The PTSD symptoms haven’t been too bad lately, it feels so good to realise that. I am sure it’s because we haven’t done any trauma work in therapy for a while which means it isn’t all as close to the surface as it has been. There are plenty of triggers around, dissociation comes and goes and I’ve had some hyper vigilance.. particularly last Monday (which was horrendous). In general though, I’ve noticed the symptoms have been quieter (yay!).
I’ve been able to leave the house more easily, I’ve been able to do the school run twice a day, with little problem. We saw friends yesterday, which was a little difficult at first, but I did it. Up until recently, I’d been barely leaving the house. It has shown me that things have been so hard because I’ve been doing trauma work. Going over that stuff, brings so much to the surface, which makes the PTSD worse.
This gives me hope that once therapy is done, I can lead a “normal” life. I know we will be back to trauma work soon and I know I’ll probably struggle again, but you know what? That’s ok, if it’s short term, if there’s an end. The symptoms having been noticeably quieter since moving away from trauma work, it gives me hope that it will be better long term once therapy is over.
I had a terrible day last Monday. I was in a flashback for hours, my body was responding to a fear that I didn’t actually have. It’s not something I’m going into much right now, but after bringing it up with my T on Friday, we talked about what was behind the fear (the set of memories it took me back to) and I realised that while it is horrible and painful, it is no longer traumatic. The response Monday was because of a trigger and I couldn’t do anything to prevent that. It wasn’t a flashback of an unprocessed memory (as I often get out of nowhere) it was simply a body response to a trigger that I couldn’t avoid. I was angry at that, angry that it affected my husband, angry that I may have those sort of triggers forever, angry that even though I’ve processed that memory, I may still have flashbacks. That’s kind of another post, but I’ve been thinking today how it’s actually a positive too. I have processed these set of memories, I realised Friday that I didn’t need to go back into the details of it, I realised that I could recall it easily and put it away again. It wasn’t buried. Don’t get me wrong, last Monday was horrible and the memories have been way too near and the anger over it remains an issue, but it’s an improvement!
My T would say how I feel right now is all positive, all progress. I see his point, but even with the positives, it’s not even anywhere close to plain sailing. The PTSD symptoms are improved for sure, but there’s still lots going on. I’m aware I’ve been suppressing anger, I’m aware that I’m trying not to think about the pain and the devastation I feel at this stage. I’m journalling very little and I’m extremely busy all the time, frankly, I’m trying to avoid it when I can. I am aware I am still not through the other side of accepting what this really was. I’m continually shocked by the idea of grooming. I’m questioning lots of things, I’m struggling with my relationship (do I even have one?) with God. I’m looking at so many memories differently, the facts haven’t changed, but the way I view them has.
It’s so painful, it’s so hard. I am not having an easy time at all. But again, there’s hope. These feelings need to be felt, they won’t last forever. One day therapy will be done, the PTSD should improve vastly when trauma work is completed. One day the pain and grief will subside. I think I really am going to be OK!
Do you know how good it feels to say (type) that?
Ok, dissociation has kicked in after touching on the subject of grooming I guess, so I think it’s time for a break.