TRIGGER WARNING for discussion of abuse and control
The worst thing my abuser made me fear was not what she would do to me. Actually I accepted that without question.
The worst thing to be afraid of is myself. That’s what my abuser made me most afraid of. Me. What I really am. What I can’t stop. What I would do to her. What I would do to everyone I loved. What everyone would find out in the end about me. What the people watching thought and how they’d take my loved ones away because of me (the watchers didn’t exist, I’m told, but it was too deeply engrained for that to make any difference now).
I was supposed to love my abuser, and that made it worse, because the revulsion I felt showed I should be repulsed at myself.
When rarely, I told what had happened, nobody heard or nobody believed, but she’d already told me they wouldn’t.
I escaped from my abuser, in physical terms. And I know I’m very fortunate because so many don’t.
The one thing we can certainly never ever escape from is ourselves. The one way my abuser ensured her power over my present and future as well as my past is this terror of myself. Add to that my “alters” (the child that screams unendingly because no-one heard her when it mattered; the violent lunatic full of anger as I’m tricked again and again by those who supposedly love me) – and my abuser is not only in my mind now but sickeningly in every current relationship and interaction.
I can feel her laughter and ridicule now. I feel surrounded.
This picture has taken me over 2 weeks to colour.
I love grown up colouring books and usually no matter how awful I feel I can still colour. It’s a way of escaping for a while. Drawing is harder and needs some part of my creativity that gets frozen by depression but colouring is different. But the past month has been terrible and I couldn’t even do that. Tonight I finished this picture at last. It’s not any good all in all. I like a couple of the flowers.
Colouring for a few minutes was about the only time today I wasn’t breaking down overwhelmed with panic, asleep, mindlessly scrolling through the phone, or lost in dissociation. One small step, maybe.
I’m so mad with myself for not being able to do the simplest tasks, letting the house go, trying and trying and getting lost after a few minutes, binge eating, boiling over with emotions… cutting off for a while… in pain if something or someone interferes with that state… only knowing how to be alone because I only know how to be left even if I desperately want saving… trapped by fear and anger at myself, just hoping to get back to numb again and not remember. Sleep.
I thought I was losing my hearing. Over the past 2 years or so, I’ve found myself asking people to repeat themselves more and more often. I noticed it particularly when I was working in the department store. What customers said came over as a jumble of sound to me, often as though far away, or sometimes I’d miss it entirely. At the day centre where I volunteer, a couple of the elderly clients remarked that my hearing was terrible an I needed a test. Discussing this with a friend, she commented that she’d long thought that my hearing was worse on the right side.
So I booked a check up and hearing test.
I had my ears checked and syringed. Nothing remarkable was found. No mountainous heap of gunk blocking my ears 🤪.
I had the hearing test.
Everything came back normal.
What is happening?
I’m left thinking that my hearing “disturbances” are to do with attention, dissociation absences, or the effects of overwhelming anxiety. Certainly, high anxiety affects my attention span and my memory. I can talk to someone but not take it in, or not remember what someone has said. Dissociation definitely affects my memory and I lose big chunks of time, not knowing what I’ve done whilst I’ve been gone. If I’m very emotional, I may be unable to remember events before and after the time of heightened emotion.
Is my weird hearing loss / confusion also because of anxiety, distress or dissociated absences? So not only is my memory affected, but also the information does not come into my brain normally in the first place?
Does anyone else have this problem?
Whatever it is, it’s scary. It disconnects me from the people around me, as if I’m floating in a vacuum or surrounded in bubble wrap. Sound doesn’t pass through the bubble wrap wall at all, or if it does, it’s chaotic noise that’s very unsettling deep into my mind and body. It makes me scared and I just want to get away.
Maybe it gives me some insight into what it’s like for people who live with deafness.