Tag Archives: low self-esteem

Toxic Shame

0E6185B6-ADF6-490A-9675-B1E2F5FD549EComplex trauma has left a wound on me that I don’t know will ever heal.  Or maybe it’s that there’s so much scar tissue I just need to get used to that “new normal” of who I’ve  become.

Complex trauma is still a relatively new field of psychology. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder.  (C-PTSD) results from enduring complex trauma.

Complex trauma is ongoing or repeated interpersonal trauma, where the victim is traumatized in captivity, and where there is no perceived way to escape. Ongoing child abuse is captivity abuse because the child cannot escape. Domestic violence is another example. Forced prostitution/sex trafficking is another.

In my particular case, I was a victim of childhood incest.  It is the hardest thing to type that sentence, harder still to say it out loud.  I want to delete the sentence and delete “it” from my history.  Additionally, there was heavy-handed corporal punishment which by today’s standards would be considered physical abuse.   There was definite emotional abuse and at times neglect.  Continual domestic violence pervaded my childhood home.  My home did not often feel like the safe place it should.

Later in adulthood, I was the victim of domestic violence within my two major long-terms relationships.   I don’t know that I even recognized it happening as such it seemed so familiar.  If that makes sense.

All of my life I have struggled with low self-esteem.   Underneath my low self-esteem  belies a  darker feeling .   There is this deep sense of shame I have carried since as long as I can remember.

Unlike ordinary shame, “internalized shame” lingers and changes our self-image. It’s shame that has become “toxic.

When a person is ruled by toxic shame it interferes with their ability to accept positive regard.   For in childhood they internalized the belief of not being worthy of being loved or given any attention.

It dawned on me today as I couldn’t look into the mirror, that I just hate myself because I’m ashamed of me.

I wonder if this shame will ever leave.  I’ve got a new shrink I’ve been seeing for about 9 months.   I’ll call her Lee.  One can’t help but feel disillusioned after 20 years in/out of therapy.   I’ve ditched seeing Lee the past month.  Made up some excuse or other.  I mean everyone needs a mental health day from the mental health provider.   Oh wait this can’t be treatment resistance this soon can it?  I am feeling vulnerable because we are past the point of rapport building, and she’s a quick study.  She sees through my best defense mechanisms, and is trying to dig deeper and I’m running like hell.

There’s no shame in investing in a sturdy paper bag to wear over my head to hide myself, right?  Wearing bags are so much easier than facing your own demons.  ‘Cause Lord knows I’m hoping for a loophole.

 

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Sofa King Successful

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Night after night I sit in front of my wide screen TV and binge watch Destination America shows.  Shows like “A Haunting “ and “Kindred Spirits.”  

It’s always some family that has some books start to fly around their house.  Their kids are waking up getting mauled by unseen forces.  Ethereal voices floating through the hall ways of the home.  Doors slamming shut and  what not.

The family always seem to have a “friend” who they call and ask them to bring over the tape recorder, “you know the one you use for the EVP recordings?”

WTF? Seriously. None of my friends have tape recorders and definitely don’t record the spirit world in their spare time.

Inevitably, this friend has another friend who is a ”psychic medium” and comes over to do a reading of the home.  And after the reading they always tell the family there is a “dark entity”.

This is where shit really goes crazy.  As if any family wound have ever stayed with books flying about and kids getting mauled by unseen forces and ethereal voices? Now, you have actual disembodied demon type messages on the EVP threatening to possess the kids and shit.   Thing is I can’t tell whether the word said “I’ll possess him” or “”Let’s get tacos”.  The bastards really are reaching.

So in comes the sage smudge sticks and the weird shaman dude wearing 1970’s vintage bohemian clothes to do a cleansing.

Kid gets possessed, priest is called, kid gets freed, but the entity still lingers and the family have to move out anyways.

The fucked up part is I watch this crap  til 3-4 in the morning full well knowing I need to get up at 7 am.   I still can’t seem to can’t get my shit together and always end up oversleeping.  Could it be that the donkey-like shadow at the end of the episode they actually caught on the thermal camera was so riveting I couldn’t pull away?   Or is it that I’m self-sabotaging to set myself up for failure the next day to reinforce a long-held belief system that I suck?

See all the therapy is paying off after all.  Because now I have insight as to why I’m still functioning at such a low level.  I am not so fucking successful.   You can take the girl away from the losers, but can you take the belief system that she is a loser out of the girl….


Of Mice and Monsters VI

At some point I thought I would try and get into his mind to see what sort of pathology (or not) may exist. I held a college degree in Psychology and had worked in the field for several years.  Beyond the obvious of his sexual sadism, and catching in numerous lies, his words and actions weren’t shoring up. Ever. I felt crazy all the time but my gut told me something deeper was wrong.   I needed proof that I wasn’t crazy, that there was something there underneath his mostly charming personality.

I knew I would be unable to be objective. However, I believed I would be able to keep a good “veneer” on not showing my shock if he divulged something that upset me. I also knew that if he got the first hint that I was off put by his disclosures, he would not only shut down but that he would also retaliate against me.

Risky for me indeed, yet things were not adding up and I wanted answers. I felt this sort of going “under cover” with him was the only way I would get my answers. Unless you a person with a burning sense of inquisitiveness, where you are almost “driven” to be analytical? None of the reasons I needed to know, will ever make sense to you. Don’t try to understand. Because by this point dear reader if you can’t understand why I needed answers, you have probably already written me off in the “crazy she should have just left” bin long ago.

I began probing his sexual fantasies fully expecting to hear more tales of sadism. I lied to gain his trust that I too, had a few sadistic fantasies but had repressed mine. Mine however were not sexual. They centered around retaliatory themes about bullying done to me in high school and by the abuse I had endured as a small child.

It worked.

He began trusting me and opening up. I never imagined what he was to say.

He envisioned enticing a young 17-18 year old female student into his van. My first question, “how would you get her in?

He answered, “well that’s where you would come in. Teen girls are much more likely to come near a van when you are asking for directions if a woman is present and asking.”

I let out a sigh…..

“So, I would need you to help me lure her near the van.” He quipped.

Okay” I listened.

Then I would run around and grab her and put the chloroform napkin over her mouth and you would help me shove her into my van, then we drive off.”

I’m quite certain I had to take great effort to mask the absolute horror as it was coursing through me as I was listening to him say the word chloroform. My heart was racing. I felt sweat pooling everywhere. I knew if I bailed now I would never know who was in front of me, nor how much danger I was in. I pressed on.

Okay, so what would we do with her once we have her in the van?”

“Well the van would be soundproof and she’d be chained to the floor by bolts on her legs and I’d bind her arms making her easier to control later. I wouldn’t take any chances.” he explained

“Right, not after all that trouble.” I said.

“Then we’d take her back to my torture chamber. I haven’t built it yet. But I can tell you it would be awesome, state of the art. All stainless steel. Drainage grate in the floors that bodily fluids could be washed down. . All kinds of hooks overhead to hang implements. Large stainless steel hospital bed. You get the idea. This way you can bleach and clean everything so there’s no trace of anything. Soundproof. “

He was so excited talking about it all. It was chilling.

“So what would you do with her first?” I asked.

“Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! Other that the obvious of taking her several different ways?”

“Yeah right.”

“I’d pull her nipples off with a pair of needle nose pliers.”

Once again I struggled to maintain composure and made sure not to wait too long without commenting I didn’t want him to think I was faking being into his sick fantasy. The best I could muster was to reality check him.

“If you did that, she would likely go into shock and wouldn’t be alive much longer after that.”

He chuckled, “Smart. I knew there was a reason I keep you around.”

He spoke about various torture methods too gruesome to speak of here. I can say that it involved torturing the girl til she passed out, waking her up with ammonia and other means and then repeating this until she died.  Then disposing of her body in plastic bags in a river.  This was a turning point for me.

This was far beyond the scope of anything I had ever personally encountered. Only the sort of thing one reads in text books or watches on shows like Forensic Files, where the girlfriend/wife/victim ends up dead.


Woman-girl

When I was only eight years old I remember walking around the neighborhood just before dark. I would peer into the homes just around suppertime. I could smell wonderful things cooking as they wafted through the air. I would occasionally stop and see a family sitting down to eat through their front window. I’d stop and stand there, eyes transfixed. “Could this be what a family is like?” I thought. They seemed so peaceful, happy even, smiling as they ate together. There was no belt on their kitchen table. They’re allowed to talk during dinner.

To be loved, I wanted that so badly……. that it actually ached inside my little chest.

I knew I wasn’t cute enough, smart enough, or good enough. I held fast to the idea that one of my teachers might “see” how badly I wanted rescuing from my home. If I just was nice enough, they might take me home in their back pocket and give me a new life. But…. that never did happen.

No one ever knew the shit that went on in my house behind the picket white fence.

Months turned to years and my fantasy of finding a “home”,  someone to adopt
me and rescue me from the hellish existence took on new form. As I entered
womanhood, I stumbled rather curiously into my own untapped potential of
sexuality.

However sex to became a perversion, a remnant of my past, that I wanted to stay buried. Wreckage of painful childhood memories, its unspeakable trauma and hidden scars, left sexuality for me inexplicably fused with terror.

Men looked at me and seemingly wanted me or so I thought. The opportunity for love came rushing to the forefront again. But I was a quick study and inherently knew, they didn’t want me, but what was between my legs. And so began a deep-seated anger. I resented men. For I wanted their love, their affection and they only wanted sex.

Sex; used to hurt me as a child.
Used as a game, a weapon, to exploit me, humiliate me,  abuse me
.

How on earth would I ever find a home now? The broken child trapped inside still in search of love and safety she never found. How on earth I pondered would I ever find my way there now?

I hated my body, it had betrayed me.

I hated myself for being such an unlovable damaged piece of shit.  Twisted dreams of going home, that shouldn’t exist any longer.  Is there a place for this woman-girl that I am?

My dream of finding love, of finding home seemed as elusive as it ever had before, and fading fast….


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