Dissociation. My angel.

I’ve been ill the last few days. Thankfully it is over now, but I can tell you, grounding is very difficult when you wake at all sorts of time and day and night, not knowing where you are.

I’ve been dreaming a great deal. Nightmares of things that happened. Some of which I had forgotten.

I’ve written down what I can. And in doing so, I’ve noticed a shift. A change in my perception of who I used to be. Maybe this will help the shame?

 

Writing this today, has been hugely emotional for me. She saved me. Time and time again.

 

*Trigger warning here. Please be careful.*

 

Is it pitch black? Or maybe our eyes are closed, why can’t we tell?

The smell is overpowering. That stench is unmistakable. It makes us want to gag.

But we are frozen to the spot, we cannot move an inch. Are we even breathing?

We know we should not make a sound.

Not when it is so close, when we know what is to come.  The smell is growing stronger and we are beginning to lose ourselves.

Is she up there watching now? Why does she come back down? Why does she return here, where there is terror, where there is agony. When the threat is far too close now, why won’t she go?

Listen to me now. Can’t you hear it too? A buckle.

A zip.

We don’t have long. We can hear him breathing, we can feel the pressure close now.

I got this. It’s time for you to leave.

Go now and rest.

 

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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.

 

 

Stressed.

I want to post. I want to post about society and abuse. I want to post more about Max Clifford and justice in general. I want to post about consent. I want to post about abuse and rape. I want to raise awareness and make changes.

Today though, I have to come first. Frustrating as it is, I am not OK- OK enough at least, to post about those things.

I am incredibly stressed out. It’s been building for days. After very little sleep and a screaming toddler this morning, my stress levels are now causing me concern. There is lots going on, plenty of things causing this. My stress is valid. I wish it would go away though.

I can’t sleep much, my shoulders and jaw ache from tension. My stomach is knots, I cannot face food. This morning, I have noticed that I am losing short periods of time- just a few minutes here and there where the dissociation is kicking in.

It is not abnormal for me to dissociate during times of stress, in fact it often kicks in at the slightest stress, but when I start to lose time, I know I need to take some action.

I need to get this under control. It is likely that this will be an ongoing stressful period, with a house move, work issues, a potty training child and therapy. Therefore, it is necessary that I work out a way to handle it.

It’s incredibly frustrating, because this is not the time to be relaxing or taking a break of any kind. I have a lot to do for the house move, the toddler wants to potty train, I have to be active and involved. Work- well I took some action yesterday, but it’s likely that will not be resolved for some weeks.

And therapy. I would happily wait to deal with what is going on right now. I feel like I need to be ready, stressed and exhausted does not feel ready. I think this is going to be big. It is not about disclosure and the fear that goes with it. It’s about something different  in how I feel, in how I view my abuser- which is likely to change a lot for me. Change for the better for sure.

The process of change is difficult though. And as much as I want it to change, I do not want to go through it with the way I feel right now. Yet the way I feel right now will not go until I talk about what’s going on.

Ugh, I hate that.

Wish me luck.

Triggers, anger. God.

*Trigger warning* (rape and abuse references, swearing and a whole heap of anger).

 

I felt OK this morning, but by 9.30am, I was a wreck. I was triggered as I got to work.

 

The trigger was smoke, not cigarette smoke but I guess someone was burning something, the smoke was covering the road across from my work place. There was ash over the cars. By the time I walked from the car into work, the smell had clung to my clothes. The smell was horribly triggering and it lingered throughout my shift.

It’s not unusual, I can struggle with bonfires, in fact we have a fire pit, that we have barely used because of the trigger. It reminds me of the flat I was abused in, the smell of smoke, of burning cannabis, of cigarettes, pipes and bongs.

The memories it is triggering are mostly vague, but I keep feeling like I am waking to a room surrounded in smoke. I can taste it, I can feel it stinging my eyes and I know the monster isn’t far away.

 

I’ve been stuck at work badly triggered, with no chance of grounding while that smell was on my clothes. I don’t know how I got it through it, but I did, so I guess that makes me strong?

As I made it through a meeting, I started to wonder if those telling me I’m strong are actually right. Because I could hear myself leading part of a meeting, despite the distress I was feeling inside. I was fighting hideous memories, I could feel my abuser with me, I could smell him, I could taste him, yet outwardly I remained calm.

Or perhaps something is wrong with me? Is it strength or something else?

It got a whole lot worse after I had to notify a client of a return date, which is an anniversary I’ve been dreading.

Then when I got home, my landlady contacted us, to inform she’s put our house up to let and has assumed we are now on notice (we are buying a house and not ready to give notice yet). This is not what I need right now. It’s all too much stress.

 

I’m home, I’ve changed, the TV is on, the house is light, it smells good. I have a hot drink, huge boot slippers, pillows and blankets- all things that help me ground. Yet I am so exhausted and churned up inside. I feel traumatised.

I can’t ground properly, I feel like he’s with me now. That smell of him, that distinctive taste. The body memories are making me feel sick- my throat hurts, my windpipe aches. I swear it’s as if he’s just hurt me..

 

I often feel like he is still alive within me, as if I’m living with his shadow over me. And on days like today, I feel that darkness like it is crushing me and I’m afraid. I am afraid.

 

 

When you read this shit- the moaning posts, the references to abuse, parts of my story- do you even believe me? Do you get what a struggle this all is? Can you even comprehend? Because I know I get sick of myself. I get sick of writing it, sick of feeling it, sick of all of it.

 

And to all those who talk of God, if he’s so great, why the hell doesn’t he just take this from me? And I don’t want the free will shit- what about my will? What about my choices? I never had any choice. None at all.

For non survivors -can you imagine what is to live in constant fear of rape and abuse?  Do you know what it was like for me to have no say in what was done to me? To have no choice in who or what penetrated me? Do you know the terror at staring death in the face, the humiliation of pleading on your knees? Do you know how much it hurts to be abandoned and rejected by everyone? Do you know what the meaning of alone really is?

Because I’ve been there, I’ve lived it, for 7 damn years. And right now, it feels as I am still in it, I’m frightened and feel alone. So please don’t tell me God loves me, don’t send me Bible passages or prayers. I am way too triggered to find any comfort in God.

I hope this passes soon.

 

 

She wakes.

 

 

It is as if there is another entity within me.

Something lurking inside, just waiting for her moment.

Though sometimes she sleeps, she won’t ever truly let me be.

 

And with every step forward I take, she wakes.

Pushing her way to the surface,

she reminds me of what is at stake.

 

Blaming me for what I did and what I did not do.

Taking control, she shows me I am dirty, she shows me I am used

and if only they knew, they would leave me too.

 

She ridicules my stupidity, for my trust, my love, my hope.

The death of my insecurities are revived by her doubt

Why did I rely on them? How could I ever thought I’d cope?

 

She is awake today, the same as yesterday and the day before,

hating me for trusting, for my reliance and my neediness.

I feel her disdain, she despises me to my core.

 

And as I try to claw my way back, I have to wonder if she’s right?

Knowing I am doubting too, she won’t concede now.

It’s easier to give in and let her lead. I can no longer fight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crappy week

I’m pretty much using this as a daily journal right now, I appreciate the support, the comments and the messages. It’s good to know I am not alone and especially helpful to have encouragement from those who are going through something similar or who have been there before.

 

This week is difficult. Yesterday was a little better, but not much. I’m struggling lots with one memory that I am so opposed to dealing with right now.

Yet, the more I ignore, the bigger it is getting. I am not ready- I don’t know how I can ever be ready. I don’t want to do it. I want to continue with where we are now. I am still trying to come to terms with that. I don’t need more on top of it.

 

I am sleeping some, but waking from nightmares most mornings. I am struggling with my children, when previously things had improved a lot. I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep my temper around them. I am hyper vigilant every morning and dissociate my way through work each day. I am having body memories on and off. It is affecting intimacy with my husband.

All of those things are the signs of a memory that needs out. I have been here over and over, I know that getting it out is the only way to restore some calm. But I don’t want to go through it. 😦 I am so angry and hurt.

I am still trying to deal with the judgement / shame I have for myself over the way I think and feel about the last disclosure. Heck, I am still trying to get my head around that it even happened. I need more time and space. I don’t want another memory on top. I am not ready, I am just not ready.

 

 

I know it helps to talk, it helps to get it out, but sometimes it feels like the more I tell, the bigger it all gets. I can’t believe all this, I can’t believe this was my life. I seem so together, I have everything I always wanted, how on earth can I have been a victim of that abuse?

The more I tell my T, the less I can deny- sure that’s what I want for healing, but it’s just getting so huge. I can’t deal with this, I can’t. It’s all too much. I want to give up, I want to say “Fuck this, I am done.” Because, I’ve had enough. It hurts and I want out.

But there’s no quick exit, no escape route.  The only way is through.

Giving up would mean he wins, right?

 

I know the answer. I know what’s best. I know what I have to do.

I hate this so much.

 

 

 

 

Being selfish? Hoping for a better day.

 

I am hoping for a better day today. The sun is shining and I slept six hours straight, so that’s already better than yesterday morning. I could do without the tantrums my toddler has been throwing this morning though..

I have to work soon, I really don’t want to. Normally, I love my job, even on the days I struggle to be there, but just lately, I’m not liking it at all.

I was in the office yesterday, listening to my colleagues discuss some of their personal problems. I nodded and I smiled and I reassured as I best I could, yet selfishly, all I could think of was me. I was angry that while I was fighting through body memories, dissociation and feeling like my heart was shattering, I had to hold it in and pretend I was OK.

I hate how taboo all this stuff is, so few would want to hear it. It’s not something you discuss, it’s not an acceptable topic.. Yet I hurt, I ache and I struggle daily, but whether I want to or not, I cannot just share it, not without caution, not without thinking clearly.  While I am doing better at being me, I still feel like I have to pretend a lot, for others and for myself. Work seems to highlight that.

My employer knows about the PTSD and that I am in therapy, but he sees me as so together and level headed. He also forgets a lot. Yesterday, he asked me to do something, I had previously told him triggered my PTSD. So, I had to go through the stress and even embarrassment to remind him. I don’t expect him to remember everything I’ve said, but it’s so difficult having to remind people when they do forget.

I find myself not caring about my job; part of what I do is problem solving. I deal with the issues that crop up after each order is processed. It can be quite a pressured environment as my employer has high standards of customer service. Just lately, I couldn’t care less. I feel selfish, because all I think of is me. It’s just in the grand scheme of things, the problems at work seem so trivial, they seem like nothing. The reality of my past is hitting me daily and each time it’s a huge shock. So, I find myself thinking, “I don’t care that this order may be a day late, because, I was raped, RAPED” and then I pull myself together and get on with what I have to do. I guess this is about acceptance and probably part of the process. I don’t like it though. Not caring, isn’t me.

 

So, I hope today will be different, I hope work will help, I hope I can care again and think a little less of myself.