A Few Words of Warning

This blog contains some very difficult subjects.

Please be aware that some posts may contain subject matter that qualifies as adult content or fits under the definition of what many people would define as "too much information." If you feel you will be bothered by this, proceed with caution.

Some of the content may be triggering for some; if you feel you may be triggered by detailed descriptions of abuse, please proceed with caution. Gather support around you and use the emergency hotlines if you need to.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

No I Haven't Disappeared

I've been extremely busy. Our normal days are definitely overscheduled. In addition to our normal activities, I've been busy getting ready for an out of town retreat. I'm leaving in just a few hours for the weekend and will be back Sunday evening.

I had planned on blogging from the retreat but I just discovered that I won't have internet access there. There is internet, but it is dial up, and I do not have a dial up provider. So, I have no access. I'm pretty disappointed about that.

So, I'll get back to blogging next week. I have an ACA workbook that I want to blog the answers rather than write them in the workbook or on paper. The whole typing, blogging thing works so much better for me than traditional paper journaling.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tough Day

Today was a hard day for me. Someone pushed one of the two biggest buttons I have that set me off into a self-hatred cycle. I started off frustrated to the point of tears and then moved to feeling stupid, incapable, unlikeable, not worth knowing, and thinking the people involved would be better off without me around. Not a good feeling! Fortunately, I have some tools to deal with things these days and was able to think it through. I called a friend for help (left a message), figured out a solution, and then talked out my feelings with a friend. Is it all better yet? No, but I'm dealing with it better than I would have a few years ago.

This is what happened.

I take taekwondo classes with my son. I have several very good reasons to want to take the classes with him. However, I'm finding it pushes me into negative self-talk and behaviors.

I don't do exercise well. I've never felt that good feeling that people say they get from a good workout. I just feel awful both during and after exercise. So, I tend to feel bad about myself as well. I'm old. I'm fat. I'll never be able to do this. This isn't hard. I should be able to do this. I tend to verbally complain a lot too.

I'm also have trouble with remembering things. We have forms (a series of movements) and numerous one-step-sparring moves. I used to have such a good memory but I don't any more. I feel stupid when I can't remember something after being shown it 10 times while my son has it after 1 or 2 times. I'm stupid. I should be able to remember this. What's the point if I can't do something so simple as remember a short sequence of moves?

Then there's my lack of grace and balance. No one else is stumbling and practically falling over when they kick the target. Everyone else can do two or more kicks in quick succession. Why can't I? I'll never be able to do this right. No matter how hard I try, I still get it wrong. Why am I so clumsy? I'm stupid. I can't do this.

So, I've been feeling pretty down about all this lately, thinking I should quit. Then the instructor explains something beyond what I feel my brain and body can handle today. We were practicing sparring, a part of taekwondo that I feel particular inept at. He's trying to tell me that I need to look at how the other person is standing, know what moves they could do from that stance, figure out what they are going to do, how I should response to their movement, and anticipate their response to me, all so I can anticipate that response and get a good kick in. I'm standing there thinking I need an hour to process all that with my slow, inept brain; forget doing it during a sparring match. Then he illustrates it with a movement that includes a fake, a short one-legged hop backwards and to the side to set him up in the correct position to kick, and then kicks. I get nothing from this but I can't hop backwards like that without stumbling. I can't hop and kick in one smooth motion like that; I'm much too slow. I can't even get that kick right; every time I try to do that kick, I hurt my ankle. I can't. I can't. I can't. I try to explain that neither my brain nor my body moves that quickly only to be told I don't need to move quickly, just smart. But I'm dumb when it comes to this. How do I get my feet to move like that without falling? It takes practice. But we don't practice that in class. Yes, we do when we do those drills. We only do those drills once every 3 or 4 weeks. You do them in sparring class (a special class) but you told me not to take sparring class unless I can do the whole class. I can't do the whole class because I'm too old, fat, and out of shape to keep up. It's hopeless. I'm stupid, I can't. I should get give up and quit. Then he told me I complain too much and "we" are tired of hearing it. I guess I really should quit then. If you can't stand to be around me, I should be here. Cry. Tears. I hate being old (I'm 34). I hate being fat (I'm 50lbs overweight). I hate me.

I've been called on my complaining before. They are right, ya know. I realize that. But stopping habits than come from a lifetime of abuse doesn't come easily. I could just keep my mouth shut. Except that doesn't work. Someone eventually says something to me and it doesn't matter what they say, I end up in tears. I spend so much mental energy trying not to screw up (complain) again, telling myself over and over to not talk, not complain, buck up and just do it. I end up working myself into being frustrated and upset that the slightest thing sends me over the edge. So, I don't know how to fix this one.

I have figured out how to handle the frustration when he's telling me to do someone I can't do yet. Rather than saying, "I can't...", I need to say, "I don't know how to do x, show me. I need to know that before I can try doing this."

I've also figured out what I need to say about the sparring class that he told me not to take. He told me not to do it unless I can do the whole class but I'll never be able to do the whole class unless I'm given the chance to do what I can keep up with until I work up to the point of being able to do the whole class.

Now I just have to figure out how to go back to class. I'm still feeling way to frustrated and upset to handle class tomorrow. I'm on the verge of tears just thinking about all this. How am I going to get through class without falling apart emotionally knowing that I need to keep my mouth shut and not let any complaints slip, without feeling stupid for everything I suck at? The reason I wanted to take this class are still there and everyone is telling me not to quit but I just don't know how to survive it emotionally.

Someone reading this may think, "Why not find a better teacher?" Well, this teacher is wonderful with my son and he loves class. Plus, the person I'm talking about is just the instructor. I do a lot better when the Korean master. However, the instructor does most of my training.

I wish I could just wake up tomorrow thin, physically fit, with my memory back, and with all my adult child issues gone. I hate hating myself.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I wrote this poem at an ACA Retreat in the spring of 2005. Despite being in a great mood and having a great time, I ended up with a very dark and depressing found poem that described my suicidal feelings just two years prior. After I finished the process of creating this poem, I displayed it as is our tradition. It caused quite a bit of concern!


Nothing can replace your dreams.

Prime of life and I feel…

Clouds tumbling down past my plastic smile,

I want just one reason to still be here.

Endless desert of feeling.

As time goes by,
he makes it easier

It feels like the right thing to do…

I lost.

There’s no mistake…
Not meant to live.

Do-it-yourself pain relief.

Ready, Aim, Fire!