My self-esteem is fickle, especially since being told I suffer symptoms of body dismorphia. I’ve always known that I’m not my biggest fan, but I didn’t realize I couldn’t even see myself. What others see and what I see are not the same. Sometimes I wonder if that’s part of the reason why I write this blog anonymously, maybe I don’t want readers to see the ogre that I believe myself to be. Or, maybe, I don’t want to give my readers a reason to believe that I’m crazy.
Regardless, it’s become obvious that there is a big enough gap between my perception and reality that I need to get some help in this area. Yes, more help. And while the idea that I need MORE help is becoming overwhelming on some levels, it’s also becoming clearer that I can keep knocking down walls one at a time…and maybe I’ll see the end of this sometime soon. I read somewhere that the healing process takes every survivor a different amount of time, usually the same amount of time that they stayed in the relationship. Which puts me at two years total. And now that I’ve been seeing a therapist for 6 months, does another 18 really seem that long?
My therapist has been asking me to think about group therapy. I’ve mentioned before how alone I feel, even when surrounded by friends who’ve known me for my entire adult life. The loneliness seems only to go away when I’m with someone who understands what I’ve been through, because I don’t feel the need to justify my every move. So I’ve agreed. And to kill two birds with one stone, I’m entering a group designed to help with self-esteem. We’ll start meeting on Tuesday, and we’ll meet for consecutive Tuesdays after. I’m not comfortable with doing this, but nothing about this journey has been comfortable, so I have no excuses. Maybe one of the biggest life skills I’ll ever gain is learning when it’s time to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
The self-esteem group isn’t, technically, the first group I’ve entered. Last week I started a finance class through the counseling center. This 4 part class is designed specifically for women who’ve suffered abuse. Every woman in the group suffered financial abuse, while others (like me) suffered the other forms of abuse, too. So our first week was spent talking about oppression and power, and how it all comes back together in our bank accounts.
I’m hoping week 2 gives me more tips on how to keep more money in my account, instead of spending it frivolously because I’m afraid someone is going to steal from me again. Losing a house and a car is bad enough, but when it was partially caused by abuse, well, it’s another oddly shaped puzzle piece.
I’ve owed my best friend $600 dollars for two years now. And I could’ve easily paid him back, if I knew how to keep myself from spending. I think about it every pay check,and every time I see him. He’s really the reason I’m taking these classes. Yes, I know I need help. Yes, I understand this will benefit me beyond that debt. But I don’t want to lose a friend over it, and I’m really going to try hard this time, because he’s that important to me.
I have some issues with keeping my place from becoming a cluttered mess. Honestly? I feel safer when there’s less space around me. Being enclosed means there is less room for me to fall, or less room for someone else to cause me harm. So, sometimes when I’m alone, I don’t find it all that necessary to clean clutter. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll vacuum around it or clean the shower. I’m not dirty so much as I am disorganized and ambivalent about it.
I was doing really well with this for a few months. I had a cleaning schedule and a process, but then any time another wall breaks down, I start to let the clutter build again. I have a hard time focusing on more than one thing at a time right now, so my organization skills have become the first thing to go.
Bella showed up at my apartment Friday night while I was not home. She called me and told me that she was going to help me get everything back in order, but that I needed to tell my therapist about it the next time I saw her. Obviously I wasn’t seeing just how bad it had gotten. So we spent four hours working on my apartment, including getting 4 trash bags worth of clothing out of my closet and off of my floor to donate.
She told me that she was afraid I was going to become a hoarder. I told her that I felt safer when things were on the floor.
This is when I realized I had another problem.
Spam doesn’t usually bother me. But I’ve been receiving it from Mike’s girlfriend, so it’s bothering me. The best part of this is that I’m not upset about Mike necessarily. I’m not sad that he has another girlfriend…I’m not jealous of where she is…etc. The worst part is that my PTSD is in overdrive. I’m fearful that he’s trying to track me through her, without her knowing.
Instead of allowing this to continue, and having to deal with it by blocking her email address (even though I’ve done this), I emailed her to ask her to remove me from her contacts.
You’re sending me spam via your yahoo email account. It’s coming every day now. Can you please remove me from your contacts?
Simple, right? I’m hoping this is the end of it.
But you know it wouldn’t be a Fina reality for it to end here. Crazily, the new Fina is hoping that she can change that about her life. If I never hear another word from spammy-the-girlfriend or Mikey-the-neanderthal I’ll be a very happy girl.