Aaaaannnnd another update. I have printed out your comments, highlighted parts (what? highlighting is ... necessary!), and been carrying them around to sneak a look at now and then.
I am constantly being surprised at the amount of stuff I don't know about myself. Quite humbling. So much of what you have written has made me feel like, have you been following me around? How do you KNOW this?? E.g., Blue's comment:
I felt paranoid for years that if people knew about my past, that it would mean all the horribleness I had inside me would actually be true. That I really was just an impostor, faking being awesome (and doing a poor job of it mostly) ... I thought that if my past were true, (ie: if I acknowledged it), I would be worthless and no one would want to be friends with me. I didn't want to be labeled as a "victim". I didn't want to hang out with victims and be in that "group". I didn't want it to become my identity.Yes, yes, and yes.
When JB said "I guess it just shows how our perceptions of things so close to us are sometimes skewed," all I could think was, yep, skewed, right here! (And yes, Alexicographer, I too figured there would be at least one troll saying something mean, but I actually wasn't concerned about them; it's that I really believed that good people might tell me I'm full of it.) I have gotten some lovely support and very helpful tips privately too (thank you, B).
And Ewan's comment made me laugh out loud, which is always a good thing. When my sense of humor deserts me, all will truly be lost.
It shocks me how the mind can commandeer the body. I mean, I knew that sort of, but paying attention to the moments of panic/dissociation and then tracing back what just happened is, among worse things, fascinating. There is a guy at work I couldn't bear to talk to and would do anything to avoid, and I realized during a meeting that, well, he is very like the abusive guy - one of them, anyway (ugh - I'm sorry to be vague, but I'm learning that you all understand). So I went over this with my therapist and get some strategies for what to do in the next meeting. (This person was suddenly given a lot of power at work and is trying to gut some - actually, ALL - of the projects I've been working so hard on. Making more sense that this has all started coming to the surface over the past few months, eh?) (If you want a description of this person, go here.)
There continues to be some fallout for the exchange student, though her story is hers to tell; she is overall doing really well. She is, fortunately, a talker, so at least there aren't two of us walking around the house saying "Fine!" to anything my husband asks. (I have my husband read my posts - and your comments - to bring him up to date. It's not that I don't WANT to tell him.)
I have been trying to figure out how to help myself get some of this out in therapy. Just changing where I sit helped: I have one much weaker eye and if someone is to my right I feel vulnerable. Something that has been recommended to me by several people - therapist included - is some sort of "comfort object" (sounds a little sketchy, no?) to have at sessions and during stressful meetings, etc., but I have been racking my brain and can't come up with anything. If I could bring my cat I'd be set, but aside from that I'm stumped. What would you use? Maybe if I heard some possibilities I'd figure something out, because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that I can be blind to the obvious, and you're not.