Forgiving Suzee

***TRIGGER WARNING***

The Whole Codependent Mess of Us: “Legacy of Lunacy”©STMartin2016

Why I had to:

Hatred can eat you alive. Trust me on this, you do NOT want to carry it around for thirty years like I did, it is poison. I watched my Mom wither under the weight of the loathing she had for my Dad, fifty years of resentment and anger all twisted up inside. And he was just as bad, in a different way; vindictive and cruel to her, and sometimes to my brother and I, but always to Mom. Is it any wonder I grew up filled with the black death of it?

grrrr….

It fuelled my young life, after the years of blissful ignorance that comes with kindergarten times. No, hatred was to force its way into me, at the hands of an abuser. The funny thing was (not that sexual assault is ever funny, it’s a figure of speech) , to the adults in my world there was blame to be settled on my eight- year-old head. I was so confused by the abuse, because the offender was a trusted adult, that I wasn’t filled with hate towards him. It was all so overwhelming, and my best friend and I were swallowed up and spit out by the Justice system at that time. Childhood sexual assault wasn’t treated the way it is today back in the early 70’s. We had to tell the judge and the entire courtroom what was done to us, detail by detail; the abuse was over the course of a year, so there was a lot to tell. The judge kept making me repeat things and go into more detail, ” COULD YOU SPEAK UP PLEASE?”

“Inheritance of Daughter’s”©STMartin2017

(My friend was so traumatized that she couldn’t come back the second day, so it felt like a white hot light shining down on my eight-year-old head. The abusers wife decided to add to my torture by announcing to the audience that we were little whores who enticed the old codger. )

I digress. I learned to hate thru this experience. Not only the bad people, but myself. My Grandmother let me know that “nice girls” never talked about these things ever, and if I wanted to get married someday I would never, no NEVER, mention it again. My Mom blamed my Dad, and my friends parents, and was angry at herself for never having “The Talk” with me yet.

The Hatred grew, I started to use drugs, I drank, I stayed out late, my grades failed. It was all MY Fault, and the reason no one loved me was because I was faulty somehow. I lost my virginity to rape- that was my fault to, I belived. Circumstances were such that my friends abandoned me after this, my Dad told me I was disgusting when I got home at 3am with sticks and grass in my hair, so I never told anyone. I hated myself so much, I deliberately did more and more shocking things. It must be true, I thought, I am disgusting! I tried to end my life before I even graduated high school.

At 17, I not only hated myself, I hated authority, my parents, men, my old friends, school and disco. Everybody hated disco, didn’t they? I was angry with my big brother for disliking me and the company I kept. My Mom took me for an abortion at age 15 when my “boyfriend” abandoned me; I never really understood that it had been a wonderful, tiny life inside of me. It came back to haunt me after 2 years, when I saw friends at school bring their babies. This was the FIRST TIME that was been done in that area. I became suicidal, I started hitting things, kicking things till I broke my toes, bloodied my knuckles. There was no one talking about Bipolar Disorder in those days.

The Water Plant ©STMartin2018(SOLD)

I just kept spiralling downward. After jumping out of a moving car I was placed in a locked adolescent ward of a Psychiatric Hospital. I was able to talk about the awful things for 30 days, but no real diagnosis, just depressed, they said.

Flash forward to moving to Florida at 20 with my parents. New beginnings, same old song. I kept losing my sobriety, using cocaine big time. It was ‘snowing’ all over Florida in the early 80’s. Then I met an ex-Marine named Ricky. He was the first to really beat me. That was fine, I deserved it. That’s what he told me, so it must be true. It was always something I did, something I said. Then we found rock. ‘Crack’. Now I really had reason to intensely dislike myself. I stole from every member of my family, including stealing my deceased Grandfather’s gold teeth, stolen from my Grandma’s jewelry box. My own Grandma and Grandpa. Yep.

Well, that wasn’t even the bottom. There were 15 years of addiction, abuse, crime, alcoholism, jail and agony yet to go. Not to mention the pain and trauma I put my Mom thru. I would travel up the east coast, across the country to the west coast, become homeless, rob the store I worked in, live with train tramps, hop freight trains, be ‘held hostage’ by Mormons, pretend to be a lawyer for said Mormons, live in the Sonoran Desert, travel back to Florida, marry a habitual offender, have my nose broken twice, my jaw once, get pneumonia 3x, become a pot dealer, then a coke dealer, a drug runner and a co-conspirator to my husband’s crimes, try to infiltrate a motorcycle club on my own and lose everything at least 3 times . Oh, and get snake bit twice, once by a pygmy rattlesnake, once by a copperhead, both times drunk. These are only the things I remember…

“Reach out and Touch You” ©STMartin2019

It all added up to one very sad, very angry, very sick person who could not stand to look herself in the mirror. The self-hatred and self-abuse led me to the darkest place I had ever been. Everything I ever tried failed. I hurt everyone who ever loved me, and I could not stand it one more day. I tried to overdose on a cold night in September 1999. I couldn’t even do that right it seemed. I was shooting up in my parents’ house, they let me come home after my husband went to federal prison. I promised myself that I would never jeopardize my Dad’s business. But I’d been allowing a coke dealer to do business in the place in exchange for an 8 ball every couple days. (An 8-ball is an eigth ounce of cocaine) I told him I quit that night, but he left me a package anyway. So I knew it was over. I did what I said I wouldn’t do. I’d been in and out of AA and NA so often they called me the “white chip queen’; I just couldn’t do it, I believed. The only way was to ‘ride the lightning’-give myself a hot shot.

Plugged In ©STMartin2019

I loaded the syringe, and gathered my nerves. With tears running down my face, I apologized to God and everyone, and then…

Prayer for Mickey©STMartin2019

…then I saw this image if a candle in my mind’s eye, with the tiniest flame I had ever seen, the wind was blowing and it was flickering-it would go out any second…then suddenly I realized that I was being shown my life, just about to blow out like that candle… I put the needle down and got on my knees, and prayed to God to help me….

Metamorphosis ©STMartin2018

I know, you are sceptical, and that is ok, I don’t know if it was my imagination or what. But I got up and called a friend, took the dope and headed over to his house. The trouble was, he was clean and sober. Or maybe that there is the miracle. Because he convinced my to dump out the drugs and go to a 12 step meeting when morning came. I did this, and amazingly have been clean and sober till this day, 21 years later! Twenty two in September…

But it still took a wee bit longer to forgive myself. As the years passed I still didn’t feel happy, I cried all the time. I finally got a proper diagnosis and a medication regimen that works for my Bipolar Disorder. I have PTSD from all the physical trauma and abuse, but I have coping tools today. I have a therapist who understands my pain and guides me thru the darkness when it comes. But the best medicine I ever found is the forgiveness God gives thru the Sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. By learning about this and about God’s will, and dedicating my life to God, I have experienced the greatest gift ever: The free gift of a cleansed conscience, of forgiveness from all my past sins.

So you see, I just Had to learn to forgive myself, otherwise I would be claiming that I know better than my God!! It is not easy though, sometimes my old thinking creeps back in and I feel that old discouragement. I have to stay on top of things and pray, follow the Bible’s counsel and reach out to my support network. Knowing that my Creator loves me is the greatest high I have ever experienced.

I am truly grateful for my life today.

ENERGY! GREAT BURST OF ENERGY!

visualizing my goals has been HUGELY beneficail!

AMAZING!! I really have felt exhilarated , even in just this first week of “future me” thinking!

That’s just wonderful, I neeed this;

After all we have been thru this past year, and my isolation, my thinking had become sluggish, self-centered and negative. Too much couch potato activity, not enough oxygen getting into the ole noggin. I needed a jolt, a wake up, a SHAKE UP! And I received just what I needed, just in time.

(as a side note: I am EXTREMELY SPIRITUAL, so I credit God with leading me in the right direction, because I prayed to be able to serve him more fully. I believe the Bible where it says that when we request in our prayers the things that help us do his will, he Always answers us. Not like asking for a car, or a million bucks…)

Suggestions for refocusing have inspired me and are easy for me as an artist, because I am naturally a very visual person. I used my handmade visual prompts to great success when I lost 70 pounds in 2013-2014. I AM MAKING A BUNCH OF LITTLE POSITIVE NOTES, AND POSTING THEM ALL AROUND MY HOUSE! As has been suggested, I write some goals on them, a little doodle of what that looks like to me, and encouragement ; the kind of motivating encouragement I would offer a dear friend, or loved one. Notes like I used to stick everywhere for my Mom to cheer her. NOTES LIKE THESE:

A LITTLE THING LIKE THIS DOES WONDERS FOR MY MOTIVATION!!

This method of visual perks has helped me heal from Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and years of Emotional Abuse! I first was introduced to “ART Therapy” as an adolescent in a Psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt. To get at the ‘real’ problem, this method allowed us to let out the pain, albeit subconsciously , by use of color, shape, pressure of marks, etc. The aim wasn’t to create a thing of beauty, it was to allow the anguish(or anger, etc.)to vent.

(For myself, this was insightful, and extremely freeing. I have uses this technique in my art practice to this day, very intense, more focused version of it. )

***I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL!!!*** ATTENTION!! IF YOU FEEL LIKE HARMING YOURSELF GET PROFESSIONAL HELP IMMEDIATELY!***

visualizing my goals has been HUGELY beneficial! as someone who had to depend on herself for positive confirmation and encouragement, I feel this small action has been pivotal in my motivation now!

One thing is crucial for me as someone with Bipolar Disorder, I have to constantly gauge my level of Mania when I feel so “UP”. If it is a Manic Episode I must reach out to my doctor before it escalates. For someone with this illness, mania can lead to devestating extremes of behavior. I ALWAYS take my illness seriously, TAKE MY MEDICATION, AND FOLLOW MY WELLNESS PLAN!!

I love my life today, and now that I pried myself away from Poptarts, Ice Cream and endless Film Noir, and my woman-eating Couch, I am feeling that love again!

Here is another therapeutic tool that has been Life Altering for me: Forgiving the Past Me.

I will discuss that in my next post!

THE NEW SUE REVIEW

This is Big NEWS! Of a NEW SUE!

This is me now, the pain has mellowed, I see love ahead!

I am turning a page in my life, a new plan for The Me of The FUTURE! I want to be healthy and vital, energetic and successful in my coming years. I invite you to come along for the ride! Using new Mental Training I’m learning from Chase Hughes online, I’ll get web address soon for you, I am going to rock this! If you want to see someone transform themselves by changing the way they use their brain…

THEN JOIN ME On my JOURNEY!!

I’m going to use positive images, good eating habits and more exercise to achieve my goals! Today was day 1 and it was a Great Day full of gratitude! SEE YOU TOMORROW!

When Does Abuse End?

I live a life of pushing aside the cobwebs, trying to see the sun…

When?

I still can not recognize my pain. I still blame myself for not being good enough. I have been hurting for months , this time…listless, inert, loathing myself, feeling so lost and alone, believing that no one loves me. Feeling so distant from God. From humans. From happiness.

I remember feeling like this for months now, not sure where it exactly began. I keep hiding my true feelings from everyone who knows me, telling them I’m fine. When I work up the courage to reach out and tell someone how low I am, when the moment comes I blow it off, say that I’m feeling better, or that I’ve worked it all out by myself.

Even when I pray, I’m afraid God doesn’t want to hear from me, that I just keep making the same mistakes over, and over…and over. I think that he’s angry now, for me writing that. How can I be unhappy? Haven’t I got more than alot of others in this world? I have my little home , my little car, my little yard, my little dogs…

I have no one to share them with. I live a life of pushing aside the cobwebs, trying to see the sun. My whole self worth must have been based on the people I cared for, my Husband with his alcoholism and addiction, then Mom, with cancer, then Dad with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I’ve even lost my jobs of caring for the horses I so loved, and all the puppies I raised. What a horrible whining sob story.

I was watching , earlier, a small film about suicide, that of a lovely teenage girl. Her friend made the movie, and she herself has attempted suicide, and she wants to help people understand mental illness. So I was feeling many of the old feelings I would talk about when I was in Western Psychiatric Institute, and how they mirrored what these young women were feeling. The suicidal girls had been sexually abused as children…

AND SO HAD I… HELLO! Light bulbs began going off!! All those same issues I have lived with for the past 47 years, that I have stuffed down and buried-SINCE THE LAST TIME I FELT SO DOWN! They have not gone away just because I pretend they have! I can’t pick and choose when these nightmares hit me, or when I feel so childlike and vulnerable, or when the flashbacks come!

It was years of abuse I lived through, sexual molestation, emotional degredation, years of parental dismissal, of skepticism, until drug addiction and alcoholism and gang rape, and more physical beatings than a man should ever endure, let alone a Young woman. There is so much I don’t understand about what all this abuse has done to me psychologically , I do know this: I am not a “regular” “healthy” “normal” person, and I don’t respond the way “regular”people do.

I haven’t been to see my therapist for over a month, I cancelled my last appointment because I couldn’t get out of bed. I remember speaking to her, and she said she’d call if there was a cancellation, but I hadn’t heard, so I called today. But the automated directory said that wasn’t a valid request, so now I am imagining that she is gone forever. (a little of my all or nothing thinking) The reality is that I feel like a ten year old whose parents and brother have left alone in a strange house, and who is now supposed to know how to do all the adult stuff….It’s so overwhelming. One thing I am realizing today, actually this minute, is that this awful worthlessness I feel , and this crippling exhaustion and depression are stemming from things that happened all those years ago.

The last 30 years have been spent trying to heal, learning to love and care about myself again. I must have done well, because along the way I learned to love others in a selfless way, and that has been huge for me. Perhaps now that I have had this awakening I can start to rebuild again, to care again, and move again.

I am so glad I found that video, I am grateful to the people who shared their experiences of such heartbreaking tragedy in their hopes that it would help others. I am going to keep on trying to get well, I don’t hate the little girl I was before the bad things happened, I must learn to love myself again…I know there are many people who have loved one’s who struggle with flashbacks and PTSD and Bipolar Disorder and Suicidal Ideation, please keep being a listening ear, a port in the storm, a shoulder to cry on. We need your love so much…

Lo

losing my wits, bit by bit