As I shared in the original post: Addiction Tuesdays, I go to group counseling every Tuesday as well as single/private counseling. The group is called connections and although we have watched videos on connections and had little assignments based on connections AND my (common sense understanding of connections) I still didn’t quite understand the premise behnd Connections.
Although I consider myself an empathetic person (even the strength finders test says so) I still carry the old school mentallity that you can’t fix anything making excuses. Because of this I had a hard time understanding how all this touchy feely connections business would help every addict through recovery. I wanted to prove the old school thought wrong so I looked up the basis for this Connections school of thought and that is when I found out about :
The Rat Park, a study conducted by Bruce K. Alexander, in an edited synopsis original studies in addiction had (I’m going to call them mice because it’s a much cuter name) mice in individual boxes with regular water and drug infused water, the mice continuously chose the drug infused water but once the study was change to include a “Rat Heaven” where the mice could play freely, make babies and raise families they would completely ignore the drug infused water! So in a nutshell, they realized social mice/people need healthy connections!
Here I thought I had come to some fabulous realization about addiction and revovery! I even went to counseling and enthuisiastically regurgatated what I could remember about the “Rat Park”. Ahead of this appt for the first time I answered a list of questions called “The ACE test”: Adverse Childhood Experiences.
Today I started to do a little more research that said: wait a minute, we can’t just base addiction treatment on happy mice! (of course I was devestated because although rationally I knew it sounded to simple, I still wanted to believe it) The updated research went on to say that 60% of Americans have at least 1 adverse childhood experience and 25% have experienced at least 3. People with an ACE score of 5 or higher are up to ten times more likely to experience addiction. Of course my score was 8. Typically I would slide a joke in right here but I’ll behave!
So really this all tells me what I already know
I have to process my childhood trauma to really move forward…..blah blah blah
Perpetual poverty is a person or family not being able to leave a life of poverty no matter what they do.Mar 11, 2018
The thing I despise the most is feeling as though my hands are tied! Among the many things that make me feel this way, poverty rates at the very top! I grew up very poor. Like no food in the fridge, no clean clothes, power shut off many times, walking to get free food, can’t ever have friends at your house kind of poor!
The cycle of poverty begins when a child is born into a poor family. … On paper, thecycle of poverty has been defined as a phenomenon where poor families become impoverished for at least three generations.Feb 10, 2018
In May I lost my job, mostly through my own doing but I really think it was for the best. My heart just couldn’t handle working in long term care anymore. I immediately filed for unemployment thinking I would just take care of my mom through DORS and collect unemployment for the remainder of the year while attending school. Everything was going along great until November when my unemployment ran out. I guess I didn’t realize that was even possible!! In addition to this, the GM @ our local Menards decided that he wasn’t going to let us get work through their flooring department for our family business! So right before the holidays with all plans in place to have everyone here over the holidays , tickets already bought to see the Cowboys for my birthday in Indiana, a trip already planned to the Dells for my husbands birthday, we realized we had very little income potential.
Typically speaking this would be the moment when my mind would kick into overdrive and I would get in gear! Not this time though. This time depression has continued to prevail. Depression and poverty seem to have such a strong bond with one another. I’m depressed because I am broke, I continue to be broke because I’m depressed. I’ve never been one to feel sorry for myself or to blame others for my problems BUT factually/statistically adults that grew up in poverty and/or endured childhood abuse have a much more difficult time. It is so very sad that the odds are stacked against those born into poverty. It makes no sense to me that : America, the land of the free, where if you work hard enough you too can achieve the “American Dream” actually makes it nearly impossible to achieve such if you are born into poverty.
Date: December of 1976-1981
Age : infant-5years
In the 70’s there was a movie titled: Sunshine . I can’t really tell you why but this is where my mom says she got my name. As with the first few years of my life and what led up to it, I never asked my mom about the origin of my name until after 2001, after I turned 25, after my mom had a major stroke and really couldn’t tell me much.
This movie was a “made for T.V.” special and it’s soundtrack consisted of 7 songs by John Denver, one of which was “Sunshine on my Shoulders’ for which the film is named: IMDb
There’s a menagerie of memories I have up until 5 years old. They are kind of thrown together and all mushed up. My most vivid memories are from 2 different apartments in the same apartment house.
The 2nd floor apartment consisted of a living room to the right when you walked in, a small bathroom just to your left, the kitchen straight ahead and then the only bedroom was to the left of the kitchen. In the upstairs apartment we had a female German Shepard name: Lady and when I was around 3 she jumped up on the roll away bed with me during an argument and her paw got my cheek leaving a scar on my cheek right below my left eye.I also remember a picture of me or maybe it was just my favorite dress pictured in my head hanging on the door frame leading into the living room from the hallway. Either way I remember my favorite pink dress, the one I wore in the pics that actually hung at the neighborhood bar: Julies Tavern, in Decatur, Il , right down the road from where I grew up! I never have come across these pictures as an adult but I remain hopeful!
In the downstairs apartment I have several memories mostly good! My mom would always take me to the public library to rent Little Golden Books & Dr Seuss! I loved reading and being read to and the fun poetry world of Who-ville would leave an everlasting impression (positive impression) on my life! Additionally there was an incident in which I washed my hair with Nair (a bottle of cream rinse used to remove bodily hair which unfortunately included the hair on your head) and to “teach me a lesson, or whatever, my mom cut all of my hair short”. Also we grew up in a time when kids in Africa were starving so it was our duty as a member of The U.S. to eat every thing on our plate no matter what! This particular night it consisted of a bowl of chilli that I did not want to eat for whatever reason so I added A LOT of salt to make it better! Of course it actually made it worse but I had to eat it anyway because we did not WASTE food back then!!!! Lastly, the memory I tell no one about: My stepfather was an alcoholic and he believed in whippens! If you did wrong then you got a spanking with this red and white belt! Well I clearly did something wrong that warranted a whippen with THE BELT!!!! After getting the spanking, I rolled around on the bed in a “convulsive fit” and rolled off the bed and broke my left jaw on the “end table” that sat next to the bed. Who knows what the Dr was told but ultimately the dentist wired my jaw shut to allow the break to heal which meant I had to eat baby food in preschool…..it didn’t last….I pulled the wires out and the dentist gave up.
I honestly don’t remember how soon after this incident my mom and I moved out but I do believe anything longer than immediately would not have occurred if the roles were reversed!
I don’t know if I’ll ever post this but I’m writing it anyway. For the last 4 years I’ve been taking prescription medication. I’ve tried to wean myself off. Last week I became so sick from a virus that I couldn’t get out of bed so I thought it would be a good time to try again! So last Wednesday I started titrating down (I’m in no way suggesting that this is the best way for anyone else to do this) and last night was the very last of the very last. I sweat and then I’m cold, back and forth, back and forth. I took my Wellbutrin and Buspar last night along with melatonin and I slept from midnight until 8am without my legs becoming restless which is amazing. However I couldn’t get out of bed until noon because I was still so tired and cold! Thank God for Edgar!
He keeps me going no matter what and if course my ever patient husband
They keep me in good spirits and faith keeps me strong. So being sick and tapering off “unnecessary” medication isn’t enough so mother nature made her appearance (my opinion about this is in a post: thank you Eve), my oldest son had been arrested the week before for a FTA (failure to appear) and was released on the same Wednesday as above (8/15/18) which could have been a good thing but that’s a whole post by itself.
So during this week 8/15-8/22 I’ve been trying to get things in order to start school (first class was Monday and thankfully it’s only 1 day a week) today I wake up and check the mail and find a letter saying my financial aid wasn’t processed because they were lacking documentation! Documentation I sent in last week during my misery
So I called and the person they told me to send the documentation to hadn’t even been in and had 45 emails she hasn’t gone through. They claim however that they will get it worked out!
Last but certainly not least it occurred to me that the reoccurring issue that I’m constantly running from is my childhood. The abuse that I haven’t addressed is holding me back. So yesterday I made an appt with growing strong sexual assault center that’s set for today at 2pm.
Soooooo that’s my week in a nutshell!
There is so much baggage to carry around after a sh*t childhood. Each day that goes by seems so flipping difficult than the day before.
2 weeks ago my mother moved in with me. I embraced it the best I could, thinking this will surely lead to some kind of mental health!! I really thought it seemed healthy. Then My mom’s money from social security disability was loaded onto her account. She made a list of reasonable items that she wanted to purchase and when I tried to show her some options online for a phone she started giving Roger (my husband) a hateful look and started yelling at us that she would not be paying for any bills! Then my “crippled mother” took off out that back door down toward the gas station. That was around 2 am & did not knock on the door until 6 am and when she did asked me: why didn’t you tell me? Referring to the argument we had before she left. Some how my childhood came up and I asked her why she was running off like she did when I was a child.
I am just starting on my most difficult and private journey. I want to get this part of my story out first and offer what resources I have come across. At this point in my life my story actually starts out: Recovering from childhood abuse before your spouse becomes a victim.
1. You move through the shame and secrecy that keeps you isolated
2. You move through denial and acknowledge the truth of your abuse
3. You make it possible to get understanding and help
4. You get more in touch with your feelings
5. You get a chance to see your experience (and yourself) through the compassionate eyes of a supporter
6. You make space in relationships for the kind of intimacy that comes from honesty
7. You help end child sexual abuse by breaking the silence in which it thrives
8. You become a model for other survivors
9. You begin to take back what was taken from you
10. Telling the truth about our hurt and our loss lessens the power it has over us
Do you need to tell comeone about your experience of sexual abuse or assault?