October 06, 2008


On Giving Up and Getting Up

Yeah, I know. I haven't been around much...and I've been saying that for months. Pathetic, huh?

Well, let's see. Would I rather be pathetic, or full of platitudes?

What's a platitude, anyway? My dictionary says this: plat-i-tude, noun
trite or commonplace remark, esp. one solemnly delivered.

Doesn't sound too good, does it?

What I'm about to tell you may not sound too good, either...at least at first. I'm about to be painfully honest here. Please use caution; there are words about not wanting--and then, wanting--to live ahead. This could be triggering for some! Or, you may want to scroll down to the good message--"Don't Give Up" and "Don't Quit"-- at the end of this post.

There was some very recent planning on the part (no pun intended) of at least one or two of my parts (I know! They are part of me; I'm responsible). It involved a possible suicide plan or what I call one of the many "running away" plans.

Now, before you send the white coats after me, because I'm a "danger to myself or others," please hear me out. I had a therapist back in Illinois--years ago--who said that "thoughts of suicide" had really become just a habit for me. At first, I was quite defensive about her comment. But, then I understood. What she meant was that suicide had become a type of "fail-safe" option for me, when it seemed I had no options left in life.

Doesn't that kinda make sense--albeit, in a morbid sort of way? If one has no options left in life, then "LIFE" no longer seems like an option, right?

When I was down at Timberlawn in Dallas, doing the Colin A. Ross program in outpatient mode a couple of years ago, one of the things they kept harping away at was: "You always have options!" They were also quite fond of saying things like, "Use your discernment; you always have options." They really liked the words, "discernment" and "options." At the time, I bit my tongue and kept from saying, "Yeah, I may have options, but all of them suck!"

Ever felt that way? I betcha you have. Well, I sure have plenty of times, I'll admit. I've felt that way quite a bit over the past two months. I told you about my recent, really big-time dissociative episode, didn't I? Well, after I finally, slowly came down out of that dark cloud, I realized that I had pissed a lot of people off. (This is IRL--in real life, folks.) Some still aren't talking to me. I was feeling like I was never going to be forgiven. Sound familiar? Yep, it reminded me of the many ways my mother aka "egg donor"--as my twin likes to refer to her--used to heap spiritual/religious abuse on me as a kid.

The thing that was really pretty crazy about it (my life crazy? naaahhhh!) was that this was one of the more "acceptable" dissociative periods I've had. Like I said before, I managed to stay out of the hospital this time...and most of the time, the part that was out was a part I have that I nicknamed, "The Professional." She's really quite efficient and "manages" things quite well most of the time she's allowed some freedom.

Gee whiz! I can only imagine how much people would hate me now if one of my "less functional," or "more rude," or "more crazy-acting" parts had been out a lot recently. I'd really be crucified then, I guess.

But, there's the rub: I didn't go into the hospital this time and a lot of people saw me acting nuts. So, I've spent a lot of time lately feeling even worse about myself than usual. I feel like, God forbid, I inconvenienced people. God forbid, I made people feel uncomfortable. God forbid, I annoyed people. God forbid, I should ever be a burden to anyone. Whatever...you get the picture. Sooo, then I felt like I was very much: judged, condemned, and crucified.

I guess, when you already feel condemned and crucified--um, ya know, like DEAD--that old familiar feeling of wanting-to-be-dead isn't too far behind, eh?

And that brings me to something I want to qualify here: I don't usually feel out-and-out suicidal.

Instead of having any desire to actually kill myself, I often feel like I simply don't want to live...here...alive...on this planet. I've talked before about feeling like an alien here, haven't I? Or maybe that was on my short-lived blog, "Silence The Shame!"

Anyway, I was just going about my business, trying to process this type of shitty self-esteem stuff with my therapist, when the PTSD symptoms returned big time. The nightmares were especially horrific. These led, of course--oh, goody!--to more, new torture-related memories.

This leads me to another thing I want to qualify about not always wanting to live. The feeling, or "logic," often goes something like this: The Universe, Divine, God, Goddess...whatever...has made a mistake. For some insane reason, my soul or some other powers-that-be, decided my spirit could take on this life of horrors. "Bring it on, Universe! I can handle it!" That musta been what my pre-human soul said to someone in charge. "The ultimate in child torture? No prob. The most hideous of the heinous? Got it covered! The most terrifying of the terror? I'm all over it! Whatever this life throws at me, I'm there!"

Uh. Hello? Somebody stop the world! I wanna get off! Who was it who decided I could handle all this crazy-ass shit in this lifetime? I'm sure it wasn't me. I want a re-do! "Do-Over!" Unfortunately, nobody seems to hear me. So, I start thinking of checking out...giving up...getting out. At the very least, I just stare off into space or play Solitaire or Mahjong on my computer for hours and hours.

I get down and give up because, now, I've decided instead: "I can't take this life. I've changed my mind."

So, here's what I just figured out. I allow my part(s)--at least the ones who are really revving to the above, "stinkin'-thinkin" credo--to brainstorm ideas for "a plan." It's usually not a suicide/death plan at my own hand at all. It's usually something more like, "Maybe I'll just wander off into the wilderness and Mother Nature, or God, will just take me." I have no strength left. Maybe I can just fade away.

Well, this is really a big clue that it's one of my parts scheming. Like that would ever happen, right? Like death--just as life--would ever be that easy! Oh, contraire!

But, the new-to-me point is that I allow the plans to be made to a certain extent. But, I only allow such scheming/planning for a set amount of time. AND--very important--I don't allow any consideration of any such plan to be scheduled to be put into place for at least one week. I tell my parts something like: "Okay. Now if we all agree that there's no other choice but to put this plan into play after one week has passed, we'll reconvene and discuss this 'option' some more."

Almost immediately--when I allow myself this mental/emotional exercise--I begin to feel much better. After all, I now have a plan. I now see an option, no matter how "negative" an option, or how you want to look at it.

Well, less than one week has passed since I went through this whole process last. And guess what? I'm glad I waited. Sounds crazy (no matter which way you may look at it), but it's true. Instead of giving up today, I decided to get up off my butt. I actually had more energy when I awoke this morning than I've had for weeks.

And, then, here's what happened: I pulled out a pad of paper to make a grocery list, and guess what I saw? A version of the "Don't Quit" poem printed there. I got to looking around on the Internet and saw lots of stuff on various versions of this poem (attributed to so many authors, I wouldn't even know where to begin--so I won't). There's a YouTube video montage with the "Don't Quit" poem that I'll paste up below. The poem is printed as a prayer on the back of St. Jude Holy Cards you can find at this site here. There's even a website called The Don't Quit Poem dot com. Many sites claim the poem is simply "anonymous."

Now, on my paper pad, the "Don't Quit" poem is quite different from the above-mentioned poem sources. The notepad doesn't have any author credited at all. But, this poem version is a lot shorter than the other one I've mentioned, so I'll stick it right here:

Don't Quit

When your luck is down

and your world goes wrong,

when life's all uphill

and the road is long--

keep your spirits high

for through thick and thin

you must carry on

if you are to win.

Never mind if things

slow you down a bit;

you'll come out on top--

but you mustn't quit.

So here's the deal. For today, anyway, I commit not to quit. Now I don't want to simply offer hollow platitudes here, but I hope that at least some morsel of this may inspire, motivate, help, comfort or in any other small way just show empathy for you out there...and what you are going through. Because I know, for many of you, it could be really shitty. And, I know, for at least some of you, all your options look like they suck right now.

But, at least for today, decide not to give up yet. Just for today, decide not to quit. That's what I did. At least for today. Who knows? Now, I'm not going to tell you, that if you just don't quit, you'll win the lottery tomorrow...or you'll meet your new best friend...or you'll find true love. But, if you just wait, there may be something good left in you that you will discover. If you just wait, there may be something sweet for you to yet taste in life. If you just wait, your child may do something so adorable, you decide you're glad you didn't miss it. If you just wait, you may be struck by some awesome beauty in the natural world around you.

If you just don't quit today...if you just wait...you never know...

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How beautifully written that post was! I know exactly what you are saying about wanting to die thoughts being a habit. I have actually found that when I let myself think them and even say them out loud then it releases some of the pressure and I already feel better.

Thanks for a great post and I am glad that you have the one week plan for when you have these thoughts. Life isn't easy a lot of times, in fact it can be downright unbearable, but the good times sure make it worth sticking around.
I understand so well. The idea of suicide has run through my head so many times, though I decided not to act on it years ago. It's a weird sort of comfort to think that if I just can't find a way to handle it any more, I can stop the world and get off. But yeah, putting it off for a week works -- something changes along the way and it's better again. I was wondering if I was the only one who thought and felt all this. I'm glad I'm not alone. Thanks.
Welcome, Tamara! Thanks for visiting and for your kind words. Thanks, too, for mentioning what you did about releasing the pressure and feeling better. I actually had meant to put something about that in the post, but forgot! ;)

Hey, Cassie! So nice to "see" you--it's been a while. I'll have to swing by your blog and see what you've been up to. Hugs right backatcha! (((((Cassie)))))

Immi: No, you are so not alone. Welcome and thanks for visiting!
Thanks for a great post I have thought so many times to get off the planet, but...Im still here..take care..Mary
Thanks, Mary.
I'm glad you're still here...I'm glad we both are. Safe hugs (((((Mary)))))
wqe did a blog on habitual suiciding :O

We are glad to what you are committed to and thats staying with us

http://lifespacings.blogspot.com/2008/10/mon-and-us-truth-behind-scenes.html it is out in the open please read and feel free to comment"
Great post Marj, you put in to words how sometimes I feel. the want to get off the earth.

I am glad you found that poem and you were able to create a "goal" so to speak for a day... and tomorrow you will have the opportunity to create a new one... and the day after that.

I am sorry that people are not talking to you... hopefully they will get over themselves and realise that friendship is worth more then anything
A friend and I have a running joke. We say to each other: Next time around let's not be so arrogant about what we think we will be able to handle!

(((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))))) Day by day. What a great post.
I'm a new reader of your blog and I've got to say that I love it. Your style of writing is as if you were having a one on one conversation with all of us. I've experienced a lot of the thoughts and emotions you wrote about and know how tough they can be to overcome. Its awesome that you can find strength and drive to keep on keepin on. =) I love to come across others that are sassy fighters. It helps to keep me sassy!
Thanks, JIP. I'm glad we're both (all!LOL!) still here. I'll come over and check out that post of yours.

Thanks for your kind words, S'onnie. I sure do fin yor bloggy friendship worth a lot! (((hugs)))

Backatcha, Kahless! (((((((hugs)))))))

(((((April)))))) Awwwe! You're sweet. Hey, can I be in on that planning session for the next life? Sounds like I was too arrogant planning this one as well. ;)

Hey, Sassy blogger, Jade! I've seen you around the blogosphere. Welcome and thanks for commenting. I'll have to come over and check out your blog.

I just finished reading your blog. As someone who is interested in putting a stop to violence against women and domestic and sexual abuse, I wanted to share some info that I thought might be of interest to your readers:

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You deserve to know where the candidates stand: http://www.feministsforobama.org/Issues_domesticviolence.htm

Did you know? Senators Obama and Biden have sponsored and supported legislation, including funding, to reduce violence against women and to assist women survivors of domestic abuse. Biden authored the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Obama cosponsored the reauthorization of VAWA and authored legislation on violence against women as an Illinois State Senator.

Not only did McCain vote NO on VAWA, but he also failed to co-sponsor VAWA reauthorization although many Republican and Conservative Senators did.

Feminist Majority has just released a striking PSA that illuminates some of the grave truths about the McCain/Palin record on women's issues.

Unholy Trinity
"John McCain voted against funding to fight and prevent domestic violence"

Below I've included more details about the campaign for you to grab info off if you deem it worthy of a post on your blog. If you have any questions or extra material that you'd like, just let me know.

Also, if you're interested, I can make Eleanor Smeal, executive director of Feminist Majority, available for a phone interview.

Thanks again for your great work!
Heather Young

Contact: Eleanor Smeal
Telephone: (703) 522-2214
Email: elliesmeal@feministmajority.org

Feminist Majority Launches Online PSAs Targeting McCain
If McCain and Palin win, Women Lose.

Eleanor Smeal, President of Feminist Majority, says, "Obama/Biden are running on the strongest platform for women's rights of any major party in U.S. history".

That's why Feminist Majority launched www.FeministsForObama.org, a side-by-side comparison of the Democratic and Republican nominees on four major women's issues: Violence Against Women, Abortion and Contraception, Women and Work, and Breast Cancer and Health Care.

To reach as many people as possible, Feminist Majority created three striking PSAs that illuminate some of the grave truths about the McCain/Palin record on women's issues.

One in Six
"Under Sarah Palin, rape survivors were forced to pay up to $1200 for rape evidence collection kits."

Unholy Trinity
"John McCain voted against funding to fight and prevent domestic violence"

"John McCain and Sarah Palin are running on a platform that seeks to outlaw a woman's right to an abortion even in cases of rape and incest."

McCain on Violence Against Women
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You deserve to know where the candidates stand: http://www.feministsforobama.org/Issues_domesticviolence.htm

Senators Obama and Biden have sponsored and supported legislation, including funding, to reduce violence against women and to assist women survivors of domestic abuse. Biden authored the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Obama cosponsored the reauthorization of VAWA and authored legislation on violence against women as an Illinois State Senator.

Not only did McCain vote NO on VAWA, but he also failed to co-sponsor VAWA reauthorization although many Republican and Conservative Senators did.
Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RFrEzQAOvM
Quick Facts

Did you know Senator McCain voted against establishing the Army's Breast Cancer Research Program? This program, which started modestly, appropriated hundreds of millions to Breast Cancer research.

Did you know Senator McCain opposes the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act? The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would restore a woman's right to fight pay discrimination in court.

Did you know Senator McCain has ducked questions on contraceptive insurance discrimination as recently as July 2008?

Visit www.FeministsForObama.org to read more.

* * *

If you would like more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Eleanor Smeal, President of Feminist Majority: (703) 522-2214
I'm sorry that you've been having a tough time lately. Just remember, it's really not you, it's just life. It's good and bad regardless of who we are and we can handle the bad much better if we just don't take it so personally.
Hope the lack of posts means that life is treating you kindly!
I want to suggest a book (it's fabulous, and not on your other page) It's called, the survivors guide to sex, and it pretty much directly addresses a lot of the icky left-behind parts of being a survivor (i.e. not knowing how to deal with one's body, desires, orgasm, etc.) as well as exercises for releasing body-held emotions (i.e. tensed muscles that locked into place 20 years ago during the abuse and have not relaxed since). Also, if you can afford it, massage (at least a 30 minute session every week for 6 weeks) can release a LOT of the negative bad-body feelings.
hey Marj

havent seen you around lately.. hope that all is well.

Friday, November 14, 2008: Sorry I've been so out of it, folks. I've spent some time even thinking about whether or not I can continue to maintain this blog and my dot com site at all. I hate being a whiner and complainer on this blog, but things have been very challenging for me lately...I guess that's one of the reasons I've been quiet.

I do so appreciate, however, the inquiries bloggers have made asking about me. Thanks! I will try my best to get a post up today explaining (to the best of my ability to do so) what's been happening with me lately.
Thank you for the post. I feel very alone right now. I'm dealing with a new flashback and I need new resources to change how I deal with my process.

so much of what you wrote is so familiar to me. It's a real help to know I'm not as alone as I feel.

Thank goodness for the internet!
Wendy: I'm glad you commented. That's right: Even when we feel most lonely, alone and abandoned we can find--especially through the Internet--that we are, indeed, not alone. I hope this was at least some help for you.

Some time, when you feel up to it, you may want to consider joining us for THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. There's no question you're not alone when one joins up with that group of bloggers! Take gentle care.
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