I feel pretty overwhelmed and confused nowadays. The process of healing has been very difficult and painful as the old repressed traumatic events with negative feelings are being remembered and I re-experience them as before. When I start having a flashback of traumatic events, traumatic feelings occur and I experience both physical and emotional panic attack. I struggle from breathing with chest pain, headache, heart-burn and muscle ache all over my body. It’s as if I am thrown away by a storm or typhoon helplessly and I am scared to death. When it hits me, there is no room for me to think with consciousness. It just takes over me. It makes me feel helpless and powerless. I was alone getting attacked, beaten up, not rescued, abandoned and forgotten when I was beaten up by my father. My family was in the next room but nobody came rescue mr or fight for me. They did not call the police. They did not break into my room where my father was beating me up until I fainted and fell on the floor. They did not take me to the hospital. They did not come talk to me asking me if I were okay. They never talked about it. I was scared to death. I wished I had been dead. I was terribly sorry and sad when I became conscious and woke up. I was terrified with blooded and bruised face and head. I was horrified that something must have gone terribly wrong beyond my knowledge. Nobody was there for me. I despised God for having not taken my life away but having let me alive with terror. . .
On my way to the subway station after getting a little snack, I had the urge to call my sister. She’s the only family member whom I talk to from time to time. I told her that I have been seeing a psychiatrist to treat PTSD. She said to me that it was all up to me. WTF. What does that mean? I am learning that it was not my fault. I confronted her about not having done anything when I was beaten up and after I was knocked out with broken body and mind. “Why didn’t you do anything? “Why?” I cried out on the phone standing in the middle of street. Her response made me speechless. “I don’t remember a thing.” ???!!! WTF. “How could you not remember a thing?” “You really don’t remember any?” Then she said to me “No matter what I tell you, you would not understand or accept it.” She avoided my confrontation in denial. I started crying out loud and couldn’t stop crying. My heart ached. It hurt helplessly. Chest pain. Heart-burn. Trouble with breathing. Red sirens were buzzing off all over my body. I was chocked up. I felt like fainting. Terrible headache. I was that 17 year-old girl beaten up physically and emotionally with blood and bruises outside and even more bruised and broken heart inside. I remembered what it was like being in that room abandoned and experienced it again. It was a war for me without any weapons or shields. I got defeated. Excruciatingly painful. Despair. Tears. Heartache. Fear.
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You are just 5 years old. You are innocent. You have never done anything wrong. All you wanted was to be accepted, loved and held. But nothing was given to you. You felt left out, abandoned, ignored, criticized, abused verbally, psychologically and physically by your parents and teachers those who you trusted. You never felt safe, cared for and comfortable. You suffered from anxiety, anger, disappointment, sorrow, worries, unworthiness, and loss. You were miserable. You felt so stuck, trapped, and hurt. There was no way out for you. You were too scared to get hurt again by any other human-beings. I see you naked and frozen with countless scars all over your body in the dark alone. You have been in that state for 35 years inside my body deep inside my subconsciousness. You are scared to death beyond words. You have been hurt, scarred and hurt again, again, again, and again before your scars got healed. Countless wounds with bleeding. You had no voice. You had no power. You were completely helpless and hopeless. You just wanted your life to be ended but too scared to end your own life. You were too young to kill yourself. I see you now. I know that you exist in me. I am so sorry that I have not paid attention to all the signs that you have sent me for the past 35 years by having me paralyzed, frozen, sick with all kinds of physical pain and symptoms. How could I not recognize that you were there despite all the signs that you were sending off so hard and consistently?
I still see you alone in the dark. Shall I come by and give you my hand? You are too scared to look at me. You wouldn’t turn your head over me. Do you want me to hold you? Would you like to be held? I know you have never been held by anybody. But I am here now. May I come slowly and carefully giving you a hug?
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Once I started coloring, it started making more senses to me with clearer images and feelings and helped me realize what it was about. I was even able to name the paining as two selves in one, separated but connected. . .
Having somewhat pretty annoying and cloudy headache on upper forehead and head area. Going to sleep soon tonight. Will try to find time and self-discipline to write tomorrow. I’ve got so much to write and draw, yet have failed to do so. Experienced paralysis with dissociative amnesia several times for the past few weeks, just more than 3 times in the past 7 days. That 6 year-old wounded girl with anger, helplessness, terror, horror, grief, loss and devastation completely took my body and mind over and froze me for hours each time. Just started trying to communicate with her. She hasn’t responded, yet. Will keep trying and figure out how to reach out to her. Since therapy and group therapy with psychologists and hypnosis therapy with a psychiatrist, I’ve become exhausted both physically and mentally fast and easily. This takes a toll on me in the process of healing. Long, yet rewarding journey. Don’t push. Step by step. One step at a time. One day at a time. Baby step.
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I have become used not acknowledging my physical and emotional troubles and needs until my body breaks down. My subconsciousness had developed psychosomatic disorder with a variety of symptoms from headache to stomachache with bloated belly that looked like a 3-4 month-pregnant body which got me worried seriously at some point in my 30ies. I had spent significant amount of money, time and energy on going to large medical centers and seeing specialists with symptoms that doctors were unable to diagnose, yet had refused to go see a psychiatrist because I didn’t want to have myself labeled as a mentally ill patient. Yes, I felt ashamed of seeing a psychiatrist who might diagnose me as a patient with mental sickness. I did not want my worries to become my reality because I was too afraid to deal with the reality. I was really hoping that I would be diagnosed with something that has nothing to do with mental illness so that I would not have to face the past traumatic experiences through counseling and treatments. My consciousness avoided such experiences yet it could not stop them from happening throughout my body which is called psychosomatic disorder to my understanding. I want this to stop and no longer want to suffer from the horror and terror caused by the past events in my life. I choose to be happy and to have power to take care of me both physically and emotionally. I want to find help to relieve unresolved psychological and emotional issues that have made negative impacts on myself and my life so that I can finally truly move forward. . . I have often failed in all areas of my life and have fallen very badly hitting the rock bottom leading to despair and depression. I have re-experienced the horror, helplessness, terror, and isolation over and over and have lived in shock. This has to end. I recently started working with psychologists and a psychiatrist as the first step. It has been difficult going through therapy and treatments as it is often making me feel terrified, however I keep telling myself not to give up. I crave intimacy, yet find it extremely difficult with intimacy when it is about to happen and somehow find a way to remove myself from it by running away. Let’s take the baby step and take one day at a time. As an example, let me go outside and feel the warm of sunshine with gratitude.
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One of diagnosis by a clinical psychologist I received from a psychiatrist is personality disorder with histrionic tendency. It immediately made me feel bad to be diagnosed with personality disorder. But I told myself that healing would start beginning with self-acceptance of the problems and how much I wanted to get better and happier. I have already refused to see a psychiatrist voluntarily or with force because of such bad stigma on mental illness among Koreans based on Korean culture and perception. I thought I was already victimized enough and didn’t put myself into a position to have myself labeled as a mental illness patient because it would be shameful with unwanted criticism and judgment from those who had zero understanding and empathy for people suffering from mental illness. Because I knew that would bring even more pain. I was scared of getting criticized and judged even further more than motivated to seek for help. . .
I no longer carry shame and bad stigma for having mental issues for myself to educate not only myself but others with the goal of getting better and happier to healing. I want to be wholesome and free from all kinds of emotional and psychological hang-ups and burdens that have been weighing me down causing a lot of suffering and pain which made it difficult for me to function in work place and to build secure and healthy relationships. This is a big step to my healing journey which will bring amazing experiences with big shifts in my life. I no longer cry silently. I can cry out. What a progress. Now I slowly start learning my emotions that have been repressed for over 30 years and enjoy exploring them. There are no such bad feelings. Feelings are not good or bad. I learn to experience my feelings for what they are without repressing them no matter how scary and difficult they may hit me. I pray for courage and strength. I believe in the power within myself even though I don’t have full understanding of it.
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I did some research online to learn about Dissociative Amnesia today. It made me feel uncomfortable to accept that I have mental health issues but also realized without self-acceptance, I would not get better. I think it’s NOT shameful to have experience mental health issues and to seek for help and solutions for healing. I do want to get better and happier overcoming this long and heavy shadow and clouds of pain that my body and mind have been carrying for over 30 years of my life. How hard it must have been? It’s time for me to cut off this vicious cycle and move forward. . .
After three visits with a Korean female psychiatrist and 2 hour-psychological tests with a clinical psychologist, Dr. Soh told me that she would like to try clinical hypnosis for my next appointment regarding dissociative amnesia. She told me that dissociative amnesia was the way how I have dealt with traumatic events and emotional distress since I was young. EMDR wouldn’t work well with me because I couldn’t remember the past events well and how they made me feel. I have had a very difficult time to recognize my feelings and to understand what they are and mean to me throughout my life because my parents were emotionally, psychologically and verbally extremely abusive to me without any emotional coaching and I learned not to express my emotions by repressing them because of even more abuses coming from them when I expressed my thoughts and feelings as a child. I became very withdrawn keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself as a loner throughout all school years and was very lonely and isolated lost in my thoughts and feelings that I eventually was unable to recognize and forget later years.
I keep a positive mind listening to positive affirmations on audio book when I am home alone. There is just so much negativity out here in Seoul. When I was in San Francisco Bay area, I felt and experienced so much better and healthier psychic environment for me to get healed both mentally and physically. Most physical symptoms were relieved and I could not feel any better when I was visiting there for extended periods of time. That’s why I made three trips to San Francisco Bay area one after another. I had amazing support from old and new friends who were so kind and generous to me with compassion and empathy allowing me to stay with them and taking care of me. I started finding myself slowly and gradually let go of all kinds of emotional and psychological hang-ups and issues that are associated with social, cultural and familiar backgrounds and history of mine.
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Trigger Warning: Sexual assault/rape/domestic violence
I sometimes wonder whether I should share my true feelings with people or not. I don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable or bad by sharing my true feelings that are not always positive. I sometimes deal with anger, shame, depression and such as it comes to me overwhelmingly which makes me feel helpless. I am learning to cope with it in a more controlled and positive way so that I will not feel helpless and unsafe any longer. I am no longer living with the abuser. I keep distance from my father for my mental wellness to keep me from any unwanted verbal and psychological abuse and anger from him. Nobody can harm me in any way. But there is a sense of fear and horror stored in my body system that often comes out and hits me. It’s 3:29 a.m. now and I will go to sleep. Slept all day because I was sick with runny nose, sneezing, headache and fever. I stayed in bed all day. I don’t feel terrible about being sick alone as I used to any longer. That’s progress. I emailed a couple of friends of mine in the U.S. that I was sick with a cold. They all emailed me back that they were hoping that I would get better. They are wonderful. I love them. . .
. . . My psychiatrist told me that I had power and potentials to smile big again no matter where I was. She told me to thin of a happy place that I could think of. I thought of the park by Fort Mason in San Francisco where I went almost every day when I lived there. Interestingly, physical symptoms of anxiety and fear after she asked me to talk about my rape experience were relieved. She told me about the power of my mind over my body. Psychological distress causes physical pain. That’s how I could put somatization disorder, simply.
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I was sleepy and tired but did not want to go home for rest. Instead, I took almost 2 hour-walk along the mountain after lunch with big appetite and went to the gym to work out for 2 hours despite tiredness and migraine. By the time I got home, it was past 10 p.m. I cooked soup with fish cake, onion, oysters, an egg, dumplings and sea weeds. Because I had late dinner, I stayed up late knowing it would not be healthy eating and sleeping right away. I stayed up until 5 a.m. job searching and sending my resume to a few Korean internet startups for a marketing position opening. I also chatted with a new acquaintance in San Francisco on Skype while he is at work. I asked him questions about Korean startups and their products for his insight. A bad cycle. I am up until 4 or 5 a.m. and get up around noon not feeling quite refreshed and rested. Because of messed up sleep cycle, there is hormone imbalance in my body system accordingly which increases my appetite.
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Tonight, S. told me that he was also interested in exploring a deeper relationship with me. I totally did not expect to hear that from him. I started telling him how much I wanted to be with me and how hard it made me feel with emotional conflict. He has been thinking about it lately with realization that he has become more and more busy with his career and he would not have time for a normal romantic relationship. Most women would not want a relationship with him because he is too busy with his work and unavailable. Would that make him more positive about pursuing a long distance relationship with me because he is unavailable for a normal relationship with someone locally so that it wouldn’t really make any difference anyway for him despite our distance? He’s a software engineer using more logic than feelings unlike me. I was actually thinking about that, too. He is too busy with work anyway and has really no chance to date someone out there who would tolerate his unavailability. He is too busy to date and build a relationship when he works for 12 hours, goes to bed by 9 or 10 p.m. and gets up at 4 or 5 a.m. He lives with his mother in her studio paying her rent and sleeping on the floor to save money. He wants to buy her a house in 2 years when she gets retired in Seattle and plans on living and working overseas. He’s focusing on building his career and saving money for that. He talked about coming to Korea and living and working with me as a possibility. Well, I asked him to choose Korea and he said yes. We both like each other, find each other very attractive and enjoy each other’s company. If/when we are living in the same geographic area, nothing should stop us from being in a relationship, should it? I refuse to be his platonic roommate. . .
I . . . expressed my emotional conflict with my unrequited love knowing he was unwilling to try out a relationship with me because of long distance. For me, it’s the person whom matters the most, not other conditions. He’s the most handsome, attractive, charming and beautiful man in the universe to me. Yes, I am crazy about him and am into him. Every time I look at his photo and his face on Skype/FaceTime, my heart beats fast with excitement. I get hypnotized. It’s real and rare. I know it’s special.
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Thought of going to church for a few seconds but lost the track of time while reading blogs and Web sites on histrionic personality disorder and somatization disorder. I received the results from psychological tests ( 1. Korean-Wechsier Adult Intelligence Scale: Doppelt version, 2. Bender Gestalt Test, 3. House-Tree-Person Test, 4. Roschach Ink Blot Test, 5. MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), 6. Sentence Completion Test, 7. Clinical Interview ) last Friday with a psychiatrist. It was suggestive of 1. Somatization disorder, 2. Personality problem (Histrionic tendency), 3. Intensive individual psychotherapy. Dr. Soh suggested psychoanalysis treatment and hypnotherapy. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with her at 4 p.m. Pretty excited about how this therapy would help me get better. With the limited time and support unto 8 free sessions with this psychiatrist recommended by my counselor at Korean sex crime crisis center whom I met once last month, I am committed to doing everything I can to recover from my mental health issues. . .
I want to get better, heal and be happier. I have suffered from sharp and overwhelming pain, horror, terror, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and sorrow silently for over 30 years. No more. I want joy, happiness, laughter, enlightenment and love. I want to put all the past behind and move forward. No more vicious relationship cycle with emotionally unavailable or impossible men. I want to focus on positivity and good feelings now. There is no tomorrow. Only now exists.
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I am going to write up things that are going through my mind that probably often scare me or discourage me in order to reach out to the world for help, encouragement, and love. This is to help me continue to go on with this journey without giving up. I want to be heard not to feel isolated and abandoned which makes me tempted to let go of myself. It would be a great sense of relief letting things out rather than repressing them to myself which would make it even more difficult. . .
I deserve to be loved. You deserve to be loved. We all deserve to be loved. I am the most important creature in the whole universe. So are you. I believe in the power of love. Love begins within ourselves. I am practicing to learn how to love myself.
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