December 22, 2012

Post Secret

I just saw this on the Post Secret website ( It's an email that someone sent:
I was at the PostSecret Event in London. I didn't find the courage to go up to the microphone, but if I had been able to, this is what I would have said.
I spent so long feeling guilty, feeling ashamed of my sadness, and you know what? It just made me sadder. You are allowed to be sad, you are allowed to be angry, you're allowed to be depressed. We all deserve to feel our own sadness in our own time.
Something you will have heard before - you deserve to be happy. That, of course, is not always easy to hear, especially in the depths of depression - so let me add something. You deserve to be happy - but you don't have to be happy right now or all the time.
It is okay to be sad, it's okay to not be ready to be happy yet. One day you will be ready to recover - that day doesn't have to be today or even tomorrow, as long as you know and trust me that it will come.
It's okay not to be okay.
Thanks for everything Frank,
Holly, London
P.S My secret is that I decided last night that I'm ready to recover and it's going to be incredible.
I like everything about this email. I've always had a hard time feeling like it's OK to feel sad or depressed - so when people told me that I deserve to be happy, it just made me feel guilty that I didn't feel happy. I think it should be required to add that it's also OK to not feel happy at the end whenever you say that.

December 19, 2012

The Power of Manipulation

I had a little bit of insight into how distorted my thoughts were - especially as a child - because of the manipulation I was subjected to... I remembered something the other day that is a despicable example of how I was manipulated. Even though I don't have the best perspective on my own distorted thoughts, this example is just so completely illogical that it's clearly wrong.

So here's the story: I have been getting some laser hair removal treatments on my legs and it can be a little bit painful, especially for the first few treatments. I had an appointment the other day, and the technician must have turned the laser setting up high and she was being very thorough so it was much more painful than usual. It was so painful, in fact, that my legs would involuntarily spasm every once in a while. I was so embarrassed that I kept apologizing. It felt really familiar for some reason, and then I remembered having a similar jerking reaction in response to the pain of being raped. What's weird is that I also remembered being embarrassed when it happened then too. And this is the messed up part... The reason I was embarrassed is because he would get angry with me for jerking my leg. Let me say that again in a different way: I felt guilty that I couldn't control an INVOLUNTARY response to the pain that HE was causing ME.  

Most of the time, I find it hard to feel angry at this particular person because I'm still pretty emotionally detached from a lot of the stuff that has to do with him because it's hard to think about. This probably isn't even the worst manipulation I was subjected to, but when I remembered it, it was just a "what the fuck" moment. I think this might be the type of disgust that other people feel when I tell them things that have happened. Usually I'm embarrassed because I feel disgusted with myself - but I'm (pretty) sure that they just feel disgusted with the people who did it to me.

December 8, 2012


I can't really tell if I'm doing OK or if I'm just detached from my emotions... maybe a little bit of both? If that's possible? It's like a lot of the time I feel fine but life feels a little surreal, which actually makes being at work easy. Then in the evening I get flashbacks and obsess about stuff that's happened or feel really irritated. Then at night when I'm sleeping I have crazy dreams where I have super intense emotions to make up for the lack of emotions during the day.

The epic battle that goes on in my head about whether all of my memories are true or not is still ongoing. I had this memory that somehow made me really accept that what happened is real. Then a few days later I happened to drive past someone who abused me and suddenly I doubted myself again. Why do some perpetrators have to look so normal?? I feel like he should look like some big scary monster...

Sea of Shame

November 25, 2012
This drawing is my shame in a nutshell. The black/grey "sun" thing in the corner is where I want to disappear into when I'm feeling really bad about myself. It would probably make more sense to describe it as a black hole. A sense of humiliation makes me wish that I could just shrink so small that I don't exist anymore. The sea of green represents the vastness of the shame that I feel. Sometimes it feels like I'll never be able to deal with all of it and convince myself that I don't really have to be ashamed of all of the things that happened when I was young.