*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.