I Get Lost Sometimes

I do get lost sometimes. I don’t always have a good handle on things. Others see so much good stuff in me and I still doubt it, at times. I remind myself almost every day of something someone said to me on the blog, it brings me along on my healing path, it helps me to heal, it helps me to believe in myself, it helps put loneliness in the shadows for a time.

I have a lot of good functional things in my life. I have a lot of good coping skills. I don’t have a lot of detrimental coping mechanisms and it was something I always seemed to be able to manage well, even when I was going through the most difficult times on my healing path.

It can be hard to want others and not get that and unfortunately that is a large and looming part of my life and always has been. It is hard to lose a friend that I relied on a great deal. It is hard for me to try to manage my life without close friends in real life and that this situation has happened over my whole life has always left me feeling even lonelier.

I am proud of myself and how far I have come and how much I have healed and grown. I think that online it is easy for others to see that. Some of the best friends I have ever had in my life were met online, on my blog, or on their blogs, others who are working on healing.

I have been in support groups in real life over the years and often got responses that I was seen as strong and courageous. At the support groups I couldn’t relate to alcohol use, drug use, unsafe behaviors, over-sexualization, an eating disorder, cutting, but the more that I learned about the dynamics of child sexual abuse, it’s aftereffects, and it’s aftermath the more I could understand and relate to it. I could always imagine how the aftermath of child sexual abuse could lead someone to being divorced from their own body and to engage in behaviors that were less than healthy or healing, and I could hold love, acceptance, and compassion in my heart for any survivor who was struggling with those issues.

Still I struggled, then and now. I need friends. I know that everyone needs friends. I know that most people realize that others need friends. Being vulnerable to others and seeking them out is a natural part of life to me. I don’t have to hide that. I didn’t think I was, but I think there were some things I wasn’t writing about and I am trying to do that, because I do want to be seen more clearly. Clarity is what I yearn for and what I work towards in my own life and in communion with others.

I want others to see me. I want them to know that I struggle. I want them to know that I need others. I want them to know that I need them.

I was admitting something to someone I knew online in chat four years ago.  I remember what was said, they said oh Kate surely not, surely you don’t struggle with that issue. I was like, “yeah I do. It honors no one for me to pretend that I don’t.”

It doesn’t honor myself because I would be saying that what I struggle with needs to be hidden, needs to be kept in the dark, needs for me to feel shame about it and that what others struggle with should make them feel the same things. It doesn’t honor others. They are left with a false image of me as someone who doesn’t struggle, who isn’t alone, who can’t relate. I can. I do. When I realize that there is a misunderstanding I try to write about it. Standing in the light is what I do best.

I know I write about how much friends mean to me. I know I write sometimes to my blog friends on my blog and say you mean so much to me, you mean everything to me. It is true. You mean the whole wide world to me. I get lost sometimes. And my online friends find me. It is so fucking wonderful to be found.

Set Apart

This is how I see myself, set apart. This is what I have always thought about myself, different. I know that I have heard that survivors always feel that way. I believe that. It is just that even among survivors I feel that way.

From the first face-to-face survivor group, including all nine of them, through all the message boards and email groups I have been in; I am always feeling the same way.

The first group always talked of me like this, you are strong. I don’t know where they got that. I didn’t feel strong. I never felt strong.

I get part of what they were saying. I wasn’t engaging in suicidal attempts, an eating disorder, alcohol or drug use, or sexually active, or involved with someone in a sexual relationship that was unhealthy or abusive.  But I had flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, terror, insomnia, and tons of aftereffects from child sexual abuse.

Yes I have always been different, among any group that I have been in. I don’t like it. I don’t want to be seen that way. All it meant to me was that even among other survivors I was seen as different. Inside of me was the same pain, sorrow, damage, and emptiness.

Different has always been a reason for others not to want me or include me or accept me, leaving me alone, as usual. Sometimes I could get one or two friends, and keep them for a short period of time, from a group setting. Slowly I got some friends, but still always feeling my different status.

I wonder what it would feel like to be different and be accepted, oh yeah, it would feel like it feels blogging.