Nine months. That’s the length of time this next of my age 31 journal entries covers. This would be the same length of time it takes for a baby to travel from conception to birth.
It seems strange to me that over a quarter of a century later I cannot begin to be objective about myself, my story, or my process as contained in these writings. I still distance myself from myself, and can give myself total permission to do this distancing now because THAT was a different Linda, in a different set of circumstances at a different place in a different time. I also continue to distance myself from myself because I have no other choice: I was made that way.
It strikes me how remote I have always been from myself in my life except for the very NEAR past and the in-the-moment experiences I have as each moment of my life unfolds into the future. It seems that my past carries me, not that I carry it. It is too vast, too painful and in too many pieces.
I cannot think of a story that could be more closely like the reversal of the ordinary Peter Pan and the Lost Boys story than mine is in these pages. What would that story look like if the sexes of all the characters were reversed? I would be Peter Panella with my Lost Girls. My mother would be the Wicked Captainella Hook. Marlin (name changed) in my story would be the male reversal-same character of Tinker Belle! Leo (named changed) would be the ever-devoted, right thinking and well-intentioned Wendy.
In the nine month period of time that elapses in the pages here, I left my husband and my children in ‘their’ home and rented a ‘Room of My Own‘. I completed my BA college degree.
It has never until this moment struck me that the trials and tribulations of a recovery-from-abuse journey happens in its own story version of a Trauma Drama. If we had never experienced the trauma of abuse in the first place, there would never be a need for this Recovery Trauma Drama story to ever happen, either.
As Peter Panella in my story, all the Lost Girls were part of my self. There was a dissociated me not only for every developmental stage of childhood I had missed going through ‘normally’, but also hundreds and hundreds more of them that had each experienced some horror caused by my mother along each step of the way. Each Lost Girl holds her piece of my memory along with the experience of having her experience of her experience of trauma. In this way each one of them holds her own consciousness about what the Main Me, Linda, cannot remember except through the emotions held within the body that all of us share.
Nobody ever told me that these unintegrated shards of my existence could not magically become part of some magical WHOLE PERSON named Linda. Nobody ever told me that what I was really accomplishing in my recovery journey was the recognition, identification, and naming of all these separate dissociated Lost Girl pieces of my self. Nobody ever told me that they were NEVER going to become anything else.
Nobody told me my brain-mind-self had formed from the beginning of my life under so much trauma that continued for 18 years that I will NEVER be able to obtain or create a single-self-entity that resembles the one that ordinary-childhood people are created with. Nobody told me that as a consequence of my childhood I was made into a different sort of person.
In these journal writings I am describing a catching-up-to-Linda-at-31 process that was going on at the same time I was beginning to identify the trauma and the individual pieces of me that it had created. I tried to accomplish an exploration and solidification of self that should have automatically and naturally happened throughout my childhood and young adulthood years — and didn’t.
Every single step I took in my journey included some confrontation and encounter with my profound woundedness. The 18 years of abuse I endured had affected — and infected — me so profoundly and pervasively that I could not find anything but a shell of Linda, packed full to overflowing with pain, confusion, and the defenses that had enabled me to survive.
By the time these journal entries end I had found my way to the only place, both internally and externally, possible for me to go to next: Another treatment center. This one was designed specifically to address both severe trauma and addiction. I remained apart from both my husband and children, now 130 miles away, and walked through the next doorway of my trauma drama recovery story. The steps that I took to get to this next doorway are described here:
January 19, 1983
“What do I see as my boundary problem with Leo?
My mother = my conscious
Her right and wrongs = mine
Leo’s rights and wrongs = my rights and wrongs
I use Leo: the whole part of me that would love Linda isn’t there and Leo is that part of me that loves me
Doesn’t feel healthy
My mother is the part of Linda that hates Linda
Kathy [therapist] says: “In some ways what you’re talking about is pretty profound.””
January 26, 1983
“Talked to the girls tonight about my moving out for awhile. Kathy [therapist] says it should be for at least 6 weeks.”
February 8, 1983 Tuesday 11 PM
“Had class tonight on child abuse issues. Sue told her story. Makes me think about my unvisited “cave” where I’ve hidden all my childhood issues. Wonder when I’ll get in there and poke around.”
February 24, 1983
From notes on Rollo May talk, “Creativity as Significant Form”
“Without anxiety = heightened sensitivity, there’s no creative person.”
“Creativity: The divine madness. The anxiety of being lost leads to creativity.”
“The pause is not nothing. Listen to the silence. Technology calls pauses depressions. PAUSING – the kind of aloneness of a creative person.”
March 4, 1983
“Well, it’s 9:15 PM and at last I’m here in my room. Made the move.”
March 13, 1983
“(I’m losing tears again).”
“I’m creating a safe place here for myself to be with myself, and, finally, cry.”
March 22, 1983
“I don’t want to die – I don’t want to be dead. I want to live.”
March 23, 1983
“I feel angry tonight. Very lonely, too. In that lonely place nobody else can come to. Maybe lonely for myself.”
March 28, 1983
“There’s a point where you go numb and you have to choose not to feel any more in order to survive.”
“I used to think my mother was “just” an overly critical perfectionist.”
April 2, 1983
“7 PM – I’m in Glyndon now [visiting]. Leo and girls are at Larry and Echo’s. The house is very neat and clean. It’s my home, and yet I also feel like I don’t have a home. Alienated – That’s how I feel. From people, my family, pets, home, even my body and myself. I feel sad, like I want to cry, but I can’t.”
“I feel hopeless like I got made wrong and I can’t get fixed. My body is healed of the childhood wounds, bruises; but inside I haven’t healed yet – I don’t even know if I’ve started yet. I don’t have the option of getting high to forget this all like I used to.”
2009 note: I know now, finally, that I didn’t get made ‘wrong’, I got made different. I could not have survived my abuse if I hadn’t adapted and adjusted in every possible way that I could. Fortunately, our human species has that ability — to adapt in order to survive. I also know now that I could not possibly re-make myself into the same kind of person I would have been if the abuse had never happened to me.
June 9, 1983
“There’s someone inside wanting to get out and not knowing how.”
|Recent Surge in Recession RunawaysPosted: 30 Oct 2009 02:46 AM PDTThe intersection between the recession and family stress may be causing an increase in runaway kids and teens, according to a recent article in the New York Times. Job loss, foreclosures, and poverty have added to the stresses at home which have been trickling down and effecting teens. Reporter Ian Urbina recently spent time with teen runaways in Medford, Oregon. He learned the desperate measures they take in order to survive everyday rather than return home. Most runaways aren’t even reported missing by their guardians, and if they are reported to the local police, most times they don’t make it into the national database. Without national recognition, it is very hard for police to identify and return these runaways. Police claim that runaways are not a top priority because most of the time they do not want to be found or returned home. Unfortunately of the 267 runaways reported nationwide 58 of them were found dead. “These kids might as well be invisible if they aren’t in National crime information center (N.C.I.C.),” said Ernie Allen, the director of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. While federal officials are expecting a rise in homelessness this year, most social programs aid homeless families, not unaccompanied youth. At the same time, many financially troubled states have severely cut social services, leaving little to no help for homeless runaways. This presents a significant challenge for society, as runaway children are more likely to become homeless adults who are forced to live a life of crime.For information please visit the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, The National Coalition for the Homeless, and The National Child Traumatic Stress Network.|