Regression.

This is what’s going on with me now. ¬† ¬†Comments are disabled here; please leave comments under the original post.

I’ll be gone for a little while.

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Blogging for these past 11 months has been an incredible journey of self discovery and now it looks like I’ve reached the end what writing alone can do for me. But it’s brought me to this point and without it I would not know the things I know now.

A few days ago I had a sudden realization and that realization is a huge breakthrough for me. Of course that’s a great thing, but its price is also a great deal of pain that I need to process and I think any further online self-therapy for the moment is going to take me too deep into something that would be best handled with professional counseling.

I detest the word “hiatus,” but I can’t think of a better word to use at the moment. I’m going to miss writing every day so much that I’m literally in tears right now, because I’ve grown to love this so much and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. But I need to think of what’s right, not just what I want. I need to do a lot more reading and research about what’s going on with me right now and try to get a handle on it as well as find a good therapist.

I’m not ready to say what I know. I’ll come back here and write about it when I’m ready. It’s not a bad thing, it just is and it’s good that I know. I couldn’t see it before but now I can’t believe I didn’t. I will say this–that it explains a LOT. It also has answered many of the questions I’ve asked and wondered about for almost a year, but has raised new questions. My entire POV has shifted and things were not as they seemed.

I was always honest (as much as I could be at least) on this blog so I can’t write about mental illness or personality disorders again until I am ready to be honest about how all that applies to me too. I’m really going to miss that too.

I wish I could be more specific. I’m dying to write about it but I can’t yet. Change is hard but I must step back and process things, find out more. I don’t think I’ll be gone long. I just need to do a lot of thinking and sort some things out in myself first.

I’ll probably still continue to post articles about topics unrelated to mental illness or personality disorders. I don’t see any reason not to. I plan to do a “Progression of Fall” series starting sometime next month, similar to my “Progression of Spring” posts. Photography. Funny stuff. Maybe a serious article about something unrelated to this blog’s primary focus. Stuff like that. I may even be back posting before then. It might not take long at all.

I could come back within just days or a week or two if I feel ready to talk about what’s going on with me. But right now, I’m just not ready. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. It’s overwhelming and I need to step back and try to process it and get a clearer perspective on everything.

Don’t worry, I am fine. I’ve just entered a painful phase of self-growth. Writing is no longer enough and at this point could trigger things that might be dangerous to try to face alone.

I’ll miss you all very much but I shouldn’t be away very long.
I hope you understand.

If anyone wants to get in contact with me, you can reach me via email, LinkedIn or Twitter (the information is in the “Contact Me” tab). If you want to friend me on Facebook, email me and I’ll give you my actual name (which I have never used on this blog, for obvious reasons).

Peace and blessings,
Lauren Bennett

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Forget-me-not.

Bring it on!

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This week has been very difficult for me emotionally. It started with an unnamed, free-floating but intense anxiety and panic, to the point I could barely function. A few days ago I plummeted into a black depression that seemed different somehow in quality from my prior zombie-like apathetic depressions. it felt more alive and more proactive in some way. I’m pretty sure I had an idea all along of what was about to happen but it hadn’t quite bubbled into conscious awareness yet. Its rising through the murky swamp of my unconscious caused me to panic and then a kind of grief took over but I still couldn’t name what it was.

Most of you who read this blog regularly know I began this blog almost a year ago as a form of self therapy (because I couldn’t afford a therapist). From the beginning, I committed myself to 100% honesty. Well, I’ve probably fallen short of that goal, as I’ve omitted some important discoveries and other things about myself that I simply didn’t feel comfortable sharing, even under my alias.

Last night–nearly 11 months from the day I started this online journal–I had a huge breakthrough. Prior to this, I tried to sleep but could not. When I did my dreams were upsetting and I had this overwhelming sense of aloneness and separateness. I woke up shaking and close to tears. I gave up trying to sleep and talked to 2 close Facebook friends for awhile. They’ve been a bit worried about me this week because my mood has been so erratic and I’ve done so much crying, which until recently has been unusual for me. I cried all the time as as a child but then dried up sometime during my teens.

Several things have led to my breakthrough: writing a LOT about my feelings and recovery from narcissistic abuse, reading as much about narcissism, BPD and PTSD as I could get my hands on, trying my best to always be honest no matter how painful or embarrassing (but not always succeeding), and finding God and the power of prayer. It’s been an incredible roller coaster ride.

For several weeks prior to last night, I’d been praying for the ability to regain the easy access to my emotions I had as a child, only tempered with the wisdom and restraint of an adult, of course. I kept reading, writing, and trying to elicit emotion through music, movie-watching, and self-reparenting. I knew this required making myself as vulnerable as possible. I took myself to see “Inside Out,” which loosened something inside me but not quite enough. It was like one of those almost-sneezes that never quite comes out and leaves you wanting to punch a wall in frustration. Nothing much happened after that. I was growing impatient.

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A week ago, I fell into my panicky, anxious state followed by a “wet” depression (that included tears instead of my usual catatonic apathy). I didn’t even know what I was crying about. I lost my motivation to write (in retrospect, I think this as a form of self protection when I needed it). I was snappish and irritable on the job but would come home and set aside alone time so I could just let everything out without fear of embarrassment or shame. I knew instinctively something important was about to make itself known and that scared me, but I felt a kind of excitement too.

It happened last night at about 3 AM after my Facebook friends and I ended our conversation. I read something that triggered a deep knowledge that hit me like jolt of electricity. For a few terrifying minutes I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath and I might even throw up. I felt hot and cold flashes and started to shake. What I learned was overwhelming and devastating–but I also knew I’d known this for a long time but had repressed it.

Everything suddenly made sense and I felt like I was seeing my situation and all my relationships—hell, over 50 years of my life–with eyes that had been closed since I was very young. I remembered, vaguely, that someone told me something when I was four years old. I couldn’t remember what was said or who said it but I did know whatever it was had been the catalyst when all my problems started that would not abate for over 50 years. One day when I’m ready I’ll remember what actually was said and who said it. I cried harder than I’ve cried since I was about 12. I can’t go into detail right yet about what this discovery was–I’m not ready. I may never be ready. But it’s something that although its discovery is incredibly upsetting to me, it’s also something I needed to have in my conscious awareness before I could really start to do the hard work necessary for real healing.

God answers prayers in his own time. He’s working on me. I have faith he works on all of us if we reach out with a sincere heart and ask for help. Now that I have this information that was revealed to me, the next step is to figure out what to do with it. Right now I just feel shell shocked. I have to be gentle with myself while I work through and try to understand everything that happened. I’m working on finding a therapist to help me sort it out because I think it’s too big for me to handle all by myself anymore. All I can do right now is keep on praying and writing every day and working on myself and being as mindful as I can until I find someone appropriate. I know the work ahead of me is going to be harder now than it has been and that’s okay. It may take a long time and that’s okay too. I feel like I graduated from something last night. I’m ready for the next step. Bring it on!

Somehow I feel lighter today although I’m exhausted and desperately need a good night’s sleep.
I know I can do this thing. But for the love of all that is holy, WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG?