Session the 16th: Queen of Denial

It was a good session. Which means it also left me vulnerable as hell. ((Dear JesusPhone: I really can spell hell instead of he’ll if I want to.))

Of course Ike came along.

So we talked a bit about what I’ve been writing about lately on the blog.

I forget how we went farther than that. Probably it started when I began talking about the time I broke up with my parents, which was something of a horrible, extended experience over three months, punctuated by death threats. Always nice to get from your parents. (For details, I think there’s some in “Session the Fifth, or, How I Left.”)

Anyways, I started talking about something I’ve always had trouble with. Which is that I’m great at denial. Way too good, really.

For instance, in my life:

  • Even after I learned how the more normal half lived, I still thought of my life under the thumb of my parents as… the natural order of things, and therefore not bad.
  • Even after my parents threatened to kill me, a threat my father almost made good on several times over the years, I didn’t believe they meant it. My friends had to deceive me a bit to save me.
  • Even after my mother crushed my hand, I… well, okay, that particular betrayal did accelerate the gears turning in my head. Although it still took a couple years to save up enough covert money to attempt independence.
  • Even though I wanted to get a doctorate in Computer Science like the rest of my friends, I didn’t think about getting a job above store clerk when school finally ended. My life was supposed to be taking care of my parents from 21 onwards.
  • Even as I was sitting in the emergency dean’s office in shock, they had to give me one of those checklists, the kind that let you score up a relationship as abusive or not. The only box left unchecked was something like rape. I mean, they even listed strangling as a danger sign!
  • Even after I was actually on the run after a betrayal by two other friends, I thought everyone was overreacting on the strangling, knife “play”, locking up in closets, etc.
  • Even after another friend tried to… well… blackmail me out of $4000 of my $8000 that was all I had in my name at the time… yeah, um, it’s kind of a wonder I donate so heavily in my later adulthood.
  • Even after intervening years of paranoia, waking nightmares, and nightmares, I still didn’t think I needed to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. This denial I regret the most, because I lost a lot of trust from my new friends by having a full-fledged flashback at their place during Thanksgiving.
  • Even though I knew that Christmas triggered me, I still took holiday oncall. Which is a really dumb way to put the welfare of the company, much less my job, as I began to move into teams with more destructive potential if the oncall, say, had an episode during a high-severity event.
  • It took me until last Father’s Day when I decided to start trying to remember what happens year to year instead of constantly denying it and never learning, despite some meltdown I had trouble classifying as such until of late.
  • Even now, when I like my psychologist and psychiatrist and I know they really help, I often found excuses to cancel appointments. “Oh, we have a project at work…” but we always do. “Oh, but I’m oncall…” but anybody on my team is willing to cover an oncall for a day. I resolved a couple weeks back to never cancel my appointments again. If I hadn’t, I would have canceled this appointment.
  • Even now, when I’ve been enlightened on this whole abuse thing, I have a very hard time… to the point where I can’t say it out loud without stammering… and pausing… even as I write this… conceiving of them as having loved me very much. It was a sick, poisoned love… and it’s much easier to believe them to be simply evil monsters, but it is only 99.9999% true.
  • Oh. Yeah, and I had this blog for some years and for the first half of its tenure I never wrote about this horrible anguish. Because if I did, that would “make it real.” This after years of the aforementioned and enlightenment.

Strangely, about the only thing I have no denial about are my job and my hobbies. And for a long time I treated them as more important than my life, because then I didn’t have to confront what all my years of hell meant.

Anyways, in summary: I’m trying to stop denying stuff.

In other news, I did get to sit in the sun with Ike a little, staring at a wall. Usually this would fill my mind with recall hell, but with Ike hugged tight, it didn’t.

The rest of the day I spent in thousand-year stare mode at my desk, with Ike clutched in my arms. The day was interrupted by a sexist dude asking for help, and not only that, he lied to us.

Then back to thousand-year stare.

Good thing I managed to find an oncall swap for the weekend. I might just stay sane, but as they say, it’ll get fucking horrible before it gets better.

4 thoughts on “Session the 16th: Queen of Denial

  1. I think what you’re doing now is really admirable and smart – and I know it’s helping some people besides yourself, because I’ve pointed friends over here who say it’s helping them.

    That doesn’t mean what you were doing before was dumb, or not admirable – you wouldn’t have carried that denial so long if it hadn’t been useful and necessary, at least part of the time.

  2. Glad to hear you were able to swap away the on-call for the weekend. See, the learning you have accomplished already is helping you manage things better!

  3. Hard day, eh? *hugs*

    You don’t have to do Saturday till it’s Saturday. So tomorrow is Tuesday, tomorrow you’ll do Tuesday.

    And the whole herd is there for you.

  4. Rosa, thanks. And I’m glad other people find my blog helpful. :)

    Wogglebug, it is very true that I’m learning to manage rather than be managed, so to speak.

    pericat, *hugs back* Both good points. It’s very hard to deal with individual days, though; to a certain extent, the PTSD does what it will, because triggers can only be controlled so much this close….

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