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rehab ~ (Read 4174 times)
Mandi
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rehab ~
Jun 16th, 2008 at 9:02am
 
WELL ~ I don't even know where to start really.  First ~ I miss everybody very much.  I miss what this place used to be.  It's just so quiet lately.  I hope that means that everybody is doing well and doesn't need support.  I do hope that if you need help, you will post.  Because I do try to check in as much as possible.  Now I seem to be a little more caught up with things after rehab.  So I should be able to post and reply a little more.  I hope. 

OK ~ here's my rehab story. 

Well ~ I've been home since the 27th of May. And I'm still trying to balance things in life. I've been to therapy 2 - 3 times a week since I've been home. It's been hard because I had so many good friends in rehab. I was so afraid when I first got there. I made friends easily at first. But I was still so scared on the inside. But since I have to wear my happy mask, I tried to appear like things were OK.  Getting around and getting used to everything was overwhelming for the first 4 days.  I wanted to go HOME!!!!  We had classes all day long. And I had to eat 3 meals a day whether I wanted to or not. And I didn't really. It's the most I've ever eaten in my life. I had my process group 3 times a week. My process group was made up of about 7 girls who were there for some sort of trauma. We had two group therapists ~ a man and a woman. We also had psychodrama 2 -3 times a week. That was pretty cool. But the first day in my process group, I found out that my psychodrama group consisted of my process group, plus another trauma group with sex addicts in it. And one of the guys supposedly molested this girl in MY group. He was arrested and released. And they sent the girl home. Apparently she lied.  Or at least I was told not to believe everything I hear.  But I didn't know what to think. I was soooo scared and upset when I heard about our groups combining.  I didn't understand why they would mix us like that.  I still don't have the answer.  I cried in front of my whole group (and I HATE crying in front of people) and told my therapist that I did NOT want to be in a group with sex addicts because my dad was a sex addict. I realize that not all sex addicts are perps. But I didn't want to take a chance. I burst into tears and left the room. That was my first day.  I just HATE crying in front of people. Especially when they don't even know me. After lots of talking to my group leaders, and the patient advocate, I decided to give it a try. At first there weren't any guys in the other group. But later there were. And I was OK with it. I just kept an eye on the guy that MAY or may not have abused that girl. I just learned so much while I was there. It took me a while to open up with my group. There was one girl who took up a lot of time in group. So I was there for 3 weeks before really sharing my story with my process group. I made a timeline (big sheet of paper with each year across the bottom, and level of intensity of feelings going up. Then I put each major event for each age) and presented to the group. It was a LOT of stuff. My 13th year was really bad! I wanted to rip it off or erase it. I mean ~ I knew all the stuff that happened to me. But seeing it on paper ~ and seeing so much ~ was hard to look at. Ya know? REALLY HARD!!!  One day I was showing my friends my timeline in the lobby.  They wanted to see it so they could figure out how to do theirs.  This girl walked up and started looking at it too.  She said, "ALL of these people tried to abuse you?"  I said, "Yes, they did abuse me actually."  Then she said, "Your DAD sexually abused you?"  I said, "I don't know what to say about that.  But yes.  He did."  I was sooooo embarrassed.  I couldn't believe she said that.  She said it in a really disgusting tone.  So I really ashamed.  And I decided not to show my timeline to ANYBODY else.  I did have to consider the source though.  This girl was a little bit OFF mentally.  So it wasn't like she was thinking clearly.  It does make me sick that MY DAD sexually abused me.  I struggle with that all the time.  ANYWAY ~ I loved the way everybody was so friendly. We all knew what everybody was "in for" ~ and we were all accepting. I wish the real world was like that. It's nice to just get it out on the table and not hide behind the smile. Every class that we went to, we had to do the same introduction. "Hi, My name is Mandi. And I'm a trauma survivor. Today I'm feeling...sad, guilty, shame and willing." Everybody says ~ "Hi Mandi" after my name. And then "we support you" after I say my feelings. Some people gave the long version of what they were there for.  Like ~ "I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, adult child of an alcoholic, self injurer, ptsd and eating disorder". I just said "trauma survivor" because it was hard to get all the rest out. The rehab was gorgeous!! Lots of nature. I saw bunnies EVERYDAY!! There were lots of them. We also had horse therapy. That's where we learned things about ourselves as we interacted with the horses. I LOVE HORSES!!! The main things I learned about myself while I was there was.....When I'm feeling sad, I can't sit with my feelings. I have to IMMEDIATELY switch gears and go into people pleasing mode. I've always known that to an extent. But I didn't realize how fast it was. I mean ~ immediately!!!! It happened several times while I was there. And I would catch myself doing it a lot.  I also realized that I have to make everybody in my life happy. Because happiness =safety. I also learned that I will sit back and NOT answer questions because I'm always afraid that I'm wrong. I don't want to take the risk. So I stay quiet. I learned that I am afraid to ask for what I want because I'm afraid I don't deserve it ~ or that I won't get it. There's a lot more. But this is already long enough. One more really cool thing. There are these black, poisonous wasps in Tucson. They sting Tarantulas and lay eggs in them when they die. Then when the baby wasps hatch, they eat the spider. We actually say this happen. It was the coolest thing ever!! We actually saw the wasp walk backwards across the desert, while pulling the spider to it's home. It was amazing. AND we couldn't have cameras or cell phones. So now National Geographic will not have those cool pics to share. BUMMER!! I hated not having music the most. I LOVE MUSIC!!! Overall ~ it was a really good experience. I stayed an extra week because this girl in my group "leveled" me. After finally opening up in group (took me a while to trust openly and actually SHARE!!!), she "leveled" me and it hurt me. I ended up crying in front of everybody. Then I felt like my work wasn't finished. I felt like I wanted to just shut up and not do any more work at all. But I decided not to let her have that power over me. She left, and I stayed an extra week to work on things. I'm glad that I did.  While I was there, my bank replaced me because I wasn't there for a year.  So my job wasn't guaranteed.  It hurt me though.  I loved working there.  My co-workers miss me so much and say it isn't the same without me.  I have a new job that I start today at another bank.  It's 30 hours a week.  Thanks for listening. If you have any questions, let me know. I don't mind sharing.  Sorry this is so long.  But SO much happened.  SacredHeart and Revenna were SO sweet and wrote to me while I was there.  I can't tell you how much that meant to me.  Getting mail is a BIG deal there.  Because we basically have no contact with the outside world.  No news, no phones, no magazines or TV.  It was HARD.  But also refreshing not to have to deal with interference.  I missed you all and thought of you a lot!!!

Big hugs,
Mandi Smiley
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At some point, you have to make a decision.Boundaries don't keep other people out.They fence you in.Life is messy.That's how we're made.So,you can waste your lives drawing lines.Or you can live your l
 
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Ty
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Eastern Oregon
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Re: rehab ~
Reply #1 - Jun 16th, 2008 at 10:25am
 
Dear Mandi,

Before I say anything else, I want to apologize. I don't know if I didn't process things I read, or if I didn't read the message....but I didn't realize you had gone to rehab. I feel badly that I didn't contact you, and I hope you can forgive me for that...

I admire you for the strength and wisdom to do the difficult thing: acknowledging what you needed, and going to such great lengths to take care of you.

I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to be with people who had a difficult time understanding or comprehending your life struggles. I want you to know that I think you are so strong and courageous for going through that experience, and facing 'strangers' to tell your story.

Mandi, you are so loved here...and I am just so glad that you are taking care of the deep places in your soul. I want you to know that I care about you...the good, the bad, and the ugly. If there is more that you could share with us about your experience, I know that it would be priceless for all of us in our journey and we would love to learn and grow.

I smiled about the bunnies, and was a bit creeped out about the wasp (but, it is very awesome). I don't know how you survived without music...I don't know if I could have. I probably would have been singing the whole time and they would kick me out because of it Smiley

Keep us all posted, and I do hope you know that I care about you and are so glad you are home (BTI).

Journeying,
Ty
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Mandi
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Re: rehab ~
Reply #2 - Jun 18th, 2008 at 10:42pm
 
Hey Ty!

FIRST ~ don't worry about a thing.  I thought I posted that I was going.  But when I looked back, I only talked about MAYBE going to rehab.  I didn't confirm it.  I talked to Revenna and SacredHeart in an email.  So that's why they knew my address and where I was.  Nobody was really on the site that much.  So I think that's why I didn't post it.  Sorry!  I really thought I had.   As for the no music part ~ I actually WAS walking around singing all the time.  My roommate only stopped me once when she was having a bad day.  It was so funny, because somebody would just say one sentence or one word, and I would break out in a song about the word or sentence.   One song that came to mind (but I didn't actually sing it because I was a little shy in front of my process group ~ at least with the singing part) was "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John.  One of the girls in my group said, "all of that happened to you, and you are STILL STANDING."   So the words are very fitting.  "I'm still standing, better than I ever did.  Looking like a true survivor.  Feeling like a little kid."  That's me.  Anyway ~ it was a really good experience.  I thought about everybody here and wished that y'all could have been there with me. 

Big hugs,
Mandi
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At some point, you have to make a decision.Boundaries don't keep other people out.They fence you in.Life is messy.That's how we're made.So,you can waste your lives drawing lines.Or you can live your l
 
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revenna
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Re: rehab ~
Reply #3 - Jun 23rd, 2008 at 12:54pm
 
Mandi,

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to answer.  We were on vacation last week -- lots of day trips, and I'm just now trying to get back on some sort of schedule.  I did read your post, though, and have been thinking about the things you shared.

First of all, I'm glad you're back!  I missed you!  Secondly, I'm glad you had this wonderful opportunity.  It sounds like a very intense, but healing, sort of atmosphere.  I was amazed by the number of insights that you gained about yourself and I hope knowing these things will help you in the future.

What do you feel was the overall goal of this kind of therapy? 

One of the things that stood out to me as I read your post was the unconditional support you received from your group.  As you know, I've written many posts about my frustration at the way the world treats survivors.  It was refreshing to read about your experience.

I've been doing a timeline like the one you mentioned.  I wanted to see everything written down in black and white, to make it more real.  I think it's been very helpful.  Sometimes when I hear people go on and on about how survivors should move on with their lives, I want to whip out my timeline and say, "Could you get over this after a few weeks of therapy?  Bet not!!"  It was interesting the comment made by the one lady in your group.  I think the idea of us being sexually abused by our fathers is still a mystery to a lot of people.  I thought the comment you made back to her was a good one.  I usually just shrink away and end up feeling that I'm the one who's done something wrong.

Again, I'm so glad you're back with us!  I'd like to hear more about your experiences, if you want to share.  How do you feel this therapy helped you?

Rev
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lostsoul
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Bearing through it!

Posts: 2006
NV
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Re: rehab ~
Reply #4 - Jun 26th, 2008 at 12:47am
 
Mandi

Again I am happy to have you back and deeply apologize for not writing to you while you were gone.

Sounds like this rehab was very beneficial. I am happy you went. Sounds quite difficult but worthwhile. I don't think I would be able to do such a thing. To me this just proves, yet again, how extremely strong you are. I have always admired your strength.

There were oh so many things you wrote about your self that sounds just like me. I wonder how many of us have similiar actions, feelings and such due to our past. It would be interesting to do some research on that and see if it really affects most people the same way or close to the same. Might help others learn how to better help s/a survivors. I did love the idea of the Elton John song.  Wish I could say I was still standing but proud of you for all your strength.  Smiley

Kate
Glad to have you back!
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