Psychiatric Drug Facts via :

“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Sep 28, 2011

Where I Come From

Where I came from was not a happy place.  I had many traumatic experiences that have left scars within me that I know in my heart are a part of me that I can not wish away.  I believe that if I could, it would be a mistake to do so.  These events have, along with many truly positive experiences are what make me who I am.  I have struggled with dealing with the effects of the traumas I experienced more often than not.  I know now that regardless of what was; what is needs to be my focus.  It is, like all aspects of my inner life, best attended to thoughtfully; with confidence that the effort will bring meaning to my existence.

Will Rogers, said that most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be, and this statement resonates with me.  It explains how people who have suffered from any cause, and are transformed by the pain, maybe not immediately, or even soon after, become examples to others of the best of what each one of us can become.  The transformation is seldom simple or easily won, or easily defined.  Many  have such experiences are at a loss to define it, it seems to me a waste of effort to try.  

I have been writing up to now out of a place within me that holds so much pain that it has been hard to stand at times, literally.  Some of what I have written seems harsh in the extreme; if it seems this way to me, I am sure there are others with the same perception.  I am, doing the best I can; and try to remember, that so is everyone else.  I am doing my best to own up to my responsibilities to myself, my children, and my fellow man. My failure to attend to my wounds, caused more injury.  My early adulthood is more often than not, a tale of self harm and abdication of reality. Being full of pain and extreme self-loathing; I obviously caused myself further harm.  It is ironic to me that even then, people often accused me of “thinking I was better than everybody else.” In truth, I thought I was so much less than anyone else...

My truth, my story is something I am relatively at peace with most days. I have forgiven myself enough to not rummage around in the dark places without a purpose that relates to the here and now. Looking back longer than a brief moment can catapult me back into the hell I placed myself in; unable to move, paralyzed by fear, reliving past traumas without resolution or recovery of any lasting effect. I further harmed myself, and wasn't even aware I was doing so. My awareness was so severely clouded that I had no real ability to understand I had been a participant in my own life, not simply a witless victim; it simply wasn't part of my inner reality.  My failure is something I can be at peace with most days. Had I been aware, I know I would have made different choices for myself and my children.

I am so very lucky to be alive.  I cannot tell you how many times I tried to ensure that I would not live to see another day.  I remember clearly only the first and the last time I made a conscious attempt to end my life.  Most of my self harming behaviors were what are called passive suicide attempts.  Basically, passive attempts are doing what one knows can ultimately result in death. This bespeaks of a lack of self-worth that is hard to understand; it is ( or was for me ) the result of being traumatized and believing that the self-loathing and feelings of innate inferiority that result from such experiences, were valid, and these feelings defined me. I believed that I in fact did not deserve to be treated with respect, kindness or love. I did not have any real innate value; no real sense of positive self-worth.

Not to minimize the damage or the harm my passive efforts to end my life had; but because I lacked any real awareness, I don't have guilt or shame about that part of my life.  Sadness, grief I have, regret that is at times so overwhelming, I can barely breathe.  Regret that it took so long for me to have any true measure of self respect, and the awareness of how precious life truly is. I know if I could have I would have done better by myself and my children.  I also know that those who befriended me, and helped me to survive; in spite of myself, are all dead.  Knowing this, I have a need to gain insight into this phase of my life; out of gratitude to those who had so little, yet gave so freely of themselves to help me survive.

It is not that family members did not try to help me, and it would be dishonest for me to tell my story without acknowledging that my failures in my adult life are mine alone.  It is not anyone’s fault that I could not rise above what was, not even my own... I had brief interludes when I thought maybe, I may be worth something.  It is not as if I was blind to or even ungrateful for efforts to help me, even misguided ones.  I was unable to accept these attempts for what they were, that this caused those who care about me pain, is something I would change if I could; but I cannot.

I know that all my experiences prepared me for what happened to and for me on, the inside.  I cannot help but realize how truly blessed I am. When I look back now it is more often with a realization that I have been carried throughout my life.  I have prayed every day since I was first taught how, almost since the time of my oldest memory.  In my darkest times, all I've managed were pleas to be rescued; sometimes simply a single word.

I don't know what it was, perhaps it was that I was finally able or willing to become aware. I was without solutions, and full of pain and it seemed as if it I had always been.  I went to live with 2 of my brothers and my brother Jim helped me to see what I had not. He told me nothing profound, but hearing what he said had a profound impact on me. He told me it wasn't my fault that I felt what I felt; but that it was my responsibility to change it. He told me that he didn't want me to die, that he would be hurt if I did. Night after night for hours, my brother Jim listened to me while I shared how I had lived in a dark lonely place much of my life, regardless of how it looked from the outside. I didn't think that I would live to be an adult.  I have a dark place inside of me that it seems has always been a part of me, from before I was adopted when I was four. What memories I have before my adoption are like living snapshots that blot everything out, leaving me feeling small, afraid, and hurt in ways that I know I am not supposed to alive.  I know in those moments; I am not supposed to exist.

I have absolutely no doubt my brother Jim was my guardian angel; he saved my life. At the time, I had been suicidal for 16 years. Sixteen years after my brother Jim saved my life, he died from Brain Cancer. Sixteen years after he convinced me not to kill myself; because he did not want me to die. As much as I hurt, and did not believe my life was worth living but I did not want to cause my brother pain. Eventually, my promise became a will to live. I haven’t tried to kill myself since then. Which is not to say that I don't still experience my dark moments; moments that seem to shatter my very soul. I feel my way through them.

I have missed so much. So many moments are lost forever...millions of moments absent from my sons.  I am so aware my children who are now adults, have experienced severe trauma as a result. I have a duty, a visceral need to do whatever is within my power to help them recover one moment at a time...

Knowing that I can't change what happened to my children and how they were harmed, is a burden that I haven't found a way to bear with any grace, or ease... I don't ever forget that it is the choices I made selfishly that brought my beautiful children into my life. Misguided or not, I have never regretted having them for an instant.  I am so very fortunate in ways that can't be quantified. The truth is that I have learned that it isn’t the pain I feel that hurts me--it is not accepting it for what it is. If I am holding onto pain, instead of being willing to let it go, another moment will come along and I will miss it; if I am not willing to be in the present moment, aware of the opportunity the moment brings.  I have missed so very many already,  I don’t what to miss any more.  To be in the moment is a valuable gift, I can't even imagine why I ever wanted stop having moments...

a blessing and a prayer...

1 comment:

Mary Maddock said...

Beautiful Becky, you have learned so much. Congrats!
Love and support,


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