My friend.

Well yesterday I couldn’t write at all, but today I have been able to some.

I’ve had a difficult day, I don’t remember the last time I felt this triggered. It’s horrendous, I had to leave the office several times because the memories were making me physically sick. It’s awful, the flashbacks are hitting me in waves. Each time I think I am in control it happens again.

This is normal? To be expected? I am not crazy, right?

The memories have not been dealt with, they are new and so I feel sick and traumatised each time they hit. I am counting the hours until I see my T.

Something I wrote earlier.

 

My only thought that day:

I would have sacrificed for you

Oh I should have found a way

so you wouldn’t know this too

 

Though together in this hate

it was never meant to be

I had accepted my fate

it was not for you, just me.

 

My chest felt crushed

and I could barely breathe

Yet the weight of the reality

was far greater than him.

 

I knew you were near,

we were never far apart.

A wall between our bodies

only served to bind our hearts.

 

Looking for a release.

I cannot face my journals at all right now. The log in screen for my online journal is enough to make my stomach drop. My paper one has remained locked away, whenever I consider it, I feel myself filled with dread. I know I would benefit from getting some of this out, but it’s as if what I need to release is buried underneath a whole heap of mess that I just do not want to, or cannot face.

I am an emotional wreck, quick to anger, I feel aggressive almost. At the same time, the tears come out of nowhere, briefly falling until I am back in control again. I feel like there’s a big ball in my chest, full of emotion waiting to be freed. It surges up inside me and almost spills over at times, but it’s not enough to provide any relief.

I know I need a release. I want and need to free what is buried beneath all the issues I have right now. I want to let go of some of this pain and anger. I do not like feeling this way, I feel sort of stuck, I’m not feeling what I need to feel, nor am I facing what I need to face. There’s so much dragging me down, anchoring me to the spot and not allowing me to move forward.

I am desperate to feel some inner peace right now. I need to hang on until I see my T on Friday, I am confident that he will help me find some sort of relief.

Venting.

 

As I carried my baby to his bedroom, with his head nuzzled into my shoulder, I reflected on my life now and how blessed I am. I always wanted to be a mother and to be a wife. I have those things, I couldn’t ask for a better husband and my children, while not always easy, are truly amazing. I love my job, I really do, it’s not what I saw myself doing, it doesn’t help people in the way I have always wanted, but for now, it’s pretty perfect. The hours suit and while it’s not rocket science, I really do excel at what I do. I like where I live right now, I (mostly) feel safe here.  I finally feel I have found somewhere I can call home. I have it so  good, I really do. For all those things and so many more, I am very grateful.

I should be happy I think? Look at all I have, all that should equal contentment. I am not happy though, I don’t remember when I last felt happy. I am not happy, I am not even OK. I will be one day, of that I am sure, but right now I am not there yet.

In terms of therapy, during the first half of the year, I disclosed a lot, we faced a lot of my demons, then we moved away from the details of my past and focused more on issues and feelings. While feeling pain is no fun, I felt somewhat stable. The PTSD symptoms continued to cycle, but I was doing better in day to day life. In recent months I have been venturing out of the house more, including taking my oldest child to school most days. My anxiety was noticeably reduced and my fears were calmer (yay!). Although things were not easy by any means, I felt more human, more like the old me at times. I even had some days where I felt good all day long. :).

Right now, it seems like those good days are a distant dream. We are back into disclosure and working through the details of my past. My anxiety is increased and with work pressures, home pressures and trauma anniversaries, I am feeling incredibly stressed out. The PTSD symptoms are worsened, I am sleeping better out of exhaustion I think, but waking shaky and disoriented. I am feeling triggered most of the day. I feel as if I am stuck half way between the past and now, unless I am constantly grounding. I know this is to be expected, I even know that it will get better again, but that doesn’t make it OK now. I keep thinking “I can’t do this anymore” (yet, I know I will). Quite frankly, it is exhausting.

I fear I am annoying people and frustrating those around me. While in the grand scheme of things, this therapy and this difficult time is short term, it actually feels as if it’s been going on for a long time. Some do not understand and some don’t seem want to (and I can understand that). I can imagine seeing my moaning Facebook updates or perhaps my inability to meet up must be frustrating to some. I go back and forth between thinking.. “well why should I hide this and the way I feel, when half the problem has been how secret this has all been for so long”, to thinking, “I need to just suck it up and deal with it quietly and put a brave face on to the rest of the world”. Why do I question myself so much? I don’t need the extra stress, worry and thoughts, my mind is working over time as it is.

I cannot switch off at all this evening, I don’t want to write, frankly, I haven’t journalled much at all lately, I am too exhausted for anything that involves moving off my sofa. I feel so wound up, too wound up to work out what I should do to relax. I guess I just feel like venting a little, because what I am facing right now is so hard, its enormity scares me, I sometimes fear it is maybe too hard.

The PTSD is horrible, remembering is horrible. Facing it is scary, feeling it is so painful. I do not want to do this again, but my damn stubborn streak keeps me moving forward. My desire to heal is greater than the fear and the pain. So face it I must.

 

 

My amazing therapy.

Therapy is amazing, it really is. If you are having a tough time, or simply want to do some self discovery, I thoroughly recommend it.

My T is a Person Centered T, I have little personal experience of any other types, so I cannot fairly compare, but wow.  Person centered therapy is judgement free, I feel validated all the way and I control what we talk about and when we talk about it.

Even 17 months in and therapy (and my T) continue to surprise me. I’ve trusted him for a good while now, but once again the trust deepened today. I’ve felt him with me all along, but today it was more than that. He saw my pain and he felt it, I know he did and it was like he was holding my hand (not literally!) through it. It was so emotional, I was moved by him holding my pain with me in that way, I could barely contain the tears.

Therapy has been different since his break. I am not exactly sure why, though I have some ideas, but I have relaxed more with him. I feel like it’s more equal than it has ever been before. I feel able to challenge him, I feel I can show him the real me. And he’s noticed too, he seems to feel more comfortable with me as well. He’s asking more questions, reading me better, pushing and then backing off without needing to be asked. Our relationship has changed and moved forward. I finally feel I really understand what he meant when he talked about the importance of the therapeutic relationship in healing. It really is massively important, more than I could ever have imagined.

I feel a lot right now, terrified of the weekend, full of guilt and shame and also trauma and a whole heap of pain (due to issues raised in therapy). But, I feel good about my relationship with my T. I feel supported and understood.

Anniversaries

This time of year is normally difficult for me, particularly in recent years. While last year was the first year I’d admitted my past, the years before had still often been difficult, I was just in denial I guess.

I have a number of anniversaries in Autumn and Winter. I am not sure if it is a PTSD thing, or an abuse/ rape survivor thing, or perhaps just me (though from what I read I doubt that), but anniversaries of trauma really are a big deal.

A lot of my past is a blur in terms of dates and time. Some sort of merge, some are missing completely, but there are a few however, that I just know when they took place. I wish I didn’t, it’s no choice, I wish I could just not remember. It isn’t as if I mark them on a calendar and count the days down. How do you un-remember something? How do you not remember a date that is significant for whatever reason?

The time of year is triggering in general. The smell of the air, the weather, the way everything looks as the seasons change. What makes it especially hard is that I actually love this time of year, Autumn, particularly. I love Halloween and Firework night. I love Christmas too. That just seems absurd, how can I love a time of year that reminds me? How can I love what reminds me of such traumatic times or even of (what I considered to be) good times that now sicken me?  I suppose it comes down to how I’ve handled this for so long. I always had two different sides of me. There was me who was abused and then the me who had no real awareness. That me, loved all the things about Autumn, those I’d loved since I was a child. Right now, I feel those two sides of me competing again. I dread this time of year, while also feel excitement at what these seasons bring. I look forward to crunching in the leaves with my boys, to the smell of Bonfires, to the Fireworks, to the school plays, the pretty lights etc. Yet I fear it all at the same time.

This weekend marks several anniversaries for me. The lead up is often worse, but that doesn’t mean the days themselves are easy. There’s something awful about knowing what went on that particular day years before.There’s something horrible about remembering what was done to me on the same day and at the time. It means a whole lot of grounding for me this weekend, which can be exhausting. It means that anything I bring out in my therapy session tomorrow, will be on the back burner, while I ground and contain.

One of the anniversaries I dread the most. I haven’t finished dealing with it in therapy, I have a long way to go with it for sure. So to say I am afraid, is an understatement.

Another, I have dealt with, in fact I would go as far as to say that it no longer controls me. It hurts and I feel anger for sure, but it is not consuming. It has not caused flashbacks or nightmares in a good few months now! I suppose there’s some anticipation at how I will feel this year, as it’s the first year since I’ve faced it in therapy. I am fearful that I will find it difficult and then will feel disappointed in myself for that.

I am so hoping that this year will be easier, different at least, somehow. Am I healed? I would like to say I have healed from it, yet that seems too far of a reach still. Can you really fully heal from rape? And if not, can you move on without being fully healed? Surely, there are some things in life that you just cannot completely heal from? Instead perhaps, you learn to live with them, to let go enough that it no longer rules you, in order for you to move forward. I do not expect to get over any of this. To take control, deal with the issues, feel as I need to and learn to live with it (without any denial), is what I am aiming for. Any more than that would be a bonus.

I am not over that night by any means (and as above, nor do I expect to be), but I am sure some healing has taken place. I know I am safe from the perps, I know it is over now. I know that night was not my fault. I have owned my actions, I have owned my feelings then and now. I feel pain when I remember, for sure. I wince even, when I talk or think of it, but it is massively different to what it was. I feel no need to go back into the depths of what went on that night, no need to describe the intimate details, yet I have and continue to find it helpful to share some of the story of that night with my husband. I hope when the time is right, I can share some of it with others that I trust too. 

Time will tell, as always. Hopefully, time (and a whole heap of effort and pain!) will bring more healing too.

Fears and Positives

 

So the week hasn’t improved, in fact its seems to be getting worse, woo, lucky me! I had an incredibly stressful day at work yesterday where I had to work an extra shift, I came home and kinda collapsed. Today, I have a cold. I guess it was to be expected. I feel like I’ve been fighting illness all week. I have taken the day off work today, sent the baby to the childminder and spent some time with my big boy, which hasn’t proven to be all that relaxing, but still, at least I am home. And it’s so good to be home!

I’m utterly overwhelmed right now, there’s so much going on, so much to deal with, so much to avoid too. I’m trying hard to focus on the good and recognise that this will pass because it has before and I hold on to the hope that it will again.

Today, I am grateful for my husband, who is taking care of me. I am grateful for my children, who seem to adore me. I am grateful for the good weather, the one nice day between the rain and wind storms this week. I am grateful for my home and the comfort I feel here. I am grateful for those in my “Circle of Trust” who continue to support and encourage me, particularly when things are bad. I am grateful for my family and for my friends. I am grateful for my job, however hard it can be, I do love it and I am good at it. 🙂

I fear tomorrow and what I know I need to face, I fear releasing what I know I feel and I’m desperately trying to keep a lid on. I fear letting go of what I’ve always known, I fear the reality of what was. But I look forward to seeing my T and the comfort and safety that he brings and most of all I look forward to taking another step towards healing.

It is hard right now and oh, how I wish it would end, but I do have a new life already and it is good to remind myself of that. My life is mine and it is here now. I am free and I am safe, I am loved and I love back. I am strong, even if I don’t feel it, I look back at all I have accomplished and I can see that strength and courage have to be within me to face all that I have and to come out victorious each time. I’m doing well and that is something to hold onto in during these dark days.

Horrible week

Wow, what a horrible week. I keep waiting for it to get better. Last therapy session was so very hard, my T was great as always, but it was really scary. I feel beaten up, I feel bruised inside and out. I don’t want to write about the session or how I feel, I feel too much. I don’t like the way I feel, I don’t want to address it, I don’t want to feel it, nor do I want it to go, because it feels deserved some how.

Some of the added stress this week (that I won’t got into) is probably my fault, I am not doing myself any favours. Last night I was awake in the night, I felt so overwhelmed and stressed, as usual, I struggled to get my thoughts to settle. I could see flashes of light, over and over and hear voices, my mind felt crowded and chaotic. I recognise that I am extremely stressed but I can’t seem to help myself out of it.  

My lovely husband has insisted I sit and relax this evening. I am trying to do as he has said while he’s busy doing everything that needs doing. I can’t concentrate on TV, reading has been out for months now (PTSD affects my ability to concentrate, reading particularly, I struggle with very short term memory loss when reading), I have a few other things I could try, but it seems too much effort. So I find myself on here, blogging, I am not even sure why. Is this helping? The poetry stuff helps for sure, but do the general moans/ updates? Perhaps. I think it helps to know people are reading. It helps to still log how I feel when I just cannot face using my journals and the thoughts that come out in those. 

I feel crappy, I’m fed up, agitated and full of self blame and guilt and I’ve had enough. But what choice is there, what is the alternative? I guess when things are this bad, the only way is up, right?