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? 

Putting myself first. A desire for peace.

Preparation for therapy used to take a great deal of time. Time, fear, worry, anxiety, all that fun stuff. I would set aside at least a few hours for it. I’d think about it for days, planning carefully what I would allow my T to know and what I could bear to share. I would spend time balancing and weighing up the desire to let it out with the potential dangers of dong so. It was complicated and risky and quite frankly, exhausting. It was like I needed therapy to prepare for therapy…
Things are different now, I have settled into the routine and pattern of therapy. Even when things are new and different, I am more at ease and even comfortable enough, to mostly let my thoughts flow freely. Preparations continue on a Thursday evening as always, but where it was once pages of writing, it is often just bullet points. 
I had set aside this time to do just that. Twenty minutes perhaps, to gather my thoughts ready for tomorrow’s therapy. Five minutes in and I’ve already hit a wall. So much going on, endless thoughts of the past, nightmares, triggers, work issues, an anniversary, the body memories that are hurting so much today…. where do I begin. Which do I pick? 
I know not to force it, but if you know me at all, you will know how hard it is for me not to plan, at least a little. What will be, will be. What needs out, will be released. I have faith in that, in the process, in my T and also in myself. However, it remains difficult to just let go.
I hit the wall, decided it was there for a reason, so found myself reflecting on the last week or so and my last therapy session instead. My last session seemed like a waste of time. I was so upset at some work issues which we spent the majority of the session on. Work, vulnerability and fear. If I am being honest now, I think the session last week was more worthwhile than I first thought. I think it is behind a decision I feel I made today. Perhaps decision is the wrong word, I am not sure, maybe a realisation perhaps? I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Whatever it is, it has made me feel a little better. Control and strength and relief at the freedom to choose for myself. I haven’t felt so free lately, quite the opposite in fact. 
Last week at work, someone shouted at me. I won’t go into the circumstances, they really are not important, but it was a horrible experience. At another time, maybe it wouldn’t have got to me, I am not sure? On this particular day however, it caused great distress. I was triggered and I felt attacked. Attacked, afraid and vulnerable. I cried in front of my colleagues and as crying is something I rarely do because it makes me feel so unsafe, I was left with fears that I had not only lost a coping mechanism (to not react at all to upsetting situations) but I had also lost part of my identity (to always be in control).
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have been beating myself up for reacting to anger with distress, yet knowing full well that it is to be expected. My teen years were filled with anger, hate, aggression and hostility, therefore, it makes sense that anger would cause such upset. I had wondered if it was another goal to add to the plan- to become more comfortable/ able to react appropriately to anger directed at me. Today though, I made the decision that actually this need not be the case and as I instantly felt lighter, I think it must be the right thing for me.
 
Rightly or wrongly, I believe that after all I have been through, I am entitled to a life without anger or hostility from others. Why should I continue to suffer because other people cannot control themselves? Or worse still, because they don’t want to control themselves? I think that I deserve love and peace and kindness, which as a teen was in short supply. I decided I have experienced more hatred and aggression than most, therefore I believe it is OK to want the rest of my life to be free from those things (is that selfish?).
Now, I am not crazy (I don’t think), I realise that I can only control my own behaviour and actions and not those of others. I can though, takes steps to minmise it and react appropriately afterwards. I will no longer tolerate anger directed at me, I will not allow aggressive, hostile people to be part of my life. It is time I put myself first for once because you know what? This is not my fault. None of this is my fault. It was not my fault that I was shouted at last week, the same as it was never my fault that I experienced violent, angry abuse. 
 
Anger is a healthy feeling when dealt with correctly. I actively encourage my children to feel what they feel.. I have no intention of banning a feeling from my home or my life- heck I am pretty sure I have a lot of deep anger, desperate to get out. No, it isn’t about removing a feeling, instead it is about removing (as much as is possible) those people who make me feel as I did last week, or for much of my teen years. People who cannot control themselves, people who are proud of their anger and aggression, people who choose hostility, people who look for an argument, people who refuse to face and work on their anger issues, people who make me feel threatened and attacked, people who take out their anger on those smaller/ younger than them. Those people are not welcome in my life.
I am a person, a real, live human being and maybe you wouldn’t believe that if you knew the way I was treated.. hell, you wouldn’t treat an animal like that, but I am. I am a person with feelings, a soul and a heart, all of which have been trampled on enough. I wrote last week about feeling broken. I do feel that way, because I was broken. Broken and destroyed by other people. I have been forced to rebuild myself and my life from the debris of what they left behind..haven’t I suffered enough?
I have been through enough. I have been hated enough. I have been yelled at and screamed at enough. I have been beaten enough. I have been abused enough. Too much, for far too long and I do not ever want to experience those things again
I desire peace for myself and my life and that is new, or at least clearer than it has ever been. I hope it isn’t selfish, but I desire peace and I believe I deserve it as well.  What do you think?

 

Beauty and light.

I found this very emotional to write, but also helpful, I feel as if I have released a lot within this post. 

*There are some potential triggers further down (another warning is posted) please be careful.*

 

I cannot escape the past, it is hitting all at once. My body aches from memories of what I once endured. My legs and thighs are screaming at me, every single time I move. The abdominal cramps hit in waves, taking my breath away. 

So I fill my home with flowers, because I don’t know what else to do. 

I admit I am utterly miserable. I am quiet today and a little withdrawn. With little energy to do much else, I am remembering as if it were yesterday, the first time, the group rape and many others.

So I have filled my home with flowers in an attempt to comfort and distract.

This month is so triggering, there is nowhere for me to hide. My body remembers even where my mind will not. I am trapped. Trapped by time, trapped by this season. Trapped. 

So like so many days before, my home is filled with flowers. Today yellows and reds are dressing each window sill. 

My home is beautiful, my home is clean and comforting, the beauty I create is not only important on days like today for my own sanity but is crucial for my healing.

 

*Trigger warning*

I remember the first few times in vivid detail, the dust, the dirt, the smell, the chaos and the dark. There was this sense of foreboding that seemed to sort of ooze from the walls. I remain disturbed by the memories of that environment.

It was like another world, one no one should ever have to experience. There were screams and shouts from the other flats around us and within that chaos we were alone in the dark and there on a mattress of filth upon filth, there on blood stains of past abuse…my innocence was so brutally taken. 

And it was there where the stains were soon mine, it was there that I swear, a part of me died and it was there I grew to fear the dark and loathe the dirt. It is there, my mind so often takes me to, it is there I have to fight to return from… every. single. day. 

So I fill my home with flowers and bask in their beauty. I light candles, I am soothed by the gentle flicker and comforted by their scent. I surround myself in light, in blankets and in cushions and in textures and in patterns, in quiet and in peace.

I cannot help but fear that a part of me still resides back there. Therefore all the beauty I surround myself with is to chase away the darkness that I fear will imprison the rest of me. In the light, he can no longer harm me. 

 

Quotation-Elsie-De-Wolfe-life-Meetville-Quotes-87371

 

 

I strive to create beauty, I strive to create light. Right now it is for me, but I hope one day for many others too. And that, I pray, will be my life. 

 

 

Home

This week, I am off work!

It feels like it has been a long time coming. I don’t remembering ever feeling this desperate to have some time off before.

Work is fine, I like my job, I am good at it, I like my co workers, I love that I work just a few minutes drive from home. Work is good a lot of the time. It’s just the more I get into this awful, horrible and quite frankly unwanted, feeling stuff, the more I feel I need some time out. My T has suggested time off therapy when I need it, to process, to think, to feel, to just be. Aside from the whole rejection issues when he says that- it’s not something I want or need right now. Time off from therapy seems to me, to just be prolonging the agony. I am probably wrong, but that’s how it feels right now.

Work on the other hand, well that I need a break from. Not because of stress so much, I just want some time at home. I feel safe here, I feel (mostly) grounded at home. I feel like I can breathe. There are also added complications of inappropriate and upsetting topics at work and also working with someone who often triggers me. I need a break from that too.

I just want to be home and today, I am. Four days off work, or six if you count the weekend that has just been. It was a crappy weekend to be honest. I tried hard, really, really hard, to do some holiday stuff with my family, swimming, playground etc. PTSD was dragging me down all weekend though.

I am still bothered by triggers this morning, but definitely feel better. Things felt like they were spiraling yesterday. I found some time to write during the evening, which helped me tease out some more of the underlying issues. Sometimes writing can be a scary and incredibly painful process, but often it helps me to feel as if I have taken control again and that always brings relief.

So today, we stay home-at least in our home town. The weather is good, I have a hot drink, I am seated in my rocking chair with the doors flung open wide onto the garden. The children, well I’d like to say it’s all very idlyic and they are playing beautifully, but actually in reality, they are charging after one another with swords. Aside from that, it is calm, it is comforting. It is home. And home is where I so badly need to be right now.

I am tired and I am hurting, more than I like to admit, even to myself- especially to myself. I am hoping this week will help some. I am hoping for relief.

Perhaps this week will be healing? Maybe I will find a little peace?