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Published December 9, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Overall, this week has been really hard. It’s felt like a YEAR.

Sleep has been sporadic. There haven’t been many nightmares but there were two recent ones- one is far too graphic to share. It related to previous trauma. It was disgusting. Not going to talk about it. There was another one from last night that had demons in it. They made their presence known- they kept taking my phone out of my hands as I used it- that happened a few times. I also saw them coming through walls in a bathroom. In my dream, I was vacationing with a family and their little boy was trying to tell the family that demons were causing things to happen and everyone ignored him. This was all a dream, but it’s still disturbing.

Today a 15 year old girl repeated MY words to me- she was telling me how she wanted to commit suicide and she said, “I don’t know why God doesn’t just take me.” My heart went up through my throat. I couldn’t believe I was hearing this, coming from her. It hit me so hard- both of our pain. Her story is similar to mine. She was raped repeatedly by an uncle and her mom hasn’t been the best source of support. In frustration, her mom even told her she would give her up for adoption. I told her I’d happily adopt her. Seriously. I know her mom wouldn’t really do that, but it’s so cruel and damaging to say. I see over and over how people don’t understand and don’t have patience with those of us who have been gravely injured and are struggling. I know it must be frustrating…but all I see is people giving up on us. I know I want to give up on myself…so what can I possibly do to make others not want to give up on me?

She also talked about how God has given her too much to handle in life. Again, I nearly choked as she was saying my own words to me. I couldn’t agree with her more, but I HAD to give her every ounce of positivity I could muster.

I did my best to encourage this young girl and show her how much I care for her. I’ve only known her for four months, but she knows she has my support and undivided attention whenever she needs it. I wish I could do more for her.

I think about the words she said that are mine. I’ve written those very words here so many times. I’ve thought them even more times…. I wonder what God might be trying to show me by having this young girl say that to me. My heart hurts so badly for her.

I finally heard back from my old pastor whom I’d emailed. I told him how I was scared of being judged for having been locked up and his reply was amazing. Here’s part of his email:

That last paragraph… wow. It means a lot to me. When he didn’t reply right away, I was sure he thought I was crazy and didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I was so worried. So it’s really good to hear from him and to know I have his encouragement.

I feel like I’m wringing every single bit of support from people. It’s such a necessity to my survival. Even though I’ve asked for it from a few people, I’m scared to. I fear rejection and people backing away from me. I feel like that’s the response I’ve received from the few people I’ve asked. But I need help so badly. Just to feel loved, cared about, to be encouraged… I can’t do that on my own. It doesn’t work that way.

Another good thing happened. Two young people started a gofundme for my hospital bills left over after the insurance paid. They didn’t tell me about it right away. I was so touched they would even think to do that. They posted it on Facebook and tagged me in it so now a lot of people know I was in the hospital. I’ve been fielding questions all day long. I’m absolutely not telling people why I was hospitalized. But now people know I was in the hospital for something. So I finally made a post about it, giving a vague explanation for the gofundme.

This WordPress is anonymous…I’m not using my real name here. I’d like to keep it that way. It makes me feel safer. But if any of you want to help share the gofundme campaign, let me know and I can send you the link.

And then one more thing happened…I don’t think I wrote about it yet. I can’t remember. A friend introduced me to a friend of his who prays over people for healing and stuff. I kind of wanted to meet up with him in person, but he lives in Europe. We emailed a few times and talked once via Skype this past summer. He told me to get a book named The Bondage Breaker, to read through it, pray through it, and we could talk again after that. I had every intention of ordering the book, but never did. That was months ago during the summer.

Well, a lady from my small group at church told me she read a book and thought of six people who might need it. I was one of them, so she whipped out this book and gave it to me. Guess what the name of it was…? Yep.

Unreal.

I couldn’t believe it was the same exact book I was told would help me months ago. I even dug up old emails to be sure it was the same book. Eerie. I’ve tried reading it and can’t. I’ve flipped though it…stopped on a page that said:

And I immediately thought and said, “LIES!!” and I closed the book and put it down. I guess I’m not quite ready to look at it yet. 😞 I feel bad about my reaction, but I just can’t believe any of those things there. Not yet. Maybe some day.

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Published December 5, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m so sad. I took an online health questionnaire at work and was slightly paranoid it might not be anonymous like it said. So I answered the questions about mood and depression to make it NOT sound as bad as I feel. And I STILL got flagged as depressed. What the…? Am I doing that badly that I can’t even see it?

Some of the information given following the questionnaire said that depression can affect your judgment. Is that really true? I’ve never heard of that before. But as I reflect on decisions and thoughts and how I perceive things…I just didn’t think depression would impact those things, but maybe it has. I honestly thought it was the other way around- that I was depressed because of my thoughts and perceptions of the world and people around me. I didn’t think depression could alter that. Maybe I have a lot to learn.

I’m so sorry for my angry posts lately. I’ve been highly irritable for over a year now- since this all started to go downhill. Seeing how much my insurance paid and what I still owe sent me over the edge in terms of rage. I’m still super upset that I have to pay $9000 for something I refused over and over and over. All I wanted to do was go home. And they wouldn’t let me.

I don’t want to think about the money situation anymore. I don’t know what to do with that. I’ve cut out cable TV and eating out. What else can I cut out?? There’s nothing in my budget but my credit card payment, rent, electric, cell, student loan, insurance, gas, and car payment. My dog’s meds are so much…I just picked up more of his meds yesterday. He’s been throwing them up though. 😞 I don’t know how else to help him except to do what the doctor says and give him extra pain meds when his pain won’t subside. My heart hurts so badly for him. He’s my only companion in this lonely, cold world. My only companion.

I had already bought a plane ticket to see my mom at Christmas and now I think it’s a mistake (financially). It’s on my credit card…obviously I couldn’t afford to pay for it outright. But I view Christmas break the same as Thanksgiving break. If I stay here, alone, for two weeks…no work, no friends, nothing to do…bad things will happen. My mind just goes there. It goes there every single day. The best way I can think of to fight it is to go away from here and be with other people. Sounds good. Just not very affordable. But I’m doing the best I can even if I can’t afford it.

I even reached out to my old pastor yesterday. I had reached out to him a few months back. But yesterday I sent him an email letting him know I got locked up. I’m so scared of being judged or looked down on because of it. It took degradation and shame to a whole new level for me. I’m super embarrassed about it and don’t want ANYONE to know. Too many already do. But I decided to be honest and tell him, hoping to get some encouragement and support. I haven’t heard back yet.

Me reaching out to people is so, so difficult. I think I’m terrified of rejection. And if you give people nothing to reject you for, then they won’t. If you’re honest and open and vulnerable, people will see your weakness and your troubles. You’re giving them ammunition to judge you with. But it is what it is. If I want support from people, I have to let them know that. Even if I get rejected…like when I asked my friends to visit me in the hospital and they refused. It was shocking and heart breaking. But the truth is that I’m not so sure I want people like that around me. I don’t need any more negativity. I don’t need any more criticism and rejection- I feel I do that to myself enough. I need good people, true friends, people who won’t judge me even knowing I’ve been locked up. I just think that’s so hard to find. That’s why I’m so scared and hesitant to reach out.

I’m trying though. I feel like going away at Christmas is the best course of action. I thought reaching out to my old pastor again is a good step to take. I’m not sure quitting therapy is the best idea- but financially, I’ve got no other choice. I have to start making payments and I don’t know where else that money can come from. Can you make a payment on a medical bill with a credit card? Again…not the best idea…but if I have no other choice, then that will be the route I might need to take.

I need to get away from this debilitating sadness. It’s eating me up.

Published December 2, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Overall, I’m doing good at the moment. Battling a borderline migraine for who knows how many times this week. Since I got the first of the bills, migraines have been off the chart in terms of frequency. I’ve never had this many in one week.

I’m so thankful today is Saturday and I can rest- as opposed to having to go to work. Didn’t sleep much last night. I’ve been up since 3am. Lots of weird dreams lately, but only one nightmare and it wasn’t all that bad.

When I’m upset, I keep forgetting to say and focus on what I’m thankful for. So I think I neglected to do that in my last few posts?

Even though I’m still shocked that my two longest friends abandoned me in my greatest time of need, it makes me all the more grateful for those who didn’t. I kind of reconnected with a friend yesterday who’s been super busy and that meant a ton to me. One of my best friends has been being great at supporting me even though she’s across the country. Nearly every day she’s sent me a text just saying hi or asking how I am. That means a lot, knowing that I’m not forgotten.

I’ve been thinking about some of the most meaningful messages I’ve received recently and how incredibly grateful I am for them. One very old friend who I haven’t seen in over a decade sent me an email right before Thanksgiving:

I can’t remember what skit he was talking about but it doesn’t matter. I’m so thankful for his kind words and his timing was impeccable.

Another friend sent these messages a while back…maybe a month ago?

I remember thinking that last message was super cool. I smiled, which is rare these days.

I’m thankful for the few people I have supporting me. They’re vital to my survival. I’m thankful for my job. I’m thankful for God “rescuing” me from that horrible place I was locked up in. I’m so thankful I can rest today.

And yesterday, I did an interview (anonymously) about my story. I hope that God can and will use it to somehow help others. I’m not sure how that would work, but I know God is capable of anything. I pray that He will bless and use that- it would help make me feel useful in this world. The interviewer brought up the idea of me speaking at camps for young adults or even teenagers. Man…that would be awesome. But again, I’m not sure how that would happen.

Today, I’m thankful for a lot.

Published November 30, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I was thinking about how my grandmother betrayed me. How she betrayed my uncle. And how my mom betrayed me. I think I realized that this is why I have no self worth. My own family doesn’t value my life. My father didn’t, my grandmother didn’t, my mother didn’t. It’s no wonder I struggle with this. My own family members… and not just one- a bunch of them.

I think it’s why I react so strongly when my friends aren’t there for me. I was wondering what my problem is with that. It’s that I just start to believe my friends when they tell me my life has value…and then if ANYTHING happens to the contrary, I see it as confirmation of what I believe- that I’m not a human being worthy of value.

I’m fighting that so much- but I feel like I’m fake fighting it. I’m trying to tell myself I have value and worth, but I don’t believe it for a moment.

Published November 28, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Overall, today was a good day. It was good to get back to work and see everyone. People told me they missed me over Thanksgiving break and that was a nice surprise to hear. Plus, I REALLY don’t do well when I have too much free time to let my brain wander and stew on my issues. So it’s good to get back to work and feel productive.

I woke up last night at 2am with a migraine. Stupid hospital bills stressing me out. I got another one today- another $6,000 something for the 5 days. I’m suspicious though that there might be more- how can 8 hours in the ER cost three times more than 5 days and nights in a hospital? Is that normal? Anyway, I’m worried there might be some more charges coming. I got additional charges for the ER doctor…and there weren’t any charges yet for the hospital doctors for the 5 days…(YIKES!!!) I’m worried that will be coming soon… 😨

I just keep repeating to myself, “don’t freak out!”

“Don’t freak out!”

“Don’t freak out!”

Gah….😓 I cannot handle this. I cannot handle any more strain on my life. I kept saying to myself over and over again today, “my life is not worth $16,000!!!”

And it’s not. It’s so true. 😦

Alright…what I’m thankful for: I’m thankful for having a good, albeit headache-filled day at work. I’m thankful for better dreams these last few days- I literally dreamed of puppies and ice cream and donuts! 😂 I kid you not! The puppies were drowning…but in my dream, we saved them all and got them all adopted. So it all worked out well. No nightmares last night either… but I was awake at 2am and couldn’t go back to sleep (even with sleeping pills). Hopefully, that won’t happen tonight.

I’m also thankful for something else. I thought a lot about my uncle yesterday and I meant to write that I was thankful for this yesterday, but I got side tracked when I got the hospital bills. I was thinking how he told people that my dad sexually abused him and no one believed him. Knowing that my grandma knew about my abuse and conspired to cover it up…I believe that she believed my uncle, but maybe acted like she didn’t in order to keep it all quiet and protect my dad. But, everyone else that he told… no one believed him. That makes me so sad. I was thinking about that and I realized that I haven’t had that issue. Yes, my mom and grandma knew all along and did nothing to help me or protect me…but I never told them. I never told anyone until I was 18 years old. That’s the first time I had the courage to say a word. I never had the experience of someone not believing me. And that’s what I’m thankful for. I can’t imagine how much more damaging this could be if I was told I wasn’t believed. It made me see that my uncle had more damage done by not having support when he sought it out. That’s so messed up. I’m so grateful that the very few people I’ve shared with have had my back….(minus my two friends who jumped ship recently).

When I think about suicide, I find myself rationalizing that I share the same fate as my uncle. I told myself that over and over. He didn’t survive what my dad did, why would I? He committed suicide, it must be my fate as well. Am I stronger than he is? No way! So why do I think I’d survive when he didn’t? He lived for decades and decades and STILL wound up succumbing to his psychological injuries. My dad will ultimately be responsible for two deaths…and for wrecking who knows how many lives!

…This is what I told myself and this is how I thought. And yesterday when I was thinking about no one believing my uncle, I thought that he must have had it harder. It’s must have been so much more difficult for him because people didn’t believe him. He saw my dad all the time and knew my dad got away with disgusting, evil acts. And HIS OWNMOTHER covered it up. I mean…mine did too. But still…

My fear of not being believed only manifested in one instance and that was with Joe. He had always physically, intellectually, and psychologically intimidated me. Before the rape occurred, he had already been physically violent with both myself and my little dog. So I had already been staying away from him. We were no longer friends because he broke the septum in my nose when he slammed my head against a wall. I had been tapping on something and it had annoyed him. That was the last time I ever talked to him. I was scared and stayed away after that. And months later, the rape occurred. And now…he’s an attorney. Geez…I feel even more intimidated by his occupation. There’s no way I could accuse him without massive fear and anxiety regarding retaliation on his part. I’m almost certain of it. So I see how a fear of not being believed can affect you. I can’t imagine how much that affected my uncle when he tried to confide in people.

I’m trying really, really hard. Things aren’t going well. I’m more deeply depressed than before…but I don’t know if that’s because of the meds or my nice little stay in the hospital that’s giving me a complex. I feel so ashamed of it. My one friend who visited me (and who drove two hours to do so) told me the other day that the hospitalization “doesn’t define you.” I really needed to hear that. I don’t know how she read my thoughts…I’ve been so down on myself for getting hospitalized and feeling like if people find out, they’ll think I’m a looney. It makes me so much more scared to share with anyone. I don’t blame people- I think they’d subconsciously judge me or hold it against me. Anyway, I need to internalize that idea- that this hospitalization doesn’t define me. God does, right?

That’s all I need- another identity crisis.

Published November 26, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Stop for a minute and think. Imagine your life with no one. Imagine not having your spouse, your children. There are no family members living close by. No brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, or uncles anywhere close. Seriously…stop and try to imagine this for your life. Years and years and years pass by…and you’re all alone. Every day. Every night. Every weekend. Can you even imagine this for your life?

This is mine. And it’s ok except for the fact that I’ve recently lost a few friendships. But this is why those friendships are so vital to my life. IT’S ALL I HAVE. Yes, you can say I have a relationship with God. But for living, breathing human beings…friendships are all I have. And I surely don’t have that many of them. I’m super shy so making new friends is near impossible and I have such a difficult time trusting people. I was just ruminating with a friend over how every single one of my relationships (boyfriends) was someone who was very outgoing. And when I was young I realized those were the only guys bold enough to strike up a conversation with someone as shy as myself.

Anyway, the point is that I’ve been racking my brain over what I can do to salvage my friendships and not sabotage them anymore. I need them. And those people all deserve better too. It’s not just for me. I want to be a better person and a better friend. That’s what made me start researching how PTSD affects relationships. It’s something I’ll be working on and I can only pray that my friends will be gracious and patient with me as I flounder my way through this. I’ve been so distressed over this one issue lately. I’ll probably continue to write about this because I’ve been tormented over the loss of these friends and I very much fear losing any more. I’m terrified of it actually. They’re all I have in this world.

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The last picture I put up on my Facebook is so disturbing to me. My sister-in-law took a picture of me holding my nephew, but it was right after I had two intense breakdowns. I’d cried for hours at this point. I was so out of it. My eyes are vacant and hollow. My nose is red from crying. My face is so downtrodden with sadness. I actually hate myself in that picture, but the baby is so precious that I decided to put it up. People commented on how that’s a moment to cherish…smh. No one knows. No one understands. I feel so disconnected.

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Nightmares have increased exponentially since I got out. They’re just about every other night now. And what used to be rare (continuing a dream after waking up from it and going back to sleep) is now commonplace. Gah…why does it have to be the nightmares that continue? I’m pretty good at analyzing my dreams and figuring out what my brain was trying to process. Lately, many of the nightmares have been from being locked up against my will. I was terrified and still am terrified that it can happen again at any moment.

There have been some weird nightmares though that I can’t quite figure out what they’re from. One is of me getting shot. I can’t remember the whole dream- only a sliver of it. I’m in a crowd of people and someone open fires into the crowd. A man is shot next to me and he falls on top of me, burying my face. He’s dead and is laying face up on top of my upper chest and face. I almost feel suffocated because I can’t breathe. But then I realize the shooter is still shooting so I freeze instead of trying to free myself. The shooter goes quiet. He’s taken the entire crowd down. He decides to open fire one last time on everyone laying on the floor- just to make sure everyone’s dead. This is when I get shot in the stomach. I feel the burn and sting of the bullet and my body contracts a little as the bullet enters. I wake up a moment after that. I’d go back to sleep and dream it again. I have no idea where this particular nightmare is coming from or what my brain might be trying to process. But like all my nightmares, I wake up with my heart beating out of my chest, drenched in sweat, and I can’t catch my breath.

Then there’s the creepy cult nightmare. There’s a cult that’s taken over this little town I live in and they dictate everything…right down to the food you eat. For some reason, I was suspicious about their food and didn’t want to eat it. So I didn’t. I knew the penalty was death. They would try to coerce you into eating and if you refused, they’d chase you down and kill you. So after various groups of people tried to coerce me to eat their food, it was decided that I wasn’t compliant and I’d have to be killed. I’d run and try to hide…but literally every person in the town is after me. No one is safe. I’d spend a good part of the dream running and hiding…I’d wake up just as someone is about to tackle me. Then I’d fall asleep again and re-dream the not eating part and the getting chased down part over and over.

This dream I can link to several things though. First and most depressing…is my church. I kind of equate the cult to my church and how I don’t feel wanted there or welcome there anymore. I’m afraid that’s why in the dream I’m not wanted…instead, they want to kill me. The other part is from getting locked up. I was so physically ill from being re-traumatized in there that I couldn’t eat, I fought back puking constantly, and had diarrhea nonstop. But I knew they were watching and noting every time someone didn’t eat. I was so terrified they’d hold it against me, that I put something in my mouth whenever they looked (this is also why I tried to hold in my vomit). When they weren’t looking, I gave the rest of the food away. I wasn’t trying to break rules on purpose…I was just so damned sick to my stomach. It was unreal. Anyway, I think that’s where the food part comes from…and the rules about “you must eat our food”…this is just like in the hospital. Then there’s the “no one is safe” part. Huh. I think that’s part of my PTSD and then some. I’ve never felt that any one human being on this earth is entirely safe. Never. I remember several months back trying to get myself to trust people again and picking out the most benign, harmless, most Christ-like individuals- and then questioning myself on if I fully trusted them or not. And if not, why? Never…I was never able to convince myself that any person was safe. There’s always a danger. There’s always the potential for harm. That’s just life. And now it seems even more dangerous to me- I’ve been stung by the people closest to me. No one is safe. Not a soul.

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Tonight I was driving back from somewhere. It took a few hours. I thought over and over again of different ways I could die. And then I started thinking, why is that considered bad? Why is that considered a failure? I’m not convinced that God wants me here on this earth. He surely doesn’t need me. I’m no good to anyone. But why is dying considered so bad?? Why does some person get to say that it’s not ok? Isn’t that between God and I? And like I said, I’m not so sure he wants me here. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t actually. He wouldn’t have made my life like this.

Everything has been so much worse since I got out. I can sit here and say how I want to be a better person…and I do…but things are not good. Everything is so much worse. I am doing so much worse. I feel so much more alone than I did before. I don’t see how this will get any better. But for now, I’m here. I’m open to help. I want to get better. I just don’t see it ever happening.

Published November 24, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I’m so thankful for this. ⬆️ It makes me feel better to think that I’m not “ill.” But it does mention the breaking down of relationships and crushing connections. 😓 I can attest to that. I also think that depression has added more to my isolation and withdrawing from people. The trust part- that’s from PTSD though. I’m trying to understand PTSD more. So much more is known about it now than when I had it before. I never knew my urge to cut was from a build up of adrenaline from a fight or flight response that had been triggered. I’m still kind of in awe of that. I had always felt so ashamed and immature that I had that urge. I didn’t know it was “scientifically based,” as the psychiatrist put it. I went back to every time I was leaning in that direction and tried to remember what path my thoughts went down so I could identify how the fight or flight response had been triggered. I did some research and found out that the stress hormone, cortisol, also triggers a fight or flight response. In one book, it says that this could lead to a suicide attempt as you’re protecting yourself from ever being harmed again. For me, I’m not quite sure why I think of suicide so often. I’ve thought of spiritual warfare combined with plain old depression and stress. I do only think of taking action when I’m beyond stressed and feel like I’m about to burst. (That feeling is what the psychiatrist said was adrenaline.)

This is so complex and complicated and I know I don’t understand all of it. To make matters worse, what I’ll come to an understanding of today, I’ll forget by tomorrow. No joke. 😒

Anyway, I’m trying so hard to be more understanding of myself. That might sound silly, but I’m incredibly hard on myself- very critical of myself. I think that internal dialogue is from my mom. But regardless, I’m trying to give myself some slack when it comes to what I’m thinking and feeling and the resulting behaviors. First and foremost, I’m on a mission to stop hurting other people…even if it’s just hurting them by lying. It’s not right and never will be. Second, I’m trying to get better for myself. So I’m trying to understand what I’ve been diagnosed with and how it’s affecting everything. When I googled how PTSD affects friendships and relationships, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe how much damage it does…and it made me realize that a lot of what I’ve done recently is from PTSD. It doesn’t make it right, but at least I can identify why I did those things. If I can identify my motivation, I can then learn to stop. I just don’t want to ever hurt anyone. Ever. That’s not who I am.

Half of me tells myself I’m NOTHING like my father. Half of me berates myself with every bad thing I’ve ever done, saying I’m cut from the same cloth. I’m trying so hard to believe and to know in my heart that I’m a child of God. I feel like there’s a wall there though. I can’t break past it. I just can’t believe that God truly, truly loves me. I just don’t see myself as a child of God. I don’t know why. I don’t know what the problem is. I don’t know how to change that.

I’m trying really hard to believe this too. ⬆️ I don’t believe it yet. I know all too well that what I’m dealing with is too much for normal people. I know that I’ve shared with people, then they’ve chosen to walk out on me. But that’s their prerogative.

I saw this online ⬆️ That is exactly what I think!!! And unfortunately, a few friends already proved to me that this is true. 😓 It makes me all the more grateful for those who have stepped up and helped me and who have done SO MUCH to ensure my survival even against my own wishes. I thank God for them.