To touch a child

Hands of trust more than once betrayed

Can no longer be trusted in any way

Dare not come near or ask for protection

Reach for a hug, or show any affection

Know your to blame, try not to provoke again

Keep all the secrets or be accused of sin

Your not like others and you might infect

So isolate yourself out of deepest respect

You are poisoned in body and mind

But prey no one notices, in terror confined

No place is safe for you from him

You cant escape, thats the problem

Accept your torture without complaint

Adjust to the pain and call him a saint

He can control your mind because hes in it

He knows your fears and will not quit

You are powerless and whats more

At 6 years old he calls you a whore

He pushes your buttons, every last one

To keep you quiet so he can continue his fun

Never once did he think of you as a child

Only as his slave and thats putting it mild

And you remained loyal 100 percent

Even though every inch of your body was spent

And even though now that you are away

There is very little he will allow you to say

For you are his until the very end

And he wont allow your heart to mend

Could have been

i could have been beautiful
but you spattered me with blood
i might have been graceful
but you knocked me into the mud

i could have been courageous
but you crumpled me into a ball
i might have been brave
but you made me feel so small

i could have been intelegent
but you taught me not to try
i might have been brilliant
but you told me the truth is a lie

i could have been trusting
but your promises lay broken
i might have been confiding
but you taught me to leave everything unspoken

i could have been independent
but you left so many needs unfilled
i might have been self-reliant
but you made it so i couldn’t rebuild

i could have been whole
but you tore me all apart
i might have been so much more
but you destroyed my growing heart

A phone call with our therapist Eileen

its me alicia again. remember i wrote yesterday? about my conversation with dr. barry? well when i got home i was really triggered. i think talking about all that stuff about wanting a mom and wanting to live with eileen or dr. barry really triggered me. i was sad and felt like crying. i was also mad that it could not happen. everything was just getting to me. i felt horrible.
i rang eileen to tell her i was feeling bad, and that i felt sad. she didnt pick up so i left a message. i asked her to text me and told her i was hoping to talk to her. that was about 1 o’clock. she didnt ring or text me back. i waited and waited all day and felt more and more upset and trigggered. i felt like maybe she was tired of hearing me go on about being adopted and not having a mom. i felt like maybe she wasnt gonna be there for me any more. and i cried and cried because everything felt so overwhelming and hard.
eventually carol anne made me go to bed at about 8 PM. she tucked me in and settled me down for the night. she talked to me and promised that eileen would respond, and if she did she would tell her that i was sleeping but she said she’d arrange for me to talk to her today. so i accepted that. i went to sleep feeling so sad. it was nice that carol anne cared about me and tucked me in and wanted to be there for me but i was still so sad, i just wanted eileen.
eileen did respond, carol anne said she texted at about 9 PM. she apologised for not getting back to me sooner. carol anne told her i was sleeping and they arranged for me to call her at 11:15 this morning. so i did. i spent 25 minutes on the phone with her. it was great. we talked about me being triggered. i told eileen that everything was just too much for me and getting to me. she said she understood.
a friend had given me the idea that maybe eileen could adopt me for the hour and a half that we spend together each week. that maybe she could be a therapist mom. and that maybe sometimes we could do things together during our sessions. i liked that idea a lot so i asked eileen about it. she thought it was a great idea and agreed to it! she said that even when i am not out, even when I am inside, that she will be there for me. so when i go to therapy each week and sit in her office i will know she loves me and is there for me no matter what. i think this could work. she also said she would read to me and record that and send it to me. that sounds good to me. she also said that maybe sometimes we could do a meditation exercise together, or walk around her room touching stuff, or she could hold us like she did a week ago, she always hugs me and that feels so good.
she said that when we got off the phone i should do something fun like watch a movie or something. im still thinking on what i can do. i think a movie sounds like something i would enjoy. it will also keep me distracted and take my mind off stuff for a while.
i feel good after talking to eileen. im less sad now. she helped me feel better. but she always does. hearing her voice helps me feel grounded again.
alicia age 9

Todays session with our OT Mark, finding a balance

we saw mark this morning. we’ve been preparing for my return to college in april. today we did a sorta review of the initial preparation we had done prior to my starting the course last september. we reviewed things that I was looking forward to, things I was anticipating, obstacles that were in my way, etc. It was good to do the review. It gave me some perspective and at the end we talked about what would help in preparing for returning. one thing is that i am going to try to be less results focused and try to just enjoy being there, enjoy the experience, enjoy the process of going to college. my problem is i place too much emphasis on my performance, I have high standards for myself, I am competative by nature, and also people on the course are competative, they talk about their results, so then you cant help getting caught up in that cycle. mark said i have to try to be true to myself, and he’s right. i have to try to find that balance, between performing and getting results, and just enjoying the experience. when i initially went to college back last september, I didnt find time to do social activities outside of college. at the start i was so wrecked each day that I came home and crashed, went to bed. never did anything fun or just for myself. that has to change this time i think. i’m starting singing this coming friday, my vocal assessment is this coming Friday. I’m super excited for that because this is something that I love and will enjoy, I am passionate about, but most of all this is something just for me. It was expensive to join as I am having one to one lessons. but I did it for me. it is one new activity that I will do each week. I’ve also joined a peer support group every tuesday evening. The group is for people with MH issues. We do social activities as part of the group, not every week but every so often, like going for coffee, for a meal, etc. Most importantly it is a place where I can be myself. No they dont know I have did but they do know I have PTSD and struggle with anxiety. Again that is another avenue of support and a group of people I can socialise with. I am also thinking of joining yoga if I can ever get around to phoning the people involved in that. these are just some of the activities I am thinking about doing in conjunction with college. in our next session Mark and I are going to talk more about finding that balance, about what will constitute that, what will work and what wont work. he said today that if I have balance then I wont have as much time to focus on studying, not that I wont study, I will still study. But that if I fill up my time in the evengings and at weekends with things to do then I wont take work home with me. I was starting to do that. The instructors told me not to do that, they told me that enough time had been built into the day that we had enough time to do the work that needed to be done. Anything we didnt get done could wait until the following day. We didnt have to take it home. I think though that my taking home of stuff was more emotional, I took everyones problems on and worried about everything, even things I couldnt control. so much so that i got very stressed out. all of that has to stop. as well as my expectations of myself and what i can achieve. i need to adopt dr. barrys mantra, its ok to be just good enough. i keep that in my head and remind myself of that every day. dr. barry gives good advice. now i need to listen to it and take it. remind myself that even if i dont get 8 distinctions in all of my modules, i am ok, i am good enough.

Rock bottom

swirling and spinning

quickly downward

nothing to grip onto

the hole seems endless

yet i have a sense of rock bottom

and i think im about to hit it

i brace myself for the collision

but i am tugged away by voices

my mind can’t prepare

and combat hallucinations

enter the flashbacks

on top of the voices

memories stabbing my heart

suddenly i hit the ground

the fall is hard

my arms out to brace myself

now bleed in a self injurious way

this is the bottom

its a familiar place

i’ve been here many times before

and i know that unless i get help

the right sort of help

i’ll be here again

Carol anne age 19

Remembering evil

I was tiny

I was small

It was like

I wasnt even there at all

But my eyes did see

And my heart did crack

I wished it was over

But there was no turning back

The damage done

Could not then be faced

Years later told

As my mind raced

So many colors

Sweeping flashbacks away

Its an up hill battle

Each and every day

Can I face the truth

Of what happened to me

Or will I drown

In a sea of memory

The little girl is waiting

To share what she knows

But I only run away

My fear, it shows

But one day it will catch up

And then Ill have to face it

But will I be able

To sit with it

LIZ THERAPY TIME WORKING WITH MY 5 YEAR OLD SELF AND AGEING

HI ITS LIZ.
THIS WEEK I GOT TIME IN THERAPY. I ACTUALLY CAME INTO THE SESSION. USUALLY CAROL ANNE COMES AND THEN IF ONE OF US NEEDS TIME WE JUST COME OUT DURING THE SESSION. BUT I HAD BEEN WORKING HARD THIS WEEK PROCESSING LAST WEEKS SESSION SO I DECIDED THAT IW OULD JUST GO AND KEEP WORKING ON THINGS. SO THAT IS WHAT I DID.
ITS SO HARD. EVERYTHING KINDA SWAMPED ME. MY EMOTIONS GOT SO OVERWHELMING. THEY SEEMED SO UNMANAGEABLE. LAST WEEK AFTER THERAPY DURING THAT WEEK I NEEDED EILEEN SO BADLY. I FELT LIKE I COULDNT COPE AND I NEEDED HER REASSURANCE AND THAT CONNECTION. I REACHED OUT A FEW TIMES TO HER. WHEN SHE DIDNT RESPOND QUICK ENOUGH I PANICKED, BUT THIS WEEK IN SESSION WE REALISED, THAT ACTUALLY IT WAS THE 5 YEAR OLD PART OF ME PANICKING. SHE FELT UNABLE TO COPE. SHE FELT LOST AND ALONE AND ON HER OWN. SO WE WORKED WITH HER DURING OUR SESSION.
EILEEN KEPT REASSURING HER THAT SHE WAS THERE FOR HER AND THAT EVEN WHEN SHE WASNT ABLE TO RESPOND SHE WAS STILL HERE, BUT SO WAS I. I HAD NEVER SOOTHED HER BEFORE. THAT FELT WEIRD AND UNCOMFORTABLE BUT EILEEN HELPED ME TO THINK OF THINGS THAT I COULD DO TO SELF SOOTHE, THINK UP THINGS ME AND MY 5 YEAR OLD SELF COULD DO TOGETHER. AT THE WEEKEND SHE HAD WANTED TO TEXT EILEEN IN A PANICK, SAYING SHE WAS GONNA DIE IF SHE DIDNT RESPOND TO HER. I DIDNT ALLOW HER TO TEXT EILEEN, I QUICKLY PUT A STOP TO THAT THINKING EILEEN WOULD THINK WE WERE OFF THE WALL AND WOULD NOT APPRECIATE THAT KINDA TEXT.
DURING OUR SESSION WHEN I REALISED THAT ACTUALLY MY 5 YEAR OLD SELF NEEDED REASSURANCE, BECAUSE BACK ALL THOSE YEARS AGO WHEN WE WERE IN THAT BORDING SCHOOL IN DUBLIN AND SHE WAS ON HER OWN, SHE DIDNT HAVE ANYONE TO CARE FOR HER, SHE DIDNT HAVE ANYONE TO TURN TO, SHE HAD TO JUST GET ON WITH IT NO MATTER WHAT WAS GOING ON, I FELT GREAT COMPASSION FOR HER. EILEEN ASKED ME IF I REALISED THAT IT HAD BEEN 30 YEARS SINCE ALL THAT HAPPENED, DID I ACTUALLY REALISE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THAT. COULD I PUT DISTANCE BETWEEN THEN AND NOW. I TRIED, IT WASNT EASY BUT I MANAGED IT.
AFTER DOING THAT HARD WORK WITH THE 5 YEAR OLD PART OF ME, I FELT OLDER, WISER, LIKE I COULD AGE. I AM 16. EILEEN SAID IT FELT LIKE I WAS OLDER THAN 16, SHE SAID I HAD MORE RESPONSIBILITY THAN A 16 YEAR OLD. I ASKED HER TO PUT AN AGE ON ME. SHE SAID 22. SO I WENT WITH THAT. I SAID I’D PROBABLY AGE UP SOON. SHE TOLD ME NOT TO DO IT IF I DIDNT FEEL LIKE IT, TO NOT PUT PRESSURE ON MYSELF TO DO IT. I SAID I’D HAVE TO ASK PERMISSION OF THE MOST HIGHS IN OUR SYSTEM BEFORE I COULD AGE. BUT THAT THEY’D PROBABLY GIVE ME PERMISSION SINCE I’VE BEEN WORKING HARD IN THERAPY THESE PAST FEW WEEKS. SO PROBABLY IN THE NEXT WEEK I WILL AGE TO 22. IT FEELS RIGHT. I FEEL LIKE AN ADULT. AND I CAN TAKE CARE OF 5 YEAR OLD ME IF I AM OLDER, WISER.
THERAPY IS HARD FUCKING WORK. THATS WHAT I THINK. I’M GLAD I HAVE A SPACE TO DO THE WORK, THAT FEELS SAFE AND THAT EILEEN IS ALONGSIDE ME ON MY JOURNEY.