Living in the Maze

Sometimes my life feels like a hellish maze of PTSD and dissociation.  I believe there is an exit, but I don’t know how to get there so I wander blindly through the twists and turns. 

Photo credit: Jiri Hodan

Recently I was feeling anxious and jittery.  I decided that I would try some journaling to try and figure out what was bothering me.  So I opened my journal and I promised myself I would just “free write”. No censoring, just free-write.  I don’t have to let anyone read it ever so it doesn’t matter what comes out.  Just write the words as they come to my mind.  So I wrote, and wrote and wrote, and when I was finished I felt better.  I felt purged. 

A couple weeks later I had a quiet moment and I decided to go back and read that entry.  I was surprised what I found there.  I did not remember writing much of it, and was surprised by a lot of what I read.  What was written was haunting and painful.  What I wrote was true.  All brought it back to me in living color.  The memory was pregnant with feelings of fear, and as I read, I felt it as if it were happening for the first time. 

Now a couple days later, it stalks me.  Though I try to avoid it, the feelings are never far from conscious thought.  I know the key to feeling better is to talk about this in therapy.  It is the only way to air it out and get some relief, and yet can you understand what it will take to do that?  I feel trapped.  Talking about it in therapy would mean allowing myself to feel it and sharing it with another person.  I can’t go there.

So I face a “T” in the maze and in every direction there is pain.  This time, I know which way I need to go, but I need some courage that I don’t have right now to move forward.  Instead I will sit here and listen to a comforting song, and cry and hope it brings me courage.

Remember The Hunger Games?  I need some sponsors.  I need care packages.  Anyone got some courage, faith and hope you can send?


  1. A friend of mine just posted this as her status: "You know it's a voice of fear because it almost always starts objecting a new idea with a word 'but' . It screams for you to get back into your comfort zone…" … this chapter will be good. I have no idea what book that's from, but it just seemed like serendipity that I read her post, then your blog entry. I don't have a packet of anything to send into your world to make it possible for you to do what needs to be done, but it does seem like it's clear to you that talking this over in therapy is a necessary next step. Prayers for you to have the courage to do it sooner rather than later so you don't have to keep fearing what's around those "T" corners. I'm so sorry for what happened to you in your past and how it haunts your present. Hugs to you and know that you are being thought of and prayed for as you face your demons. And I'm glad that in the midst of it all you're able to find humor in life — loved your "double dating" suggestion to the kids! ;)-Kristina

  2. Leslie, Here is the start of healing to a deeper sense. I am send you my hope, courage and faith to talk this out. I promise you that it will help in more ways then you can imagine at this point. If I had your address I would send you a true package to remind you of your worth and so you could take the time needed to once again start this healing process. There are so many layers and each one brings its own challenge and hope. Look deeper and you will find the hope of that child wanting to let go and put this in the past where it needs to be. Remember I have been in your shoes and know. Cindy

  3. Leslie,When I have something that painful written in my journal I read it to my therapist, not once, but as many times as I need to in order to release the emotions and make it part of my history. Sometimes I cannot talk about the horror, but reading it, really reading it and feeling it at the same time helps tremendously.My T helps me through it and helps me to reach the emotions. Have faith that you can get through the material since you really…. already have.

  4. Leslie, I found your blog from a comment you posted on The Weed. I too am a survivor of childhood abuse – physical, sexual and emotional. I recently posted on my blog "remembering the 11 year old I was". With my sexual abuse I found the most healing came from testifying at the trial that put my abuser behind bars. Have I totally healed – nope and in some ways I don't think that it is totally possible. It is possible to have some peace in your life. I believe that I will always have flashbacks, there are some things that will always make me uncomfortable. It has gotten easier for me to deal with it all.I don't really have a package I can send you cyber hugs and plan on following your blog.Hugs.

  5. Hey, Leslie. This is Karen from Segullah. I am sorry about your being victimized. It's horrid, and it's not fair. I wish that I could offer you step-by-step guidance, but I don't have the experience as a survivor or as a licenced therapist. But I wanted to witness to your pain and offer my (all too human and imperfect) support as we share this time, this space together. And I can call on the powers of heaven to support you in my own little feeble way. Warmth and light to you, dear Leslie. Thank you for submitting to the blog. I think that you helped invigorate the community to talk about this tender subject. It seems from you comment that others provided some comfort. It's a hard road are walking, but I have faith that your strengths and God's tender mercies can guide you out.

  6. I recently read a note I wrote to myself reminding me how cruel, mean, and abusive to my children my X husband was. I have to remind my self to stay mad so he wont worm himself back into my good graces. I also put it all away on the shelf in the back of my head so I won't think about it all the time, but some times I have to be reminded i feel sad, cry and get mad. Anger helps me get busy. Then I make the hard decisions. Leslie I know you hardly ever get angry, so … For halloween this year I want you to make a scare crow guy, very scary. Place him in your front yard for the week! Read your journal, get angry, and go beat up that thing in your front yard with a bat. You can rebuild him as many times as you need. Releasing the hurt and anger feels good, who knows what the theiripest will say. LOL Charice

  7. Hello everyone! Sorry to take so long to reply…but I was, you know, in a bad space. I'm feeling better today so:Kristina, I love that quote, thanks. I think that was indeed serendipity.Emily, more than once? Oi ve! Thank you for reminding me that I did already get through this once. I can do it again. I sure wish I didn't have to…Margaret, welcome! Saying your will follow my blog is a great care package. I am going to visit your blog as well. I am so glad you were able to testify and get your abuser put away where he can't hurt any more children. Thanks for commenting!Karen, thanks so much for coming by. I remember that yours was one of the comments I liked in particular, thank you for that. Thank you for your kind words. Prayers are always welcome, :).Charice, I love that idea. I seriously think I will do it. I can just see myself kicking the ugly old thing each time I walk by. I'll have to take a picture and post it on the blog. I'm fairly sure my therapist will love the idea.Thanks everyone, your love and support DOES help.

  8. Cindy, sorry I meant to respond to you in the other comment…I am sleep deprived. Thank you, it is encouraging to have you tell me that it will get better. So true what you said about layers, man on man.

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