Category Archives: hyper vigilant

the drawback of being a “top feeder”

Underwater-Photography-by-Kurt-Arrigo

Underwater-Photography-by-Kurt-Arrigo

 

I’m trying to break this crazy habit.

Each morning, before I even open my eyes, during that time where you’ve just broken into consciousness, where you hear the birds outside, the air-conditioner kick on, the sticky feeling of humidity on your skin, I instinctively begin to think of what I need to do for everyone else.  The list goes something like this as my eyes scan the room, sizing up the day. Usually before I tend to any of my needs; food, water, time to wake up, I’m devising a list of what to do for my dogs, husband, friends, daughter.  Now while that doesn’t seem too extraordinary in itself, many parents do this, I can do it to a fault.

As a trauma survivor/mild BPD/ultra-sensitive person, my need for connection supersedes any worldy need such as food or rest.  My extreme neediness to connect is based on survival.  As a child, trauma and neglect can be so life threatening that the sooner we connect to someone who can help care for us the better.  And this is where it gets tricky.

By serving others, as in doing favors for them, being available to chat/pray/cook/etc. when they are having a rough day or one of my worst habits of over-mothering my animals, I get that much needed connection.  And as my therapist-extraordinare Cathy says, I become a “top feeder”.

A “top feeder” is her self-coined word to illustrate a person who is SO functional in receiving cues from other people’s needs, that their existence is the opposite of the less empathic, less motivated, parasitic by nature “bottom feeder”.  Uck, you know those nasty catfish that lay on the bottom of the river, who eat any garbage that sinks to the bottom, who don’t bother with trying to find a better food source?  Yep, that’s a bottom feeder.  And for the sake of this conversation, I’m grateful that my therapist feels that I’m on the other end of the spectrum here.

Here’s what we do.  We are so naturally tuned into our worlds and all its nuances that we essentially “know” what family/animals/friends/plants need.  That makes us a kick-ass person to be around.  We’ve developed this finely tuned, sensitive radar built on extreme hypervigilence that we often can’t turn off.  We are masters at intuiting information and messages.  It’s like stuck on being the eternal and forever cheerleader.  Still rooting everyone on, celebrating all their accomplishments, looking for ways to promote and lift up EVERYONE else in our lives.  To a fault. Until it makes us sick.  Until we crash really, really hard.

And that brings me back to my opening statement.  I’m trying to break this crazy habit now that I’m aware of it.  Thank you Cathy for nailing me on this.

Again, it comes back to balance.  Be that cool intuitive friend but feed yourself breakfast first.  Yes, mother that poor rescue dog but remember to shower.  Cook a healthy meal for your family and friends but remember to make yourself a plate, sit down and eat it.  Understand and help people in your world with…. their health problems/oppressive bosses/poverty/animal cruelty issues/the environment/addictions/homelessness/social injustices but make sure you’re rested first.  And ultimately and most importantly, come to grips with this fact as soon as you possibly can: others WILL NOT necessarily respond as well as we do.  You will probably be the best friend or partner that you know unless you are friends with other sensitive people.  It’s a very bleak and discouraging fact that often results in an intense feeling of loneliness and isolation.  BUT knowing and ultimately accepting this truth can bring a lot of peace to a situation that can be repeatedly heart wrenching.  

Most likely, we won’t receive the kind of nurturing that we give out unless we give it to ourselves.  It doesn’t mean we can’t have it, it just means we need to look to ourselves for the biggest part of our care and recognize with compassion the limitations of others.  While it isn’t ideal, Cathy states, acceptance will ultimately bring more peace. And I believe she is spot on.

I’m creating the persona of a more balanced, “middle feeder” kind of gal.  Rested, zen, creative.  One that takes naps on most days. One that enjoys taking the much deserved time to write.  After all, I can’t imagine being an old, worn out cheerleader at 57 years of age.  What a hysterical image. Besides looking really funny in my faded skirt, the image doesn’t fit me anymore.  I’ve long since given up gyrations where I put myself last and others first. 

I’m laying these pom-pons down.

 

 

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an unexpected moment of peace…..

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Photo credit: An’ Marie at callmeanmarie.com

Peace and joy are elusive to survivors.

We have to learn and re-learn these types of experiences, cultivating the beautiful aspects of life as if we were students in school grasping a new skill.  I’ve usually been able to be kind of a joy parasite (not to be confused with a joy sucker) who gravitates toward frollicking animals, playful children or any group or individual who is just laughing unabashedly.  I watched and learned what this beautiful emotion was and then set out to mimic it.  These situations always felt right and kind to my heart although in direct conflict with my upbringing.  Kindness and love weren’t taught or shown but pathology and self destruction was handed out freely and often.

Survivors as a general rule haven’t learned how to play well or experience peace.  If we did learn to play, what we were probably experiencing was destruction in action disguised as play;  i.e. out of control drinking/drug/food/anger (fill in your favorite addiction or crazy shit here), driving recklessly, giving ourselves hearts and bodies to men that were undeserving of that sacred gift.  So many behaviors were masked as “a good time” that it took decades for me to truly figure it out.

During my high school years, I usually found myself gravitating toward healthier families.  I certainly can’t take credit for this action for it wasn’t conscious.  But I’ve come to believe that living things; plants, animals, people will gravitate toward health and love and I base that belief on some serious reflection upon my past behaviors.  I wanted a better life and in many ways, set out to get one even as a child.

One family I attached to had two parents, 6 children who were blissfully crowded into a tiny house with a tiny kitchen.  Many families grew up in this fashion in my day, no one owned a McMansion or rarely had a bedroom to themselves.  It was customary to share a room and even a bed with a sibling.  And this was the way it was at C. J.’s  house.  She, myself and several other friends grew up in that tiny house; from junior high girls, into high school girls, to brides, then mothers and now grandmothers.  We’ve buried parents, sent sons to war, survived cheating husbands and celebrated our re-marriages. We’ve lost touch and reconnected many times, rarely without missing a beat.  They are my ya-ya’s, my sisters.

I had the good fortune to spend a weekend with C.J.  It’s always an easy kind of experience to spend time with friend from long ago, who knows your stories and your quirks.  We’ve transcended needing to explain things as we just know each other that well.

It was the usual agenda; yard sales, thrift stores, food, playing with the dogs and cats, naps, late night talks with the girls.  Yeah, girls….56 year old girls. All the good things in life.  My last afternoon was marked by C. J. hosting a dinner (and she’s a fabulous cook by the way) for me before I left for home. Her modest farm home was full just as her childhood home was and served as a playground to many activities that day. After an afternoon of swimming with the grandkids, I plopped myself (temporarily of course) on the living room couch where I soon found myself snuggled in and stretched out.

I can’t exactly describe what happened but whatever “it” was, I’ve managed to hold onto “it” for weeks, even sharing the feeling with other friends. Sitting on the over stuffed couch, I found myself sinking in deeply, letting my tension float away and began to absorb the energy of this household. The sheer comfort of the environment gave way to me lying down putting a throw pillow over my face.  I became so relaxed and peaceful that I couldn’t resist  the temptation to surrender.  During the most blissful two hour nap I’ve had in a long time,  I floated in and out of the commotion of the grandkids playing and eventually crying, the miffed off weiner dog’s continuous bark to get back into the house, doors slamming, the phone ringing, the parental and grand-parental units shushing the kids to be quiet as to not wake me and the most delicious smells of garlic and anchovy coming from the kitchen.  It was a sensory delight.  And it was heaven.

The more that the everyday, normal family life noise increased the more peaceful I became.  A thought came to me as I grinned under my throw pillow; this must be what its like to be a part of a family.  It was okay for me to relax, to feel peace, that loved ones surrounded me, even cooked food to nourish me after my nap.  I recalled a long forgotten dream as a child to belong to a nice family.  And that simple gesture on C. J. ‘s part became a truly, magical afternoon for me.

I left for home that evening, after my nap and dinner, accompanied by my yard sale treasures and fresh tomatoes from their garden.  My most treasured gift was the lightness and peace that I felt.

During the 2 hour drive home, I think my heart actually smiled.

An Marie 1ecc9394106646b69ed2a35e726cecc5

Photo credit: An’ Marie

To view other works by this artist, visit www.callmeanmarie.com


You don’t have to be battle ready: A conversation

LittleGirlSkippingI’m a huge proponent of counseling.  I’ve been in therapy most of my life and wished that my family had been too.  But I was the lone ranger who left the fold, got college educated and beyond and who dove into therapy, resurfacing periodically but always diving back for more.

I’ve had many therapists through the years, as my needs have changed, moving on when the time was right when I had learned as much as I could with a particular practitioner.  I’ve had some rotten ones too. Except now, they only get a session or two before I know its a bad fit. I’m sufficiently couch broken.

Right now, I’m in that sweet spot of a great fit.  A woman who is intuitive, approachable, caring and funny.  I have a great time in our sessions, laughing as much as I cry through my profound revelations.  She understands my extreme sensitivity to the world and has taught me skills to survive and thrive in that world based fully on who I am.  DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, is what I’m learning, with amazing results I might add.  

During this weeks session, we discuss mindfulness and the state of being present to which I tell her I’m doing just okay with the concept.  Not great but OK.  I’m not unique in possessing a brain that goes at warp speed.  My mind is whirring constantly; topics I want to write on, chores that need completion, causes that need my attention, a world that needs me to save it. And worst of all, I’m a ruminator.  I have to chew and chew on something, regurgitate it back up, poke at it and begin chewing on it some more.  And let me tell you, that is exhausting.  The tugging tendencies are so strong and constant even though my therapist has been teaching me to cultivate mindfulness and stillness for over a year now.  Understanding these concepts, I’m slowly gaining some control over my mind which is a really good thing.  I continue to practice it day by day, hour by hour.  

I’m explaining to Cathy that I need to make a plan for the rest of my summer.  I feel better with an agenda having given time and thought to my future needs.  I tell her how much more in control of my life I feel when I’ve explored my options, weighed them out and know what lies ahead.  She listens but quickly replies,  “You don’t have to be battle ready”.  

I pause for a moment, thinking I know what she’s said and go back to my diatribe of explaining my need for a plan.  She repeats herself, “You don’t have to be battle ready”.  Ok, now I need to stop and see what this “battle ready” thing is that she’s repeated to me twice.  I tell her to please explain that to me because I don’t see that an absence of a plan is good for me.  How could I function without it?

I tear up immediately and she gently explains that traumatized children learned survival by knowing their surroundings at all times.  Attempting to detect threats to their safety, they take their cues from the moods of others, the time of day, seasons of the year (fill in the blank here with your own).  These children don’t get to relax and trust how a safe world evolves, they must be hyper vigilant constantly to survive.

We have visited this topic often, its a big one for me.  My tendencies are still so strong to be alert to my surroundings and feel the need to exert that compulsion toward creating a predictably safe future agenda.  I’m a contantly-looking-over-your-shoulder ,waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop kind of person.  

I love that she is helping me deprogram.  She notices my behavior even when I’m arguing that I’m not exhibiting the behavior.  She is helping me notice and understand the neurological wiring that was changed long ago when I experienced long-term trauma.  The survival reflex learned in childhood is still alive and operating.  But as she continues, I don’t need it now.  I don’t have to be battle ready all the time.  I can relax and let my body relax.  

I love these words and this concept.  They feel soft and fuzzy.  It isn’t new to me but bears repeating often.  A new pattern must be developed in my thinking that relieves me of the knee jerk reaction to grab my sword from my sheath and be prepared for battle.  I’m so ready for a reprieve.  I think its why I started crying when she explained it again.  It’s like music to my ears to hear that I actually, finally, once and for all can put down my weapon and still feel safe.  

Suggested Reading: An Emotional Hair Trigger, Often Misread


PAY ATTENTION

she is lost again.

and i’m the only one she can speak through.  i am her voice and her vessel.  i carry her and speak for her.

hurled into the swirling spiral by the Dreamtime, no earthly choice just the mystical presence that puts her in that place between worlds.

the animals were there again: bear, turtle, owl, wolf, skunk.  each bringing a forceful message of  PAY ATTENTION! to the signs we give you.

she frantically hurled herself through the streets of this in-between world, trying to speak to strangers but her words weren’t understood, her language was foreign to each passerby, she couldn’t hear them either no matter how hard she concentrated and tried, though their mouths moved, the roaring in her head didn’t let their sound in.

the bear appeared growling, reared up on its hind legs and she quickly changed her path.

the skunk met her at another intersection to quickly alert her of its reputation and she turned and fled again.

she flopped in a grassy spot under a tree to rest, to find herself, wanting the path toward home. she felt her body relax until the wolf’s howl pierced the night and snapped her back into alertness.  PAY ATTENTION!

next to her she sees the spotted arc of turtle’s back and reached for her.  to her horror, the turtle shell cracked in half revealing the soft underbelly of the creature inside.  the girl knew instantly that she hadn’t been protecting herself.  she wept for her and blessed the turtle for its gift, sending her home to the Mother.

the cracked shell…a message…from the in-between….PAY ATTENTION!

leaning against the tree, she closed her eyes and was transported to the sacred spiral again. this time landing on a beautiful, gilded carousel.  eyes wide shut, she feels the hard, unyielding exterior that she had wrapped her small arms around.  she feels its slow, mechanical bobbing, resting her head upon its plastic mane willing herself to open her eyes.

finding courage to peer out through the spinning of the carousel, she spotted familiar faces in the surrounding crowd .  her sister, her mother, her husband and daughter.  each of them slightly turned so as to not meet her eyes, almost with their back to her.  they know her but wish they didn’t. they don’t like her when she’s in-between worlds.

spinning. swirling. bobbing.

then…all noise stopped in her head. silence. purposeful quiet. so the sounds coming through can be heard clearly and distinctly.

first a faint groan, followed by the slightest pop.  then picking up speed, the cascade of

splintering

SPLINTERING

SPLINTERING  the air.

the tree that stands alone in the forest, heavy with age and stress, fulfilling its time and finally surrendering to gravity.  the crescendo ending in a deafening thud as it has just split itself in half.

PAY ATTENTION!

she snaps back again. back to the carousel.

under her she feels the surface turn warm and pliable. energy radiating, coming to life.

living

breathing

snorting horse breaks the shackles around its legs and she grabs on tight.  unsteady at first, she synchronizes to its rhythm.

fear turns to joy.  heartbreak falls away. 

she feels the wind on her face as horse gallops her through the people, through the fields, to the ocean.

free. alive. wild. joy.

leaving all the people behind, leaving the in-between, she doesn’t look back.


the shadows behind my eyes….

these types of posts are the most demanding of any type of healing writing that i do.

these posts take me often to a place i don’t wish to go but am compelled by my body and unconscious to please visit, please get to know me, don’t be so afraid.  i’m trying to understand and dissect a part of myself that i barely know exists.  its existence revealed in the last 5-8 years in a hellish, tsunami wave that engulfed me, holding me under, no matter how hard i fought until i could barely breathe.  i was let up for a frantic gulp of air then plunged back under, over and over and over.

as much as i fight it, as much as i wish it wasn’t true, it is.  there is a part of me that lurks in shadows behind my eyes.  i feel it now although i didn’t feel it earlier in life.  it was there but i was: busy, in denial, ignorant, driven to keep going in order to outrun the demon.  back there somewhere it lives in the dark, giving a sensation occasionally so i don’t forget it.

to understand it, i must first sit with it.

we take the absolute and almost exhaustive measures for safety before i will begin to take a look at the shadows.  the doors of the house are locked, drapes drawn.  i’m sequestered to my bedroom atop several comforters, propped by pillows in strategic places to give the feeling of support and presence.  all facets must be respected.  earplugs in place and all people and dogs are on another floor of the house.  finally i feel able to look.  finally i feel safe enough to look.

there are facts by the millions stored in my unconscious.  there in those shadows are factual accounts of all the incidents that were put upon me as a child.  every man who molested me.  every man who lied to me and said we were playing a game.  every screaming instinct i had that something was very, very wrong. every adult who looked the other way.  its all there; stored, sealed, double wrapped, sunk to the bottom of the sea.  turned into shadows with a protective coating as thick as the July humidity.

but with any old wound, aged with gummy tape cracked and barely holding it together, one must remove the layers so very gently.  if one rips too fast, you will lose the integrity of the item, a scab getting ripped off too soon.

my eyes send me messages constantly.  there are tears that live behind them, ready to flow at the slightest provocation.  tender eyes that feel everything.  every injustice and societal hurt causes screaming pain.  the images of life too strong to be uncensored, they must be limited to those that nourish, ones that will heal the wounds.  my eyes spoke to me this week by dilating one pupil more than the other.  i feel it coming on, vision goes blurry on one side, the heaviness creeps in cause it to droop, tears flow in that eye only.

the AMA calls it Horner’s Syndrome because they like to study and describe situations.  they feel relief once its labeled but i don’t.  a name doesn’t provide relief.  it is neurological in nature and there are no actions to take to manage it.  i don’t go for their opinion after the first time it happened, now i just sit with it, because they can only help with the physical attributes of what these shadows manifest.  but its the emotional component is the key.  and that i figured out myself.

other messages come in a flip of a switch.  the light could stream across my field of vision in just the right way to access a memory.  a harsh tone or aggressive move by a person can send me sailing.  the oppressiveness of the summer heat can wrap itself around me so tight i fight for a breath….

i can best access the feelings from the shadows when the other senses are dulled.  sitting in silence with my ears plugged and my skin covered and unavailable,  my typing fingers will speak for me if i keep my eyes closed.  all outside stimuli must be stopped, the layers of protection increased to the maximum.  i remind myself to breathe and stop tensing my shoulders, its okay, its okay, breathe.  my eyes fly open at even the slightest muffled sound and i jerk to attention.  hyper vigilance doesn’t even touch the acuteness of this feeling.  its ingrained to every cell of my being, it has its own pull, a mind of its own.  it does what it wants and it wants to be crazy, OCD, and alert all the time.

but here’s the interesting thing….once i obtain the quiet and tune into the vibration of what is back in those shadows, it usually is fine.  in fact, i can’t think of a time when it wasn’t.  so i don’t know why i don’t go there more often because the actual act of ignoring this vital, motherboard of traumatic information causes so much distress.  my hope is that the more i sit with this, the more the shadows and i will integrate.

my husband says i have such a Stephen King morose streak to me, that i love the dark side and should just embrace it.  i argue that folks don’t want to hear about the dark, that most want to hear perky shit.  i do know that i continue with one mission and that is to shed as much light on PTSD, sexual assault and child abuse, mental illness, BPD.  the victims of these conditions have to cope daily with the ugliness of the situation put upon them and probably don’t even know what is happening and why they feel so miserable and unhappy.  my hope is that someone, somewhere will see themselves in the descriptions and know that they aren’t alone, that there is hope and that life can still have meaning even with these conditions present.

this alone continues to drive me to look as lovingly as i can at the shadows and am determined to make friends with it.  its really just part of me, just speaking a different language from a different time.


“the hole” revisited…

she wakes from a long and tormented sleep to the all too familiar darkness with the circle of light far above her

it takes minutes to transition and orient herself to “the hole” that she’s visited so many times before

the cavern is so quiet, silent, her thoughts racing are the only noise

the sensation of cruel dampness that once penetrated her clothing, her skin, has been replaced with comfort

she looks down, her eyes now adjusted to the darkness, she sits upon a soft, downy quilt and wonders how and when?

its then that she sees the faint glow in her periphery…she blinks to make sure she’s seeing right

there is no fear, no anxiety, safety and warmth surround her

an angel moves to her, summoned by a mere prayer from a friend, has been watching over, providing comfort, releasing the fear from her soul

she is luminous, breathtaking, the unblinking eyes of an innocent fawn

the girl beholds her in awe as she wraps her arms around her

nestled against the divine being, she relaxes for the first time in days as her breathing slows…they look at each other for a long time

her eyes no longer retain the trauma driven focus necessary for survival, her gaze extends to her surroundings, noticing the quiet beauty for the first time

fireflies dance, filling the darkness with their radiance

shimmering crystals glisten from the walls

a beautiful humming seems to come from everywhere around her but no place in particular

the animals have crept to her, encircling her while she slept, each bringing their gift to aid her during this troubling time, unafraid to penetrate “the hole” like the people were

the owl shows her how to adapt her vision and see through the darkness, easing her into the shadowy world: cool, feminine, moist

the girl glances over to see the regal stance of the wolf and knows her lessons immediately

the hawk circles overhead, dipping once before soaring out of the opening into the sunlight….piercing the air with her message to look at the entire situation, there is always a way out

she isn’t alone at all

they’ve all come to help her remember that she’s been here before, “the hole” has beauty and purpose often unrecognized and the girl weeps with joy at her connectedness

with reverence, they all move to the center, forming a sacred circle…animal, human and divine to begin their prayers of gratitude


terms and conditions

she wants to be here and she’s ready to speak, more than ready.  she reminds me again and again and again. and very strongly i might add because she’s upped the ante on my lack of attention to her by giving me all kinds of crazy body feelings.  she is so miffed at me that my ear swells and becomes hot and red, my energy level bottoms out until i’m forced to lie still and be with her.

to some she may sound annoying but i love her stealth and tenacity.  it makes me smile to picture her, nagging and tugging away, when one way doesn’t work she finds another until finally she is heard.  when we were both her age, our tenacity was labeled as “spoiled, bratty, dramatic” offending and shattering the silence and secrecy of the familial cult. when a family is trying so hard to keep the lid on their abusive nature combined with the all out fear of making change or looking at a situation differently, the last thing they wanted was a blaring loose cannon of a child threatening their silence.  so they beat her down physically and spiritually until she broke and split into several pieces.

but here’s the part that the family didn’t bargain for because ignorance doesn’t see at this level, at the level of love. the greasy filth of ignorance and fear didn’t win against love and tenacity.  love wins, it always does. this little girl had the absolute hutzpah to continue to wriggle out of every situation thrown at her, like a cat with more than nine lives, she just popped up somewhere else continuing her job of getting herself out, finding the life she was intended to have and then doing her part to stop the deeply embedded cycle of abuse.

she flies into my dreams with purposeful intention and i’ve finally figured out she is a force not to be ignored and i submit.  her agenda wins and i feel in my bones that its the correct one.  so we’ve agreed that i will give her part of my day for at least the next month.  i will wrap her in quiet, the soft quilt comforter and a bag of dark chocolate and wait. wait patiently while she continues to speak to me.  its only a a guess from the heart of how to proceed to earn her trust although i’m sure she will tell me as we go along.

giving her space and reverence is the first part of our terms and conditions. i would like her to learn to speak openly from her heart, i would like her to know how much i cherish and admire her strength and tenacity in a situation where most adults would have folded. i want her to know that i pray for her trust to build and her anger to wain; that there is nothing more important than her, to release the sad poison that shaped her most delicate years.  she marked time in that emotional prison unprotected and isolated,  holding all the darkness of our abusers.  we made the wrenching decision to split as there was no safe space left in our combined consciousness, no place for us to be together.  

so, she, the tiny little girl stayed while the other left to forge the path out of their hell. i did find a way out for us and i’m so sorry that it took so long.  it was very hard work and i lost my way many, many times.  but i’m back to retrieve the part i had to leave long ago, no matter how angry she is, how mentally unhinged she becomes at times and no matter how long it takes.


The day child

We will call her the day child…a child who only has conscious awareness of herself during the day, the fractioned piece of her total self. Her transition from night is slow and very unsteady. She knows the process of waking which comes to her first through sound. She hears house noises, the air conditioner running, her dog snoring beside her, very faintly the school buses heading down the hill to empty the children into the playground. Great care has been taken to soundproof this room from the outside world, there is no room for intrusion on any level. She must know everyone’s whereabouts and location at all times, if she doesn’t she will vigilantly check and scan the room for anything that looks or feels amiss.

Vigilance is hardly the word to describe her behavior, it is more like hyper vigilant, obsessive and panic driven, energy funneled completely into the one thing she seeks more than anything, which is safety. She is exceptionally bright and visually a master at observation. Nothing can or will ever go unnoticed in her environment or it might lead to danger. An impending assault, an unwelcome visitor or simply the men noticing and starting to sniff her out.

Sometimes the sound is completely muffled by the earplugs which are to her the greatest invention ever and her constant companion. They numb and muffle much better than alcohol or pot which in her experience just make you not care if someone is stalking you and that’s the last thing that’s true for her now is that she doesn’t care.

As usual, her eyes are squeezed shut as tight as they can go and she feels the familiar twinge of a headache as a result. Its the price she pays and actually has grown accustomed to the familiar process of willing her eyes open, one at a time for her first glimpse of the day. So far, so good. She hears nothing unusual and sees her bedroom, just as she remembered it from the morning before. It is at this point that she can let her body uncurl, pulling her arms and legs from the fetal position and gradually unfolding herself from her nightly protective stance. She creaks and pops as her shaky muscles aren’t as forgiving as they were in her youth. They want to snap back into the contracted position held in the last 8 hours. Its always at this point that she wonders how long her body will hold out, what is the limit of torture that one can physically take?


morphing…

i have to get this down before i forget the details.  i woke up with the same feelings, heart racing, wanting to jump up swinging and screaming. i have done this before and didn’t want to wake my husband or daughter so i stifled my screams and got up instead.

the dream was long and detailed.  a man that was a police officer, little town not a city, i worked for him, i morphed back and forth between a girl that i observed him torturing and myself.  my three high school girlfriends were there later on.  we were in his local office just going about business and there was a tension, a  solicitous flirting (thats a very nice word) for undue attention given to this girl, she was pretty with long hair, smart but unaware of what he was doing, what his motive was.  i knew on a gut level because i didn’t like him but at the same time drawn to him because he was doting and charismatic.  i was frozen and just watched silently at this point but started splitting into her personality too.

the day around the local police office was normal, people in and out a storefront office of a main street.  but then all of a sudden things changed.  we were in a private room that was like an apartment and it was lunchtime.  business was over for the moment and the feeling was that he had something planned, it was his agenda.  the shades in the room were drawn but i could see that it was daylight still, the middle of the day.  he had worked himself up to a kind of a sexual frenzy.  all kinds of things had aroused him during the day.  i think he was watching me and fantasizing about what he would do.  the girl kept popping her neck, turning it from side to side and trying to get comfortable during her work day.  she was uncomfortable and her neck hurt.  both of us were in his apartment, a small one bedroom, fully stocked with food and drink, kind of a bachelor pad with couches and things, very modern, arched windows with mini blinds.  all were drawn.

the mood switched quickly and caught me by surprise at how violent and sadistic it became.  i was horrified to see the girl swinging from the ceiling by a rope.  it was a harness, not around her neck but she was lifeless.  drugged and swinging, he had planned this.  he had all the equipment ready and had used it before.  she was hanging and tied up and her hair was hanging down toward the floor.  she kept pulling her head up and still trying to get her neck comfortable and i knew that this is how she hurt her neck.  she was drugged and almost unconscious but kept trying to pull her head up from that hanging position.  this is at least the fourth recent dream that i have had where i was hanging  looking down at the floor, with my hair going toward the floor.  he lowered her after swinging her back and forth, he was very worked up and stripped down and shoved his penis into her somewhere?? mouth i think and i remember a comment about “your daddy”  something like “remember who your daddy is”  kind of gross power trip thing.  he was getting rough and violent, casting his charismatic personality aside at this point.  this is how she got hurt physically.  she was tied up, drugged, beaten…she kept repeating it so she could accept this and remember this.  as the girl woke up and started coming around, he hurried and ordered some food and gifts to be delivered.  my three girlfriends just showed up.  they all sat around and talked and ate.  at first they thought he was charming and just rattled on about their days. girlfriend 2 was totally oblivious and kept saying things that were obviously turning him on again.  he was starting to prowl around us, bringing us things and trying to act charming again and i was the only one who knew what he was doing.  i kept trying to get the point across in our subtle cryptic language of funny looks and gestures that we did as young girls and finally girlfriend 3 caught on.  we then started figuring out how to flee the apartment and eventually did but had to leave girlfriend 2 because she was just so clueless.  but there was no way i was staying there.

the girl woke up and i guess morphed back into me.  he fully expected me to go back to work or her to go back to work, just forgetting what had happened. he thought because he had drugged me/her that it was enough to prevent her from remembering and perhaps in the past it had been.  he was commenting on another local man who had been caught molesting girls and said “he had the perfect set up” meaning that he had an apartment with furry rugs and decor that would lure girls in.  he actually admired the guy who had just gotten caught.  this man morphed back and forth between a sexual predator and a person of authority.  even when he was the police chief, i knew he was a slimy creep with a badge.  i escaped the apartment and started to take his police car to get away but didn’t know how to work it and then he came out and offered to teach me.  i was grossed out again for needing his help just to escape…he was a captor and friend???

the dream switched to my mother being ill and alone in a house.  her dying and me trying to care for her while working and taking care of my daughter.

then back to the lunch scene with the guy.. he had ordered a bunch of lunch that had arrived and he was upset at how much it cost but wouldn’t really let on.  he wanted us to think he was loaded and generous but actually the food already had a price tag on it because he paid the delivery guy but intended on getting his money back in sexual trade.  i knew what he was thinking the whole time, i could read his mind.  he was being turned on by my friends eating pizza and being young women and goofing around.  they were innocent but he was a violent awful predator attempting to use trickery and assuming that we were so stupid that we couldn’t figure out what he was doing.  he thought he was above the law and let us know that.  i knew that he held all the power in terms of size, strength and position but i was totally on to him although paralyzed to do much.  we did escape but thats when i woke up and was having so much anxiety.

i am awake now and its 7:30 am i have finished writing this down but am slow to accept that i was the girl in the dream.  it feels so awful, so devastating of a truth to accept yet i know its true, it feels true, it has to be true.  the hair thing keeps re-occurring.  and i have the photo of me with my hair chopped off and i had the dream where he grabbed me and cut my hair off in violence.  it kept getting in the way of something…my hair was used to grab me, control me and ultimately punish me…there are no words to describe the rage i feel and how disgusted i am by my father.


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