I have spent much of my life disconnected from things.

What does that mean? It means feeling numb, without emotion, without opinion, the absence of enjoyment, not really knowing who I am and not feeling connected to my body, needs, wants and desires.

A bit like a living zombie!

I have actually had a few moments where I have felt connected and free. Earlier this year when I made the big decision not to join my family of origin for Christmas Day was one of them. It was my way of standing up and saying that I was no longer going to continue to play the game of denial. I was no longer going to sweep the family secrets under the rug.

My decision saw my connection to self and wonderful carefree feeling last for some weeks but I was subsequently shut down again after an argument that reminded me of abusive treatment in my past. I retreated back into my safe hole.

I’m finding myself curious about feeling like “me” again and I want to experience it more but I do not know how to switch myself back on again.

Perhaps it is something I need to give myself permission to do or perhaps there is another phase in my healing that needs to unravel, I’m not so sure.

I do know that I want to experience more of it. I deserve to experience more of it rather than stay trapped by the abusive experiences of my past.

I no longer want to be a living zombie.


“If your child tells you he or she has been abused, believe it.

If you suspect that your partner, that person who abused you, other family members, or your child’s caretakers are being abusive, take action immediately.

Countless women have been sure they were the only ones to be abused, only to find out years later that their own children, grandchildren or even great grandchildren had become victims as well.”

From The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis.

I’m so tired, you know what I mean?

The brain says “push yourself” or “stop being so lazy” but the body says “rest” and “take a break”.

The brain is very often not satisfied with the extent of work the body has put in for the day. It says “you didn’t get to clean the toilet” or “you didn’t vacuum the house, what a disgrace” and “it was a good day today BUT you didn’t get to wash the dishes”.

See, my brain is often set on “critical parent mode”. What I do will never be good enough for my (critical) parent.

Fighting the critical parent is very tiring. It is like having a mini war inside my head.

Taking time out for myself by just doing nothing is a big “no no” for the critical parent. I am “wasting time” and “my life is slipping away” and my all time favourite “you’ll never get anywhere in life”.

Fighting the critical parent is not the only war going on inside my head either. There is “what is he REALLY doing today” and “who is he REALLY with” and “you’re going to have a busy day at work tomorrow” and “oh, it’s Monday tomorrow, what a drag”. There’s also “you’ll never get through this sexual abuse stuff” and “your family are talking behind your back” and “you’ll never get off this medication”.

With all this brain activity, is it any wonder we get so tired? Find it hard to get out of bed? Can’t pick up the vacuum cleaner or just plain don’t want to go out?

If you know what I’m talking about then lets join forces and cut ourselves some slack.

We have all been through and are going through a lot.  It’s time to show ourselves some compassion and understanding. Wouldn’t we say the same for someone else in our situation? Hell yeah.

Today it is OK to give ourselves permission to do nothing. We are not going to wilt away and die, we are not going to lose that big opportunity and we are not going to eventuate into nothing if we just take a break.

There is a high probability that when I am on my death bed one day I won’t be scolding myself for not vacuuming the house – I’ll be scolding myself for not doing all the things I wanted to accomplish in my life!

Let us comfort our inner child and tell them that a break is OK, they are allowed to rest.

Our inner child is worth it, they ARE important, they ARE precious, they ARE loved.

The guilt of our critical parent will break us if we allow it to.

Today I will do what my inner child wants to do, I will not do any chores.

I will bake, watch some TV and pat my dogs.

The only person that can tell me I’m not allowed is ME.

Watch out for that….

Hey Dad?

I was appalled to read of a statement by the Lawyers for Robert Hughes, former Hey Dad star convicted of child sexual abuse, pleading to the Court for leniency for he had suffered at the hands of negative media attention for “the past month”.

What an insult! Do you really believe that one month in negative media limelight is cause for a reduced sentence and that same constitutes punishment for heinous crimes?

Child sexual abuse has children live with the after effects long after after the event/s have taken place, if not a lifetime.

One month’s negative media attention is no contest and an insult to the survivors of your unacceptable behaviour.

Did the denial of your crimes serve its litigious purpose or have you utterly deceived yourself into thinking that you did nothing wrong?

May you spend your minimum six years in jail reflecting on your pedophilia and working at the core issues that have lead you down this destructive path.

If you exit jail showing awareness of your disease and the willingness to arrest it, only then will I show you understanding. Otherwise, your time spent inside is fruitless.

You have been given a gift by your Higher Power, what you do with that gift is now up to you.

Beating this disease can simply start with two words – “I’m sorry”.  The world is ready to hear it.

Advice Please

“Hi Rapid Cycling,

My name is Mrs X and I have a son with bipolar.

My son is 36 years old and he is so very lonely. He doesn’t have a friend, or a girlfriend and it has been this way for years. He usually visits us, his parents, and beyond that he has a part time job where he tends to work approx 12 hours a week.

The situation our son is in has hurt him deeply and it has caused him to have very low self confidence, is shy and struggles to be motivated in doing much.

We helped our son to buy a home and he has spent the last three years making this home lovely and I now believe he took himself to a place where he could feel comfortable in what he had to encourage a woman and friend to be interested in him.

Our son is a lovely person and it is so hard for him and ourselves to comprehend why no one is interested in him. He has tried to meet people, through us pushing him and has recently been on a dating site, through feeling ready to meet someone and once again had no look at anything he tries.

He has now lost hope and is very depressed and overwhelmed and I don’t know what to do. I am scared he will give up and I am struggling to find a place that could help him feel better socially.

He has been on mood pills for years and I tend to think they make him feel flat. He doesn’t need a counselor, who just writes things down and suggests things he fails to do and I honestly don’t know what will make him feel comfortable with himself.

My son has never had support from anyone (other than ourselves) since he got bipolar 20 years ago and I think it’s shocking this is so. He is one very lonely person and I am so worried about him.

Can you suggest something that gives people like him some joy?

I am so tired of trying all the time to fill his cup up.


Mrs X. “

Reply from Rapid Cycling (to which I have yet to receive a response):

“Hi Mrs X,

I am saddened by your son’s story because this has been happening for such a long time. 
I agree with you 100% about the pills making him feel flat. From my experience, it is also trauma that makes one feel flat or numb. It’s a very hard thing to deal with. 
I can only share with you what I have learned over the past five or so years. 
Firstly, I don’t run the support group any more but I have heard from many people how support and understanding from those in the same boat was so helpful to them. 
Secondly, my experience is that psychiatry will simply medicate someone, listen to them a bit but really do nothing except prescribe more drugs to fix the problems. 
Thirdly, a GOOD counsellor will do wonders. Digging at ones core issues are paramount to move beyond what is causing them pain. In many cases one doesn’t even know what their core problem is. Things to think about are what made your son bipolar in the first place all those years ago and/or what happened to him that caused him much distress. If you care to share that with me I am happy to refer you to an appropriate counsellor who might benefit him.  
I have learned that to go through the pain in lieu of simply medicating it (while using medication to help me through) is the only way to shed the old pain.  I am not suggesting to go off medication but merely to work at one’s core issues using medication to help process the memories. Pro-active solution based counselling is SO helpful.
Fourthly, I can recommend GROW. They have a website (grow.org.au I think). They are a mental health support group that are based around the 12 steps but one has the support of other members who can be in touch in between meetings. GROW are a solution based support group and I believe members discuss their problems in a group setting and receive input from other members on solutions. They then report back at the next meeting as to how they went with their problems. GROW meet at many locations around your area.. 
New ways of thinking (not self defeating ways) should be promoted in GROW but if not, it’s important to change how we think. This is a slow process but paramount to get out of one’s dark hole. 
I have found that poor ways of thinking stem from dysfunctional behaviours carried down through family generations. A prime example is alcoholism that runs through so many generations. Whether one is drinking or not, it is the behaviours that have been learned and carried on. If you have family members with addictions of any type (except smoking), I can refer you on.  This area is where I have delved the most in my own recovery and am well versed in it.
Fifthly, your son should never give up on the need and want to feel normal. If he’s not happy with his meds, his quality of life and his counsellor he needs to make changes for HE IS WORTH IT. 
All too often we think professionals are correct and what they say is gospel. I have learned this not to be so. 
I was diagnosed bipolar and put on all sorts of horrid drugs about 5-6 years ago. I tried to fit the bipolar mould as much as I could but was rediagnosed 2 years later. I was not bipolar after all but lost two years of my life struggling with the side effects of all the medications. 
Your son must want this too, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink 🙂
In summary, a good counsellor and support from others in the same boat who are also wanting to better themselves in how they behave and think are priceless. These two things should go hand in hand.

Again, I am happy to refer you on if you need it. 
Best of luck,

Rapid Cycling.”

Trusting Myself

Question 1 Step 2 of the 12 Steps: Have I looked to the sexaholic to satisfy my God hunger? 
Yes I have. I relied on the actions and words of the addicts in my life to tell me if I was doing the right thing.  If I asked them about my actions towards a situation I would treat their answer as gospel. Generally their answer was negative or revolved around things being “my fault”. 
Until I was 30 years old I thought my alcoholic dad was always right. I NEVER saw his flaws. 
I remember some years ago there was a big argument and my room got trashed. I was so upset I called my A dad and he asked me what I had done to cause it?  I knew at that time I was relying on the wrong person to help me. I saw the dysfunction and how violence, verbal abuse and addiction had become an accepted way of life for me and my family of origin.
If there was an argument/event with someone at work I would expect the addicts close to me to support me but it never happened that way. I ended up feeling worse, lost and lonely.  I don’t think they knew how to listen and support me.  Today I am clear what I need from someone – “I just need you to listen and support me”. 
In relation to not trusting in one’s ability to make the right choices or not knowing at all what to do in situations, I can totally relate to that.  It is like no answer comes to me at all sometimes, there is nothing, it’s empty – I just don’t know what to do.  I understand to an extent why it is that way – I must have “completely” lost my true self as a child. I am certain my caregivers denied me my reality because it suited them both. I had to live the lie along with them because if I didn’t, I would be punished. This is exactly why I must speak up now when faced with evidence of active sexaholism (or with anything really). If I do not, I am continuing the pattern of denial taught to me in childhood and inhibiting my ability to make my own decisions.
I feel I must share a necessary part of my reality here for some reason, a part that does not fit into the above paragraph. Even though I lived the lie my caregivers conditioned me to believe, I was still punished. To this day my mum treats me differently to my siblings. I was (and am) denied a lot of things that my siblings are not. In essence, if I spoke up, I was punished and if I lived the lie, I was punished. 
I have found that the more small decisions I make by myself that affect me, the stronger and more confident I become.Trust in myself is slowly increasing. The choices I’ve made have not always agreed with those around me though and that’s caused me difficulty but I’ve had to stand up and say “no, I’m not comfortable with that” and as a result I’ve been able to grow.
Thanks for listening to me, I greatly appreciate it 🙂

Feeling Inadequate

I think my feelings of inadequacy perpetuated from childhood. The things I did and tried so hard at were never good enough in the eyes of my family and extended family. Their hurtful comments and put downs left me feeling like I was a failure, worthless and not as good as my relatives, who they praised.
By putting someone down was how my family of origin learned to “encourage” someone. I know this because I did the same thing as an adult.  When I became aware of it I realised that it just doesn’t work. If it made me feel inadequate and miserable as a child (and as an adult), then it will surely make others feel inadequate and miserable too!.  Time to change my ways from negative encouragement to positive encouragement and that is what I try to do today.
Last week I left my job of 11 months and am moving onto another job next week. My former boss said great things to me such as “the new girl is not like you R.C” (my brain was saying – I bet she’s not as dysfunctional as me!) and “any time you need a reference, you’ve got it” (my brain was saying – he doesn’t really mean that, if only he knew what goes on behind the scenes!). 
My inner critic in regards to performance will be there for a long time I think because I have lived with negative encouragement (outside and inside)  for almost all of my life.  
I can see my flaws and I am of the dysfunctional belief that they outshine my positives when I am around others.  Perhaps that is because my flaws were always pointed out as a child and my positives were generally overlooked. 
I have often read that the adult child spends a lot of time covering up their true selves from the belief that they are bad.  I could never really relate to that until I was offered my new position. The offer triggered a great fear in me that everyone will see how bad I am,  I will be truly exposed and all my flaws apparent. It was a necessary part of my recovery to uncover that memory/emotion and to debunk an old childhood belief.
It will take some time for me to completely believe positive comments from others in lieu of second guessing them. Nevertheless I can feel a shift forward in my self belief after this incident and that’s some progress on my part.
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