Fighting against myself

I think the stress at work is really getting to me. Even when I’m working on my own projects at home — attempting to create a new way of earning a living on my own — I’m filled with self doubt and sometimes even self loathing.

My husband tells me I need to go easier on myself.

What can’t I do that?

I’m really struggling with PTSD symptoms right now. Somehow I need to do something, anything, to find some small success that I can celebrate. It’s fine to praise myself sometimes — like for going to the gym, finishing a book or project — but I need some external praise, too. I’m not getting it at work, so I need to find it somewhere else.

But honestly, most of the time I feel like I am my own worst enemy. And the fight is getting tough right now.

Two nights in a row

Two nights in a row of serious nightmares is enough already. Different general topics, same underlying theme: being trapped in a situation I can’t get out of, and no one believes me.

Gee, do you think it could have something to do with my past? AND my present?

I felt trapped in my abusive marriage, of course. But I feel trapped in my current job situation right now, too. It’s a very patriarchal system, everything is managed top-down, and most of the people in charge are male. So it’s literally a patriarchal/paternalistic environment.

I hate it. I need to get out of there. And I’m trying to do that — I’m looking for work elsewhere and am also trying to figure out a business model to do on my own. I’m making progress on that latter front, but it’s slow going right now. I need to speed it up. These dreams are making that clear to me.

So I suppose bad dreams aren’t all bad: they can reveal some truth that I need to see, and then act upon. I’ll take more action. TODAY.

 

Where is my voice?

Like many people who have experienced trauma, I believe my own inner voice has become buried under a blanket of others’ voices — including my own. Let me explain.

When I try to tune in and listen to my own inner voice these days, I am consciously having to tune out the following people (in no particular order);

– My abuser

– My father (who was not abusive but who was influential)

– My mother (ditto)

– My boss (who can be subtly abusive)

There’s another voice, though, that I hear all too frequently. That’s my own voice, but not the deep, inner one. This voice is Lucy the traumatized woman, the one who still occasionally flinches when people get to close to her on the subway; the one who “tracks” people around her to make sure they’re not going to hurt her; the one who doesn’t trust herself to make the best decisions.

So not only do I have to tune out those other people, I also have to tune out the traumatized version of myself. Only then can I get to the real, inner me — the voice I should be listening to.

This is an extremely difficult process for me. About the only way I can do is by writing. Writing a lot. Writing often. As a professional writer, I’m lucky because this process is fairly easy for me because of my facility with the written word. That doesn’t make the emotional part easy, though, nor does it make it easy to really understand what that inner voice is saying much of the time. Sometimes it comes out like a jumbled mess. Other times my voice is clearer, but rarely is it crystal clear.

The result is that I still feel as thought I’m acting on inner information that’s not totally trustworthy. I’m also sad that my inner voice is so covered up. I know it’s not lost, but it’s barely a whisper most of the time.