Offloading

I have been writing since I came home from therapy almost two hours ago and I really need to share some of it. 

I don’t think a trigger warning is needed, but perhaps a caution to those who know me. It’s honest and perhaps a little darker than normal….

 

As I made my way home, I was driving towards the clouds.  I noticed the light cutting its way through them and an almighty rage within me began to grow. Rage at the world.  At the light.

At Him. 

 

How dare there be sunshine today? How can there be light and beauty in such a dark and ugly world?

I cannot help but feel that He is mocking me..today, He is but a cruel and distant King.

 

The very ones who should know better. The ones who proclaim to serve Him. Them. They did it. And so the list grows longer. Too many. 

 

What is wrong with them? What is wrong with me? 

Was it me? Could it be my fault, for being her?  My fault for being me?

 

There will no be closure. Not for this. There are no answers waiting for me. Who would even believe me? 

 

 

So, how can there be beauty today and how does the sun continue to shine? 

When all I see is darkness, how dare there still be light?

 

 

 

 

 

Missing me.

Things have been better.. I have felt better. 

Although the nightmares have worsened and the flashbacks at times intense, I have been relaxed. I have been content.

I have felt grounded, I have felt at times a sense of peace. I have felt freedom in the good that has consistently been following the bad. I have felt powerful. I have felt strong. I have felt more like me than I ever have before.

Isn’t that incredible?

Being truly me, is the most liberating feeling I have ever experienced.. That, I know now, is the key to finding peace. 

 

Yesterday  it all came crashing down, tipped over the edge and back into reminders of what I am containing, what was done and what I still have to face. The fall was so much harder, than I ever could have imagined. Like I was pulled out of the heights of freedom, back to the depths of my hell. I hit the ground with a bump, I can tell you. I feel worse than ever right now.

I am back to feeling burdened. I am back to feeling trapped.

 I am surrounded by darkness, I am stuck in this funk, again. 

 

I am not sure I feel anything but an inescapable emptiness.

 

I feel as empty as I did back then. Is this a flashback, am I triggered? Is it a part of healing? Is this just a feeling? 

The emptiness worries me greatly, because only one thing could ever fill that void. And that scares me, more than anything else in this world. 

 

I long to feel as I did just a few days ago. Even while feeling pain and trauma, I remained confident and strong.

(Perhaps it is the feelings that make me more like me?!- something to explore another time?)

 

 

Where is the person I have been beginning to like? Where has she gone? 

Growing.

The deeper I go in therapy, the more I learn about myself. Who I was, who I am and how I feel. It’s been a rough ride. It still is.

As part of that learning process, I am getting closer to having to face who I used to be and that causes such discomfort and pain. It is all so very close right now. I remember how it felt to be betrayed, to have my trust broken and how it was to be so alone.

My memories are clearer, I am remembering new memories or filling in incomplete ones. It’s scary and painful, but I am managing to compartmentalise at least. Filing away issues and memories until I am ready to process is something I am becoming quite good at now.

In this process of self discovery, particularly recently, I am beginning to find aspects of myself that I like. And surprisingly, despite the shame, I am even finding myself increasingly defensive over who I used to be.

I am self soothing better than I have ever done before, which is particularly helpful during all the pain I’ve been experiencing lately. Not only do I know how to comfort myself,  but I actually want to. I finally feel I deserve that at the very least.

There has most certainly been a shift. A change in my self perception. It is split into two, where there is fear and shame and self loathing, but at the same time there exists a very real and growing self worth. There is joy in what I have now and great hope for the future, that even in the darkest moments lately, still shines through.

I am growing stronger, I feel more powerful than I have ever done before. I feel that strength and power residing within me, as part of me. The more I feel, the more aware of it I am. Whether it be love or pain, or joy or grief, it continues to grow. Is it that the closer I get to feelings, the more I become the person I should have always been? Is this what feeling is?

 

 

Something happened last night. Something awful and terrible. Or perhaps I should rephrase. It actually happened many years ago. Last night, through an awful flashback, I remembered that something. It is something that has been hidden from me. Or more, I hid it from myself.  It is something completely unexpected, something outside of anything I have explored before, that has me questioning myself. It is something that is feeding the shame that is already so very close. It is something that has the power to make my world implode. It is certainly trying to shake my foundations right now.

I think, had this happened any time before now, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it, not in the way I have today. Because today I am confident in my own abilities and I trust myself enough to know that this did happen and I know I am not lying.

That trust in myself doesn’t take away the pain and the conflict or even the shame and it won’t distinguish the very real fear of “who will believe me?” ..but I feel I have something to hold onto.. and that something is me. I am the only one who has been here for me all the way through. I protect me, I save me and now finally, I am confident that I believe me- I long for the day when that is enough.

Now, for that something? Well, I cannot keep it to myself, but how do I admit to this? I have to put it away I guess. Put it aside, just like every other new memory lately. I have to hold onto myself, because I know, as all the times before, it is my strength that will get me through.

Exposed.

I feel so exposed. Have I over shared? Did I go too far today?

I wish we were done with this. I am so sick of using that word. It’s a word I despise. A word I refuse to type right now. A word I loathe to say.

It is a word I have used a great deal lately, to describe a part of me that I cannot shake. It is a part I have faced today , a part I have been hiding, even from myself.

It all fits a little too well and with something so deeply ingrained, it cannot simply dissipate.

No matter how much I reject it, or argue with myself, that word remains, swimming around my head.

Am I her? Or is she me?

 

They created her. It was a given identity, one that was never ever wanted. One that has never gone. How could they do that to a child?

 

I find myself with horrific nightmares this week. Not of rape, not of trauma, but of words that were used to describe me. Nightmares where I am again, the identity they forced on me. It is those words they used that have me waking most nights lately, screaming into my husband’s chest. I am shocked by the depth of the wounding. I am disturbed by the impact this has had. Broken. A shattered soul. Not just from rape, but from what I was forced to become. It is a label that has never left me, no matter how hard I try to conceal it from the world.

 

When I am triggered, I feel like that person again. A darkness descends, sort of enveloping me and I become cold and even aggressive and spiteful. I barely recognise myself, yet at the same time, it’s oddly familiar and even comforting somehow. I cannot continue living as two people though. The cross over feels like a death itself. It is draining forever clawing my way back from that Hell.

I do not want to feel those things. I do not want to be her. I do not want to feel like a lesser person, living half a life again.

I do not want to be despised any longer for surviving the only way I knew how.

 

 

I am filled with rage right now. Angry at those who do not deserve to know my pain. Even here I am beginning to feel exposed and unsafe.

 

Fighting for hope.

It’s like a Thursday ritual.. therapy procrastination equals a blog post.

 

I am desperate to see my T for reassurance and guidance tomorrow. I’ve been hanging on all week… I am afraid of what I feel. I am afraid of what may happen. I am deeply afraid that I am going to be left alone..

It’s been a tough week, horrible, horrible thoughts. Dissociation and flashbacks. Fear and loneliness.

 

I am not suicidal, I do not want to die. But there are fleeting moments of  “what if?” “Is this impossible” “What if I cannot?” My children and their dependence on me quickly eradicate those thoughts. I have to always look for hope, especially in my darkest moments. He cannot win. I will not allow that.

 

I do not want to self harm. But there are times this week when it has crossed my mind.. When I am in the shower, with the razor close to hand…it feels like it is almost calling to me. Like a long lost friend. And I have to take a stand and be firm with myself. I remind myself that I have been hurt enough. My body is scarred enough. I must not and cannot do that to myself. I do not need to bleed for him any longer.

While the moments pass and the thoughts fade, it is only a matter of time before they return again. And then I must battle to find myself….The 30 something year old woman, who can handle things without hurting herself. I am not that teen anymore, those thoughts do not have a place here any longer.

I know this is probably to be expected, I am struggling with my own identity because I am battling shame. Shame has to be the worst thing I have felt. It is like a burning inside me and I guess it has always been there, smouldering deep within me. Now it is at the surface and I know the only way to extinguish it is to let it out.

And then, what if? What if I cannot do it? What if I am not really the me I so desperately want to be? What if I am her? What if I am still those things.

So many questions with answers that can only come from myself.

 

 

It is snowing here right now (I hope it doesn’t last), it’s beautiful out there and it’s beautiful inside my house. My children laughing, there is warmth and there is light. When the dark thoughts take hold it is this I hold onto. It is the present that is my anchor. What I want, I already have. There lies my hope.

 

 

Too big?

I am comforted by the warmth from the nearby radiator, the smell of my new flowers and the presence of my youngest son cuddled next to me. I do not want to move. I do not want this moment to pass. I do not want to leave my home and make my way to work. I do not want to fight through another shift filled with dissociation.

I have seriously been considering a career break. Time at home, while I go through what seems to be the hardest part of my journey. Time to rest, time to heal. Then the burden of earning money for my family reminds me that it would be unwise right now. We are not broke, we could, just about, manage on one wage, but what if? And what about my own career long term? And I fear loneliness and isolation. The few friends I have either work full time or are too far away to visit regularly.

I am trying to keep in mind that this will pass too. The dissociation will improve again and I won’t come across quite the idiot that I am doing so right now at work. Last week, I swear, I was away with the fairies, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t speak coherently. That was until I met with my T and it all flowed out almost easily. It’s like there is just too much in my head and so much of those things, are so bad, so, very bad, that I am doing everything I can not to think of them. But there’s no room left for “normal” thoughts.. am I even making sense? It all feels crowded.. I feel claustrophobic in my own head.

I told my T something massive on Friday, or more I admitted to myself, while in his presence.. because I don’t think I could have done it on my own. It was and is so, very big. Big enough for my T to have some concerns about my ability to contain it between sessions.. which isn’t something he normally worries about.

It is the ultimate question, it is the very core of all my issues.

And it is so much bigger than me.

 

Today, I will go to work, I will fight through the dissociation and try to sound coherent. I will collect my child from school, I will cook and I will clean, because that is something I know I can do.. I know how to get through.

 

 

 

Positive effects of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Seriously?

Originally posted on Trauma and Dissociation:

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a ‘challenging’ (difficult) diagnosis to live with, and hard work to heal from. The symptoms seem ‘irrational’ and you may feel like you are ‘going crazy’ at first. One thing which is known to help reduce PTSD symptoms is finding positives which resulted from the PTSD. Many people speak openly about finding meaning after trauma, or experiencing Post-traumatic Growth.

Certain types of traumatic experience may make finding meaning from trauma seem almost impossible, for instance if the trauma included the deaths of others. Witnessing such an experience leaves many people with survivor guilt: the belief that others should have survived instead of them.

An alternative approach to seeking positives is to consider if some of your current, disruptive symptoms may have a few unexpected benefits. Here are some of mine:

Hypervigilance – alert to changes in environment which may indicate possible danger. If the temperature in…

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