March 14, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — Knitman @ 10:31 am

I thought I was okay when I woke up, having slept well. As the hours have passed, I have become aware that I don’t feel okay at all. I feel afraid today. What of I am not sure. The future? How my disease is progressing?

The last few weeks have been emotionally charged. The build up to Cruft’s which I dreaded attending and then really enjoyed. Mary-Grace did very well too. The recovery from it. Trying to make peace within myself with regard to someone who hurt me deeply. Not sure I can. Yet I hate discord with people. If I were not going to see them again it wouldn’t matter I suppose but I am likely to and it is preferable for me that I feel okay about it. I made a move in that direction which seems to have had a positive result but I find my feelings toward them are not resolved. In time they will be. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to give the impression I have forgotten and all is well. There will never be trust there. It isn’t about dislike or ill feeling. It’s about trust. I don’t trust them and never will. Can I live with that and still be friendly?

We are still in the process of getting the house sorted out. I think we have come to accept that we will never be clutter free. Given that, there is still stuff to be done. A tonne of rubbish to be removed to the tip. This is when I get frustrated. I can’t do any of this on my own. It only gets done during the four days John is here and there is a limit to what he can manage too.

I still struggle with misplaced guilt. Feeling guilty that we are in such a fortunate position now. Enjoying what we have and our financial freedom. The difference is that I know it is misplaced or more to the point, is unnecessary as misplaced suggests I should be feeling guilty about something else. I was brought up to feel guilty. I was programmed, deliberately, to feel guilty. I have come a long long way from those dark days but as I have written and said a hundred times, more probably, the remnants of those days still haunt one. There is no 100% recovery. There is so end point, no destination, only a progression, a growing toward, no arrival. If I think about that, it is really obvious. An end point? A time when growth stops? No more learning? That sounds like stagnation to me. Death even. 

Perhaps I can grow beyond feeling guilt and shame when I am in a dip and just accept it is part of life, part of our learning, part of the process of knowing. I have more or less stopped feeling guilt and shame with regard to my physical problems. Juts the mere fact of being in pain made me feel ashamed and thus I went untreated and unknowing for so many years. Even since my diagnosis back in ’04, and my accepting pain medication in 07, I have had strong feelings of both not just about the pain itself about the medications. Guilt because I must have done something to cause this and guilt over using drugs to help me. Shame for being weak and not good enough to overcome this myself. (Guilt is about what we do and shame is about who we are.)

My stomach has settled somewhat since I started to write. I never know what I shall write until I start to write. I note how frequently I express fear, guilt and shame. This is not surprising. All abuse survivors will know these feelings intimately. A moment here to explain that there was a time I did not know these feelings because i had locked them all away. When people spoke to me about them, I had no idea what they meant. In self help groups people would talk about their feelings. Some would show their feelings and I would be horrified and feel such a fraud because I did not feel like that. in fact there were those who indeed thought I was a fraud too because I did not share these feelings. What I did not know, and what these people did not know, was that I was numb. I was so terrified of my feelings, of experiencing what had been done to me, I had disassociated completely. Thus I was able to relate a horror that had been done to me with no emotion. this is the danger of self help groups. there will always be people in them who think they ‘know’ and they are a danger to the weak and vulnerable, like me. Inevitably they come across someone like me and I am outside their ‘knowing’ so they dismiss those like me as frauds or ‘too sick to help’. I guess this attitude is part of their damage too. I only know that for me, it heaped more damaged upon me and had me barking up the wrong tree for the recovery I was so desperate to achieve.

I received the best compliment I could have received recently. My long time friend, longer even than John, said to me that she did not know anyone, not one person, who had wanted recovery more than i did, who had fought for it harder than I did, and who had succeeded as much as I have. See, she knew me back when I was 20. She has also known many many damaged people throughout her life and so I took her words as the compliment they are. I often wish I wish I could show those who read me, who are still struggling deeply, the frightened very damaged boy i sued to be. i cannot do that. I can only share with you my life today and my memories and my thoughts and I hope I do it honestly enough that it gives hope.


1 Comment »

  1. Colin – when you mentioned the fear you feel, it reminded me of something I’ve experienced. I don’t know if it applies to your situation, but I will throw it out there for your consideration.

    When I was going through a very difficult time of loss and struggle, I would often experience what felt like waves of fear. I came to realize the emotion was actually grief. C.S. Lewis wrote about this in one of his books — it might have been The Problem of Pain. After losing his wife, he said he never before realized how much grief feels like fear — the same punch-in-the gut feeling, the chilly hollowness. I wonder if perhaps the sensation you feel is grief?

    Either way, I wish you well. I don’t always comment on your posts, but I read them. I look up to you for your honesty and boldness in persuing life and health, in the midst of so many difficult challenges. You, sir, are a gem.

    Comment by rbackhaus — March 14, 2013 @ 11:10 am

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