Part 1 – Finally learning who I really am and what I’m passionate about.

Childhood Sexual AbuseFinding the new MePTSD

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I’ve been sitting on this post for a couple weeks now, and although the timing of it might seem a little odd based on this recent post about more questions that have come to light about my past. I still wanted to share it because it’s an important step for me in my life. 

This two part post is in retrospect to a recent therapy session that turned out to be way more than I expected it to be. I hope you’ll be patient as you read through this post and then on to the Part II conclusion of my realization of who I am becoming.

Let me break down for you how this session went and how I started to realize that there is a whole new me, at 40 something, that is inside and is finally making his presence known.

It started out as a normal session, talking about my weeks’ emotion on the tracker sheets, discussing my anxiety level, triggers, anything major that happened recently, etc. Of course I brought up how I shared my story with a family member, and how stressful that was.

Part of me is thinking I shouldn’t have said anything but another part of me is glad that I did. It’s out there though, I can’t take it back. I need to use this as a stepping stone on my journey and be proud of myself. She, my therapist, is very proud of me and sister in law is as well. So I guess I should just take that at face value and stop analyzing and minimizing it.  Yeah right!

Anyways, so we started talking about how far I’ve come. She began listing the changes she noticed in me over this past year and really over the last 7 months or so. One thing in particular is the passion that I’ve come to have for connecting with my trauma, educating myself, interacting with the survivor community here online,  how much I’ve opened up with her in sessions, and even how much I’m starting understand and use more of Rational and Wise mind.

I mean if you would have told me last year that I would be telling a family member about my abuse, that I engage in several online chats each week with people all over the world, that I’d have started a blog and be openly sharing my story with the world, I’d have told you that you were barking up the wrong tree and I’m NEVER doing that.

I couldn’t even admit out loud that I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse, those words made me cringe and feel very uneasy. I had no clue what Dissociation was or that I had PTSD. Now I talk and write about it regularly and I’m immersing myself in books, online literature and blogs to learn all I can and do my part to help myself and raise awareness. I’m connecting with the survivor community in ways I never even imagined, and everyone is wonderful! There’s no blame, no judgments, no condescending comments, it’s just all of us sharing our stories and helping each other. Every one of you is amazing and I’m proud to know you.

Please don’t take this as me saying I’m somehow magically healed and totally in control of myself.  Nothing could be further from the truth. I have a long way to go and so many things I don’t yet understand about my past and how to deal with it moving forward. I have been making some progress though. Some.

Let’s keep moving along.  For as long as I can remember, people who know me think of me as the 80’s guy, the never-too-late-to-be-who-you-really-are-inspirational-quote--300x200 Part 1 - Finally learning who I really am and what I'm passionate about.rocker, and the football guy. That’s it. Every conversation I had with people usually revolved around those topics or morphed into those topics somehow. I was ok with it, it’s what I was and still am to some degree. Essentially, this was the personality that I created for myself without ever realizing it.

When I was married, I identified myself through my wife. It’s hard to explain but even though I was still the football guy and the 80s guy, my very existence revolved around my wife. I had to be strong all the time, carry the emotional load of the family and myself, worry about the bills, everything. I was the caregiver, the peacemaker, and whatever other hat I needed to wear for a particular situation.  I put that burden squarely on my shoulders so she wouldn’t have to worry so much.  Consequently if she was happy, I was happy. If she was sad, I was bummed out and had to try and make it all better. There was no “just being me” I guess you could say.

To this day in therapy when I talk about being married I still refer to myself as “her and I’ (inserting our names there). I don’t think I really realized I did it as much as I do until she pointed it out in our talks. We were synonymous with one another. Everyone referred to just one of us by using both of our names. We were each other, at least that’s how I remember it.

Fast Forward to 3 years post divorce and here I am today. I have a good job, I can afford my bills, I have some friends, my cats, and my music along with 3 amazing kids.  I’m taking this time to find out who this individual is, all by himself.

Part II can be found by clicking here. 

-Lyric

 

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Blogger-Podcaster-Advocate for Mental Health.

Matt is survivor of childhood sexual abuse & narcissistic abuse, living with Dissociation, Anxiety, & PTSD.

This blog exists to inspire all who have survived the trauma of abuse. All posts, podcasts, and videos are my life as a survivor shared openly and honestly to help inspire as many as possible to speak up, speak out, and not be ashamed.

9 Responses to " Part 1 – Finally learning who I really am and what I’m passionate about. "

  1. Don says:

    Awesome, high fives… and I’ve only known you a short time, but I really like how welcoming and kind you have been to me. Yep, I think I’m still discovering myself… guess that goes with the territory of hiding from deep within.

    • Lyric says:

      Thanks Don! I enjoy reading your blog and your tweets. Knowing you were a part of that group of male survivors is just so inspiring to me. Every time I read a chapter in this book, I can just imagine what it was like for you and the other guys. I’m really considering doing one of the survivor weekend retreats too.

      I think we always continue to evolve and discover new things about ourselves, at least that’s what I’m realizing about me. Even at 44 I have a passion I never even knew existed and now I’m trying to follow it and see what happens.

  2. Samreena says:

    I am proud of you. Seeing someone making a move and trying to deal with all that life offers. I was in a relationship with a survivour unfortunately he gave up o the real him. Keep going keep moving x

    • Lyric says:

      Thank you so much Samreena. It’s an exciting yet scary experience in some ways, realizing who I can be and what I’m passionate about. It means starting over with schooling again but I know if I’m dedicated and give it my all, in the end it’s going to mean so much to me and hopefully others too! Never give up on yourself and keep reaching for your dreams, no matter what! 🙂

  3. Can’t wait for part 2!

    • Lyric says:

      Thank you Joy, I’m working on it tonight and hope to have it up this evening or by the latest first thing tomorrow morning.
      I’m so glad to know you and be a survivor friend with you on our journey’s together. I’m always here anytime you want to chat or vent or whatever 🙂

  4. […] you haven’t read Part I yet I’d encourage you to check it out so you get the full scope of this post and how this […]

  5. Wes says:

    Dude-

    Although I’m not dealing with the depth or type of trauma you elude to, your words in Part 1 resonate with me to the point where I wanted to comment before reading Part 2. Not so much from a trauma standpoint as from a “WE are so much alike” point of view. Imagine that! 2 totally NORMAL guys. (I’d have never guessed these things about myself. lol)

    We are roughly the same age and though I’m an 80’s guy I was stuck in the 70’s rock world even in the 80! Still am, to a great degree. And I became a serious football fan in ’88 when my daughter was born and my overactive brain needed more stimulation that being home alone with a newborn could provide.

    My 1st marriage, almost 30 years ago, was only 3 years but caused a lifetime of issues that I’m still working thru. Most of it was due to reacting to my 1st wife almost EXACTLY as you describe here! Same feelings, same general attitude of co-dependent feelings (if you’re happy, I’m happy even tho I’m miserable!), finding ALL of my validation in her mood at any given moment. I took that same attitude (unintentionally) into my 2nd marriage which (thank God) has survived for more than 23 years with me only getting serious about recovery in the last 9.

    Our childhood events cannot be ignored! Nor should they be. Recovery is hard and painful but so worth it when we realize: There are REASONS for the way we feel and react. Especially in relationships with others!

    I relate! Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Lyric says:

      Hey Wes, thanks so much for the comment! I’ll respond to this one before your second, same as you did on the two posts.
      Wow our stories are very similar, small world man! I’ll always love my 80’s hard rock and the culture of that decade in general, and I’ll always be a football fan. Heck I do podcasts for a football site and run the site for my buddy. So it’s always in my life, but the difference lately is that it’s not my whole life anymore. It’s not what defines me. This whole new me, as I like to call it, is coming out in ways I never imagined.

      As far as the relationships goes, yes my whole world revolved around my 2nd wife especially and I took little time for myself. AS long as she was ok, I felt like I was doing my job. Talk about an up and down way to live, and exhausting. I had no balance in my life at all. When it ended, my world collapsed and I was so lost. It’s taken me 3 years just to begin to put the pieces back together even a little bit.

      Totally enjoy connecting with ya dude, I enjoy your insight and appreciate the support very much.

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