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Living in fear


notmary
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Hi Notmary,

I used to live in fear, hourly, daily... a fear that was so terrifying that my legs would not support me and would crumble beneath the weight of my emaciated frame. I no longer live in fear, but I know it well.

This must be exhausting and consuming of all of your energy. Notmary, is your fear based on real or imagined situations? When your not afraid, are you able to talk about what brings on this fear? If so, can you give us a bit more information?

Please write back, we'll be here.

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Notmary,

Can you take 2-3 deep breaths, relax for a few minutes and just start typing in. Try 1-2 sentences first. I know this is very difficult, this I know from my experience.

Let me ask you something, if I qualify myself to you, will it help. If I tell you a little bit about why I understand, will it help you to open up a little?

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I am trying but it seems pointless.

I am so afraid that speaking of what has happened to me will lead to me being left alone. My fears aren't rational but they are with me whenever I allow myself a minute of down time. I am afraid of what I have remembered and what i might still remember. I am afraid of what I have discovered I am.

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Notmary,

Once you joined the "family", you stopped being alone. We are here precisely b/c we want to help, not to judge or find fault. No one is rejected here.

Let's start slow, but only say as much truth as you can tolerate for the moment.

Just answer with a yes or no. Are you afraid because you know something will happen or b/c you believe it will? This is an important start for us. You don't need to say more for now.

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Guest FourAnchors
Sometimes I am so afraid. I can't even speak about the fear because it overwhelms me.

I just wanted to welcome you for one, but more impotantly, I want you to know you are NOT ALONE in those feelings of being afraid.I hope over time you can feel comfortable enough to get small bits out..maybe just enough to give you the feeling that we will not abondone you.I think everyone here is dealing with very deep, emotional issues of some sort, which help us all connect to one another.My very warmest and most sincere wishes go out to you!!

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Good morning Notmary,

Much of it healed thru time. And some thru therapy. My fears then were very real and now they're imagined but kept alive by what I see and hear in the news.

To make a short story very long, I have to give you some background. Let me explain: there were thousands of days, especially when I was between the ages of 1-14, when getting up meant facing your greatest fears. Mine was a life of daily torture, abuse, neglect, beatings by the federal soldiers, sexual abuses, watching my family and community suffer under a brutal dictatorship, hunger, ... indescribable trauma after trauma after trauma-- too much for any adult and certainly overwhelming for a child.

Then there was that hopeful move (where success awaited us) to the US where we worked 14 hour days in the cotton, onion, tomato, garlic. melon, grape and lettuce fields in 100+ degree weather (this time was in the US). I wanted to be dead-- and daily I would think of ways I could die. Putting my hand in the hay-bailer, or falling in front of the tomato picker, a 2 story machine with giant scissors in front of it, or maybe just running after the crop planes and breathing/sucking in all the DDT they sprayed on us in hopes of being poisoned to death.

When we lived in Mexico, sometimes I would dream of escaping into "el monte"- the desert, never turning back and all the while knowing that if I did this, I would quickly die of either dehydration, heat exposure, being eaten by mountain lions or killed by a snake or hoard of javalinas. One day I decided to do this b/c I was done... I could no longer put up with the living conditions of a brutal government and the watching of a once proud people now being destroyed via executions, public beatings and other means. And so, like someone with no courage, I planned my escape and before dawn (4AM) I ran into el monte, my heart pounding with fear and my legs so weakened by this fear that they wouldn't move. At first I stumbled and stuttered along as my emaciated frame carried me as best it could. Soon I gained inner strength and ran for what may have been 3-5 miles. In the daytime I hid and then when I realized no one was after me, I started running more. By noon, my mouth was dry, the sun was beating on me, the temperature exceeded 115 and I was beaten by my own decision. I collapsed at around 3-5 PM and within 2-3 hours the vultures had spotted me crawling along. They landed near me, waiting for me to die or not be able to defend myself. It was the life battle now between the vultures, my dying thirst, hunger, the heat and my tiny frame.

I finally collapsed by nightfall. I have small images of being carried laying across a horses back. I awakened the next morning, not to a warm and sunny face of someone glad to see me, but with a stick the size of a 3ft. garden hose across the bottom of my feet-- I was being punished for running away by having my feet beaten until they bled and swelled, and looked like tiny squash. There was no escape it seemed, and I was back in the same world I had just run away from.

Now, it's my nightmares that frighten me... so sleeping is hard, being awake is easier. But, talking about it, as I have here (and did in 9 years of therapy in graduate school) and on several other posts where I tell different life stories, has been very healing and given me a stronger voice.

But even today, I will tell an occasional story and then pull away b/c there is only so much truth I can withstand-- you'll see this when my avatar changes from the pic of me to something else.

So, for you, it might be that you tell us, when you're ready, a little bit more.... as much truth as you can tolerate. We will listen with great compassion, warmth, understanding and patience. However, if you feel or believe that by telling us it will worsen your emotional situation and you don't have good support in your life (e.g., a very good therapist, an understanding and extremely supportive friend network or family), then I would suggest great caution before tearing at the scar tissue.

Good Luck and I hope this helps.

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Dear notmary,

I too live in fear, but I don't have any reason for it. It's heartwrenching reading stories like David O's and your allusions to something that *actually* happened to you. I have always had terror and fear but had no reason to! You'd think that simply knowing that I have no "real reason" for my fear would help me, but it's hard to control one's feelings in the grip of these terrors. When I was a child I feared my family members would try to kill me, that they all hated me and wanted me to die. I feel that way often about my current family as well. I am able to talk sense into my head most of the time, but the fear is still there.

I really hope you can get into some therapy, as you might have a bona fide case of PTSD going on, not a paranoia thing like some of us have.

I wish you the best and good luck!

Jane

PS: Keep reading what people post here. There are some amazing stories, that really give one hope and heart.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Notmary,

Please remember that your therapist can and will help you with PTSD. Also know that life is such that everyone lives with some degree of anxiety. Speaking for myself, and as a therapist, anxiety is a familiar emotion.

I hope you are sleeping OK. Sleep is a major help against PTSD.

Allan:

Question: How did you choose "Notmary" as your pseudonym?

Allan:)

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I sleep in bits, but have "monster" filled dreams and wake up in panic attack mode frequently. That has me feeling exhausted to go along with the fear. I see my therapist once a week and right now it is the only hour where I feel safe, which is a contradiction since that is the only hour where I talk about what is happening to me.

As far as "notmary"... I think it comes from the fact that I can't believe that this is happening to me. I work so hard to look and act like everyone else. It is almost like this is happening to someone else in my body.

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