Oh man. I'm sad to be writing this post.
I've had a problem with anxiety since I as a kid...I've been in therapy since I was a kid up until about two years ago. I was suffering from some pretty evil PTSD, Depression and other mood issues (not Bipolar, or anything that severe)...I do not have BPD, but a lot of my issues would manifest into symptoms similar to those suffered by people with BPD, and so my therapist decided that I might really benefit from DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and so....I did a year of hardcore DBT with her and it was like switching on the lights. My life has completely changed, my skill set improved dramatically and I found myself navigating situations (with my mother, spouse, etc) that left me feeling healthy, proud and so free of stress.
My anxiety was never erased...but I was so committed to not being on meds (for many years no one would try to help me actually deal with any problems, trauma from my early childhood, etc, and medicated me out the you-know-what...which was so bad) that I worked super super hard at combating intrusive thoughts and the agitation that comes with anxiety. I worked so so hard you guys. I really felt better, I was keeping things in check. Up until about 1.5-2 years ago, when SLOWLY, things started creeping back in every once in a while.
I am so anxious about being kidnapped, raped, stalked....it's unreal. It affects my daily life these days to a point which makes me uncomfortable. I think that most men I don't know are dangerous and I'm convinced that there are people following me...like, if I see a set of headlights in my rearview mirror I will watch them...and if it seems like the headlights stay behind me for a while, I feel like that person is following me, to see where I live to come and "get me". I keep weapons by my bed (like a long metal club-like thing, or golf club) because I think someone is going to come in our house in the night and "get" me. I always think I'm going to be carjacked and killed, so I am very suspicious of people walking down the street, and make sure to always lock my doors when I'm driving. These aren't gripping fears...they are like, logical feelings. I think I am at high risk for being raped/kidnapped/sold into sex slavery.....they way someone else, prefectly logically, feels they are at high risk for injury because they don't wear pads when they skateboard....like, it feels that logical. It's not something that makes me feel paniky, I feel a rational sense of "okay, look at him, who is he...he's suspicious, watch him, don't turn your back to him..." kind of thing.
I have the....worst....worst...thoughts in my head. It affects my sexual relationship with my DH, because these thoughts will intrude when we are being intimate. They are such terrible thoughts, to do with children being raped and molested...I just want to beat my head against a wall because it seems like no matter what I do, I can't make it stop. I'm PETRIFIED of being sold into sex slavery and when I meet new people who are male, I am always suspicious that they are in the sex trade business. I have SEVERE trust issues with men I don't know....when I walk by men in the grocery store or wherever, I will often have thoughts like "I think he's a pedophile, I can imagine that he is a pedophile" - when it's just a guy, getting groceries.
I'm hyper sensitive to the issue of kidnapping and am always looking over my shoulder...looking for clues that someone has been waiting in my garage for me to come outside so he can "get me".....coming home is becoming more anxiety producing...I can swear I see evidence that someone has been around my door, that maybe they jimmied the lock to get in and wait for me, so they can "get me". Over the last 1.5 years, I've gone from being able to stop these thoughts, living a really normal life....to slipping back into having a lot of really illogical, but persistent and COMPLETELY overwhelming thoughts.
The latest thing to happen, is now I have this super super intrusive thought, almost like a screaming voice...that is telling me that ***I*** am a pedophile. Which, obviously, is not true. But that is what this "voice" (not an actual voice, more like a really mean, taunting thought) is telling me. The thought feels really mean, like when you're a kid and the other kids on the bus are taunting you because they found out you peed your pants at summer camp...do you know what I mean? Like, a nasty voice that says "Haha, the reason they are going to "Get you" is because YOU'RE a pedophile." - it makes me so sad that my own mind is trying to hurt me like this....and I've come to the point, with this new intrusive thought, that I can't go on like this.
To answer the inevitable question: Yes, I was abused sexually as a child. I really thought I put a lot of this behind me....but I think this all coming up again has to do with me confronting my mother about the way she handled the situation. She DID make my step father stay away, never come home again....but about a month after she found out that her husband of 10 years had been molesting her DD (me), I walked into the house to hear a strange noise...went into her room to find them engaged in wild sex.
I told her how big a betrayal I thought this was she said, "I was married to him for 10 years, you can't just turn that off...I have needs" - that was her excuse at the time. More recently, she is more apologetic...but maintains that she was really hurt and doing the bst she could...but that she can't really explain the behavior.
Also....after child services had come and gone, deciding that everything was under control (
) we (all the kids and my mother) went to the police station and had loooooooong taped interviews about the whole situation....and then she completely fell apart. She lamented the fact that her beautiful home in her prestigious neighborhood and nice car and all of that would be gone, because with him in jail, we'd have to move (which, looking back, isn't even entirely true, she has a trust fund that would have covered most, if not all of that) and cried about how embarrassed she'd be for everyone in town to know what happened and I, being the oldest and a long time caretaker to a very manic-depressive mother, decided that something had to be done....I went back to the police station and I recanted my whole story, saying that I was just trying to "get back at" my step father for "taking my mother away from me" and that I lied about everything to try and get him in trouble. They knew it wasn't true....they had the tapes where I gave long and detailed (though not complete, to this day I haven't told anyone the whole truth) accounting of what happened and my next youngest sister was able to cooberate a lot, independant of my accounting, because she shared a room with me all my life. Poor, poor girl.. Ugh. But I was 17, 18 by the time it would have gone to trial and I said I lied and wouldn't testify to any of the "lies" I had told. My step fahter admitted some of what happened to my mother, but to the prosecutors did not and wouldn't even see them, when they called (I'm fuzzy on this part, because I heard all of this second hand) but the prosecutor had plenty to charge him with.
The prosecutor said he was going to charge him anyway, without my testimony....but nothing ever came of any of it. So...fast forward 6+ years....I went my entire pregnancy with DD so mad about the situation...she totally vanished during my pg, because she said that she couldn't be a grandmother yet, etc....and I called BS, that it wasn't about her, so I didn't make an effort to see her...and she didn't try to see me. I was mad, because I was becoming a mother and thinking about all the terrible things she had done to me, her own baby....and decided that until she could explain those things, I just didn't have anything to say to her. At the very end of my pg, she andI went out to lunch and I confronted her "Why did you make me walk into your bedroom and find you with him" "Why did you hit us all the time" "Why did you say such horrible things to us" etc....many questions like that. The overall reason she gave for all of these things (there are more issues with trauma and her not putting her kids first than I could get into here....going back from my very first memories of her...there were a lot of questions I had for her, very controlling, very crazy crazy mother) anyway, the overall response: "Maybe I'm not as great as you think, I'm not a super hero...I did the best that I could" - wow. Thanks mama.
So...I've moved on from a lot with her and repaired our relationship because I don't know how to not hveher in my life...there are wonderful things about her....but she is mentally ill...she tries, I think, to be good to me and is crazy about Avery....but then, just the other day, called and said "I just wanted to let you know, I think you are hte hero of our family, I don't know what we would have done, if you hadn't saved us, and gone to the police and recanted your story....thank you for doing that, believe me, I know it was terrible, but it had to be done, you know?" - and I started to think....man, the reason I'm having all of this anxiety and horrible thinking...is because I am allowing this person, who has betrayed me so much, to be a part of my life still....these issue are unresolved, and they are popping up in ways that are making my life more and more difficult.
So. That's where I am.
1. Terrible, unstoppable intrusive thoughts
2. A mother who is in my life, who hasn't had the courage to really own a lot of terrible behavior
3. A loving, best friend/DH who has no idea these problems are getting worse again...because he is already so stressed out and will worry alot (I know, unfair to him)
The issues to do with my major anxiety (looking over my shoulder, convinced I'm going to be attacked/raped/kidnapped, etc) are not really creating huge issues as far as quality of life are concerned, I'm not having anxiety attacks, etc....just preoccupying thoughts sometimes...VERY suspicious of people...stuff like that. It's not in any way crippling....but do I really need to take pictures of all the "suspicious" cars parked on my street?? No, I don't. I really want to repair this before it gets worse. I am EXTREMELY worried that if I don't do something, this will ultimately affect my parenting of my darling, precious baby girl and I couldn't BEAR that.....i couldn't you guys...I want so badly to be a good mama to her and I AM...I'm a great mother...but if I let this go and it gets to a point where I am afraid to leave the house or let her have play dates, etc...what's that going to be like for her? You know? I want her to see the world with wide eyes...in awe of the wonder of it all. I want her to be careful, obviously....but I want her to love people, not fear them, you know?
I'm just...at a loss. I'm so sad about it all. I really want the intrusive thoughts to go away. I know a lot of probably has to do with guilt about the abuse....it wasn't my fault, I wasa little girl....but the way my mother handled things I think left me with the feeling that somehow I deserved what happened, because it obviously didn't make herhate him so much, if she invited him back into her bed...one time, that I know of, who knows how many that I don't.
My DH hates her guts....but I don't want to cut her out of my life. I know she suffers depression....all the time as a kid and young adult, she would become crippled with depression, would climb into bed in her fur coat and basically stay there for a month...getting up to use the bathroom...but mainly passed out on zanax...we (me) took care of her completely. Bringing her food and tea....looking back now it makes me so sick....she knows she hasa problem. I also believe she may have NPD....her mother DOES actually hve NPD...HER mother, when my mother told her that she was being molested....sent her away to boarding school and stayed with the man for a few years, until they divorced. Her mother was married 6-7 times....so, she comes from deep dysfunction, which in part, makes me blame her less.
Help mamas, what do I do about these issues? WHat do you think? Is this more serious than I think? Sometimes, these thoughts are so intrusive, the imagery impossible to wash fro my mind...TERRIBLE things, I think about....I think I need to go back to therapy...but what do I do about my mother. I feel like, since I told her I forgive her....I can't take that back? I know that sounds stupid.