this from an early age, but that it didn’t affect me. My father was overbearing, dominant, rageful and my mother was a docile doormat. She waited on him hand and foot. He would get so angry at times and call us worthless and pieces of shit. I used to just block my ears and tune out. I consciously made a decision to ignore him, but the truth was I took it in. I always knew I could never get their validation, hell, I didn’t want it. I didn’t need it. Or so I told myself. Little did I realise that I have been seeking it from others ever since. I need my lover to validate me, my job (I must do everything, fix everything, be everything). Without this, I feel less than or not good enough. There’s more to this, but I am glad I am finally seeing it and accepting it for what it is. I don’t think I understood till today that I was doing this unconsciously.

I want my value from God.

– I was never taught how to feel or process emotions.

Given my fathers inconsistent and angry personality, along with the abuse, mind control and programming, of course I don’t know how to think or feel! I couldn’t trust myself or others. That’s why it was so safe to dissociate and live in my head. But this means I struggle to notice how I feel and if I don’t know how to think through the emotion and then create a boundary accordingly, I just keep repeating this behaviour and hence all the emotional and confused discomfort. I feel bad, but I don’t really know why…. yeah, because I don’t know what I am feeling!

Lisa Romano, co dependent therapist spoke on the co-dependency no more podcast (sorry I can’t recall episode number), and described a three step process.

When I am feeling minimised or discomfort, I need to ask myself:

1. How do I feel? Identify the feeling. Name it.

2. Then accept this feeling.

3. Then feel it- connect to it- where do I feel it? It is important to know where anxiety sits in my body or where anger shows up.

The next part of step three is to decide how I want to feel.

What can’t I control?

What can I control?

Where does Christ want me to be?

Actually she talked about what vibrational frequency do I want to be at… but that’s a bit new age for me, so knowing Christ asks us to love one another, I am more than happy to focus on this commandment.

Look this is probably easier said than done, because last week when I started to “feel the feelings”, I almost ended up in a psych ward. As a SRA survivor I gotta go slow with this stuff, but, I also have to push myself as otherwise I am going to continually live in the fear based programming and reside in the devils lair. I know God wants more for me. Slowly, gently, I will do it. I am surrendering. It is painfully draining and rather unpleasant so you know.