Category Archives: Fear

Going naked

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I have blogged about the facial disfigurement I was born with (sorry, sometimes I know I bang on about it). Of all the issues I have been looking at over the years- the one where I feel I have made least progress is in the way I look.

Until now.

Unknown.jpegSometimes change is so slow it is negligible. I would much prefer the wake up one morning and everything is different- but sadly, that doesn’t really happen that often. But every now and again I find myself doing or saying something that I’m not sure I would have done previously. This is one of the reasons I love blogging- it helps me see the successes and process the challenges.

In the summer I decided to go naked.

I have always HATED the fact that because of my skull not fusing properly I have this thick clump of hair that no matter what I do with it always congregates in the middle of my forehead. I really find it repulsive. (Sorry, wish I could say that was hyperbole but actually I really find it stomach turning).

In the Summer while in Bulgaria, I decided to cut my fringe off. Instead of trying to hide my forehead and it looking worse in the process, with my sisters encouragement, I decided to embrace it and go naked. And do you know what… only ONE PERSON has noticed and I love it!

Daniel, has spoken to me about it. He noticed something different and was very encouraging about it. But no one else has said anything and that is really positive for me. Because that includes the public. It hasn’t made it worse and to be honest, I found the clump of hair so much more upsetting then the scars so its win win, I don’t have the clump and no one mentions the dent!

I AM LOVING THE NAKED LOOK. 

But it doesn’t stop there…  I have suffered with an eye condition for 24 years now and as a consequence the iris in my eye is now permanently damaged and it means that my eye lets in more light than usual. This is really painful and its not just sun that hurts its general day light. Reactor-light lenses do not go dark enough for me so I have been wearing prescription sunglasses virtually non-stop until 2 weeks ago- when I lost them 😦 It is a faff having to swap continually between glasses and sunglasses but its the only way I have been able to manage the pain in my eyes.

But now for the first time ever, I am considering contact lenses. Instead of trying to hide my wide-set eyes with thick and sometimes outrageous glasses- can I go naked? No mask. Just my face. I don’t know. I’m not sure if I would be able to go outside without my glasses. But the situation needs looking at as I need new prescription glasses- so is now the time?

On Friday evening, I spent some time looking in the mirror. (Penelope has been trying to  get me to do this for the last 4 years but I’ve never been able to manage it. (I can actually get ready without looking in a mirror at all.) But on Friday, I sat and looked. Without glasses (obviously everything looks blurred without my glasses) but I could see my face and I just wondered without the glasses whether I might be better doing the fringe attitude. Fronting it out. Doing the opposite to what I want to do- instead of hiding- embracing. Its something I am going to explore.

In reality I am not sure whether I can wear contacts etc… but I’m definitely going to explore. I may just find it totally liberating – like my lack of fringe!!!!

Thanks for listening.

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Holding my nerve

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I need to hold my nerve. And I need to hold on strong.

This image is a copy of a picture my brother had in his bungalow. It is huge! I remember buying it for him and struggling to get it to him. It is how I am feeling- but sadly, I do not feel sheltered- just storm ravaged.

My brother passed away at the beginning of December. Aged 49. He was cremated 3 days before Christmas Day. It hurts. I feel like I am drowning.

But I know I need to hold on. Keep my nerve. Not panic. Not do anything in a knee-jerk reaction as a desperate desire to make myself feel better. It is hard. Very hard.

I have had a couple of days that have been very scary for me. A strength of pain that felt life-threatening. I need to hold on. Humbling though it is, I also need to admit that I need others to help me hold on. Some things are just too big to face alone. I don’t have any answers- as I’m not entirely sure what the questions are… but as the storm rages- the whisper in my soul is “hold on- hold your nerve”. I’m even saying it out loud to myself in public places- such is the crash of waves that keep coming over me. “Hold on.”

I fought for my brother. I used words to  persuade, defend, argue and insist. I refused to take no for an answer. I stood firm in the face of protocol and policy. I didn’t back down in the midst of accusations and insinuations. I did it all for him and would give anything to still be able to do it for him. It was easy to do it for him. The greater challenge is to fight for myself. My survival. My life. Currently, I am the one in need- threatened and at risk. The only person that needs to hear my voice- is me. I need to speak up loudly enough for myself to take notice. I am so blessed- I have many friends who listen to me. Some how I need to be able to dig down deep enough to listen to the voice that says “hold on”.

Thanks for listening.

 

A ring

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I have bought myself a ring.

I didn’t need a ring, I wasn’t even looking to buy a ring.

But I have bought myself a ring. I bought it because I put it on and felt like a princess. I liked feeling like a Princess. I bought myself the ring and I love it.

Thanks for listening.

This is tricky!

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Life in DBT and Hepzibah land has been eventful… The challenges and opportunities to grow and develop continue to present themselves with sometimes alarming frequency and intensity!

DBT began to develop into a new chapter a couple of months ago. This was sparked by me receiving a proof of my interview for the sexual fantasies of English women book I did some months back. (See previous posts for the background to that particular event!) As I talked through the chapter with Penelope, my sessions have ventured more into trauma work. That is all fine. I signed up to this process and I will do whatever I need to do to come through the other side. But then some things happen that have the potential to really floor me…

In my sessions and with one particular friend the issue of my toe nails has become a hot topic. Random I know but a significantly painful one for me. This sounds completely irrational what I am about to say but it is currently my experience. My toe nails are a major reason why I have stopped going to church and stopped referring to myself as a Christian. Let me try and explain… (I’m more trying to explain to myself than anyone else…)

I have had a number of unpleasant toe nail and feet experience- details are irrelevant to this boog but they have left a difficult legacy for me. But throughout my 20 years of trying to follow Jesus, I have been haunted by the fear of being tortured for Him by having my toe nails ripped off. I’m sorry I’m just trying to be honest. Christian martyrdom in the 21st century is a fact. Christians all over the world are being killed and tortured purely because they love Jesus. In many accounts I’ve read of persecuting Christians finger and toe nails being ripped off seems to be a common form of torture. I’ve always lived with the fear that if ever I was being tortured by this method I would denounce Christ- and that has always been a devastating thing to me. That my faith was so shallow I would deny my Saviour. And a couple of years ago, I felt unable to live with this hypocrisy that I would deny Him. So I just stopped trying to convince myself that I loved Jesus and decided to be honest and I feel unable to call myself a Christian as i feel totally unworthy of His most beautiful name…

In my bid to try and address my body image issues etc I have begun to try and face the toe nail situation. Last week I let a good friend cut my toe nails. (I’ve only ever let another friend do this once before). I can’t cut them myself either. To my friends I’m happy to try and talk about this at another point. But last week I let a friend touch my nails. I was shaking and crying but I let her do it.

Today I had an accident at work. I dropped a video and DVD player directly onto my big toe from a height. I genuinely screamed in agony. I now think it is likely that my big toe needs lancing to alleviate the pressure under the nail. I can’t do it. It is just too much for me. So I am lying in bed drugged up with as many painkillers as I can, ice around it and elevated… The pain is rough but the fear of needing my nails to be touched is even worse…

I was with special friends when it happened but in that moment I was trying not to vomit from the shock and I just didn’t want to try and explain why this was such a big deal to me… It all seems so silly…

As I write this I wonder why I’m blogging about it. Sometimes I blog as a means of processing my thoughts. Sometimes I blog as homework. Sometimes I blog because I just really enjoy it. At this moment I blog as I really am feeling the need to be listened to. I’m not quite able to randomly text a friend and tell them about my toe nails- I know I should but I just can’t. My sister has seen my toe tonight and knows they need seeing to but she does not know my problems with my toe nails and I don’t want to tell her why so I’m feeling very alone and frightened. Gosh it sounds so weak doesn’t it!!!!

Last week I thought God reassured me about the toe nail thing. I felt He was saying that my ability to endure pain for Him was not about my strength of faith but about His strength of power. Tonight I’m not in pain because of Him, I’m in pain because I dropped two metal boxes, one after another, directly onto my big toe nail… But the challenge to me is the same. Can I trust His ability to see me through the night and to face tomorrow… I hope so.

Thanks for listening.

Burlesque

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I had planned to write this before the events of last week, so in the light of my previous post- here goes!

I have been to 3 burlesque dance sessions and it is great. It is going to be so helpful for me! 🙂

The ladies only class is full of ages, shapes, sizes and abilities. It is Sooo challenging- I love it!!!

Most of the ladies get dressed up for the classes. There is copious amounts of bare flesh showing and I am having to be utterly non- judgemental and one mindful to manage my inner repulsion at women’s flesh. I am doing well.

I have not got dressed up! In fact, I actually wore pyjama bottoms for the first two sessions! As I said to my friend, if I wore a nun’s habit I couldn’t be more covered up! Last week I moved from baggy pj bottoms to proper leggings with a long shirt covering my backside!

The exercise part of it is perfect for my struggles with depersonalization. I have blogged before about my trouble to connect with my body. I know I have a hand, but I can’t relate to the fact that it is my hand… I know that sounds strange- but it is quite a horrible feeling. The movements in burlesque are quite minimal at times and I have been connected with my wrists and elbows in a whole new way! I do the choreography mindfully and I am slowly becoming acquainted with my body in new ways- which is so exciting.

My psychiatrist thinks this is one of the best things I’ve ever done. He was go smacked when I told him! Penelope doesn’t know I’ve signed up- she will be surprised as well.

I have a very long way to go. I am no where near wearing other clothes but I have gone with the props. I am now the proud owner of pink satin gloves and a pink feather fan- I love them!!!!

Last week I spent a few days with my dearest friend Miranda, we went shopping. Miranda has been with me in most of my sublime to ridiculous adventures- but she did almost draw the line in coming into Ann Summers with me !!!!!! ( I didn’t want to either but apparently they do good fans!) it felt really special looking for pink gloves with her 🙂 even more special when at one point we we talking about steamer saucepans and pink gloves at the same time- oh how my life has changed!!!

Who knows where my burlesque journey will take me… Doesn’t really matter where… My plan is to go through the journey one-mindfully, trying to participate as much as I can and managing my distress at difficult situations. It’s good fun.

Thanks for listening

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synchronicity part 2

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DBT is strongly based on CBT techniques and often in my sessions with Penelope we discuss the ‘evidence’ for any views/ thoughts/ beliefs that I hold. It is a technique that I now use automatically all the time. In my shaky moments, I am increasingly standing back and looking at the evidence- I recommend the technique!

Throughout my time in DBT when I have spoken about my feelings of ‘unloveableness’ Penelope has always challenged me to back this up with evidence. It is fair to say I do have a fair bit of evidence of attracting gits of various shapes and sizes, but I have always had to admit that I did have one man in my life who most definitely didn’t find me unloveable… and he was ‘normal’.

Let’s call him, Ronnie. I met Ronnie in 1989, I was in the upper sixth at school (Year 13 for the youngsters amongst you!) I was playing piano for a local Am Dram production, he was in the band. Looking back with what I know now, it was just really normal. Young man likes young girl, he makes a move, we snog at the after show party and he wants to see me again. Gosh, how refreshingly simple! We saw each other again for one date and then he had already planned a 3 week trip to New Zealand, we arranged to see each other when he got back.

He sent me a postcard/ letter every day. My brother who was a postman thought this was the most ridiculous thing. But he did. Every day. He rang me from the airport when he got home, and I dumped him. Horribly, unceremoniously, just told him I didn’t want to see him again. There are no excuses. Things were complicated with some of my family relationships and I broke his heart. I’ve never really felt bad about it, I didn’t really have the capacity to feel at that point in my life. And I’ve never really given Ronnie another thought.

However, I must have remembered it enough to tell Penelope about him. I honestly could not remember his name (sorry)… but Penelope decided to call him ‘Ronnie’. So every time I say that no one finds me attractive and all that jazz… Penelope would just say ‘Ronnie’… and I couldn’t argue with that. Ronnie didn’t need to write to me every day, he wanted to.

This week on Wednesday evening, I bumped into Ronnie again. (the significance for me being the work I’m doing in DBT). I went to a local Am Dram production and Ronnie was in the band again. It was also the same musical where I first met him. He was there. Clear as day. (No wedding ring either).

I’m learning enough that sometimes in life you just have to grab the opportunity that lies before you. I didn’t want to regret not talking to him. (Also I was slightly fearful of telling Penelope that I hadn’t done anything!) I girded my loins and went and spoke to him. Please don’t get too excited, there isn’t a happy ending. But I went and spoke to him, slightly difficult as I couldn’t remember his name and I was convinced he was a saxophonist when I first met him.) He confirmed that he had played in the band in 1989 but he didn’t seem to recognise me, but we had a nice chat. I was so proud of myself going up to him.

Oh and by the way, his real name is Ronnie! Penelope was right all along!

I reported this to Penelope with much pride. Penelope was so excited. Not for meeting him again, but more for the encouraging signs that maybe I’m on the right track. My next homework:

to get my number to Ronnie or get his!!!! I couldn’t believe it, Penelope is actually expecting me to put myself out there so much and make that connection. I did my normal protesting and hysterics…. but I’ve gone for it. I text a friend who knows a friend etc.  in the same production to get a message to him. I can’t believe that I am willing to make myself that vulnerable to another woman, that is the biggest miracle for me. This friend passed the message on to Ronnie. He said he will contact me through Facebook… who knows- maybe he will, maybe he won’t. But I did it! How cool is that!!!

Thanks for listening.

chipping away at the wall

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Last week I realised I’ve hit my wall. The wall that always appears… as far as I get as much as I improve, eventually I always hit the brick wall. And wonderfully over the past couple of weeks I’ve finally had some clarity into what the brick wall is. Amazing.

I do so well, make strides in my skills and the proverbial brick wall blocks my way. And my brick wall is that intrinsically I believe I am unlovable. I know that some people love me, but at essence I feel unlovable, believe I am unlovable and as a consequence that makes for a very lonely existence.

I have spent 20 odd years ‘loving’ God, serving Him and wanting to live a life that is pleasing to Him… but it’s run dry- because the basis of my relationship with God has been that I love Him, but I don’t believe for one moment that He loves me. I realised yesterday as I was driving, that my relationship with God is just another example of unrequited love…. I love someone who does;t love me. Ironically, with God, this couldn’t be further from the truth if I tried. But as I can’t experience His love or allow myself to rest in that love, it might as well be unrequited.

And that ‘unloveableness’ translates into my human relationships. I know that I have friends who love me, but I don’t ever rest in that love and believe it won’t be taken away in a blink of an eye. I excuse it… they love me because they don’t have to live with me… I minimise my relationships as a way of trying to get my head around that someone else may find me loveable.  And intrinsically, I don’t even consider it a vague possibility that maybe one individual would love me enough and want me to be their significant other.

So I’ve hit the wall, and by hook or by crook, I don’t want that wall anymore. It has to go. I’ve called time on it. Ideally, I would quite like a bulldozer to knock it down, sadly, I think a chip, chip, chip at it is more likely to be the way.

I don’t care if no-one else is ever able to say to me I am loveable…. all I want is to be able to say that to myself. I have such a long way to go, but I am going to knock that bastard down and be free.

 

Thanks for listening.