Home.

 

The last month or so has been pretty difficult. With an upcoming anniversary (that I cannot seem to distract from) this difficult time doesn’t feel over yet, but the last few days have been a little better.

Yesterday’s day of grounding worked well, I managed to sleep well last night. Unfortunately a work situation today had me struggling with hyper vigilance. I found myself wondering why the heck I inflict myself on the world and equally why I put myself through it, when I feel like such a mess inside.

This afternoon has been better though and as I’ve done a heck of a lot of venting on here lately, I wanted to be sure I include the good as well as the bad.

 

So, this afternoon I was with my children in our small town doing a little shopping. I had parked in a part of town that is crowded during school pick up but very quiet at most other times. By the time we returned to the car, the school traffic had left and it was just my car parked in this place. I put the boys in the car, then as I was putting the shopping and pushchair into the boot of the car, it dawned on me how quiet and even secluded the area was.

And I searched for the panic within me. I waited for the dissociation. I expected the fear. But you know what? It didn’t happen! And I realised that amazingly, I actually felt relaxed and even safe- WOW!

I do feel safe where I live and that is clear to me now. Sure, there are plenty of times I feel afraid while at home or out in town, but it’s about past issues, or the PTSD, not about where I live.  And it’s good to know the difference between fear of the past and how I feel now.

Before today, I don’t think I really realised how I felt about where we lived. We are about to buy a house in this town and now I feel confident in our decision. This town is home for me now.

It feels good to have a home where not only am I safe, but I feel safe too. How awesome is that? 🙂

 

 

Reclaiming my bed

 

Bed has been the enemy for a very long time. It’s not what I would consider one of my safe places, it’s not somewhere I want to be when I’m triggered. Yet, lately, the last year or so I’ve been trying to reclaim my bed. I still have triggers caused by being in bed, but I’ve taken steps to avoid them where possible.

We rent, so we don’t have a choice in how the room is decorated, but, I’ve made it mine as much as possible. TV is a necessity, it can be very grounding to turn on a current TV show when I am triggered. Warmth and light also helpful. Surrounding the bed are photos of my children and of my wedding day, the various surfaces have my things on them..  make-up and such. It is all where it is for a reason, it all has a place in helping me feel safe and grounded.

I want the bed I share with my husband to feel safe. Even if it cannot be one of my “go to” safe places, it’s important I feel safe there. I have high quality, soft sheets and decent pillows which are always fresh and clean. It’s also really important that the nightwear I have smells good. By good, I mean of laundry detergent, or fabric softener. Clean helps me feel safer, clean, good smelling things, help me to ground. I can’t stress enough how important being clean and being surrounded by clean things, means to me.

Why am I writing this right now? Well yesterday was rough, today has been a recovery of that and so I decided to get ready for bed early and hopefully sleep. As I breathed in the smell of my freshly clean nightwear, I felt grounded and even a little excited at the prospect of going to bed. That felt good. It feels good to want to go to my bed, it feels good to feel grounded at the idea of going to bed, when for many years it has been one of the last places I wanted to be. Sleep is a whole other matter, but to feel relaxed and to look forward to being in bed feels so damn good!

Tonight I feel as if I am well on the way to reclaiming my bed. 🙂

 

 

Difficult day, but still positive.

That dream really stirred up some stuff. I’ve been battling hyper vigilance and also periods of dissociation today. This afternoon and this evening, I keep crying and it causes my head to hurt, which seems to add to the dissociation. I am aware I’m unwell, all the signs are there, the usual symptoms for sure, but it’s going a little further than that.

I’m experiencing changes in perception, the stress, the dissociation, perhaps even the hyper vigilance, can alter the way I see things. Objects move, shimmer sort of. I’m experiencing paranoia which is another sign.  I’m also losing chunks of time, I have blanks of what happened during periods of the day.

I am unable to ground properly, to the point where the present seems like the dream. I’m constantly having to shift my focus on to things in the room to force myself back into reality. Grounding can be automatic, but today it is a real effort. I feel almost lost inside myself, and it’s a real strain to force myself to do what I know I need to ground.

The shakes come and go, but I’m left with a consistent and way too familiar shiver, as if my insides are shaking (which in itself is triggering- like a body shock/ trauma shake). The tears come from my distress at being stuck in memories and they are not even specific memories. It’s just all there, like echoes of the past all around me, murmurs, fragments, jolts of memories from that time and I cannot see around them. I am not sure I am making any sense?

I know where I am, I know I am not a teenager, I am 30, in my home, with my children and my husband. I know it, I do. “He” is not here, I’m not there, I’m no longer in danger, it isn’t going to happen, “he” cannot hurt me, I’m safe. I am safe.

 I don’t even know why I am typing this, I tried to journal and nothing much came out, it certainly wasn’t helping with grounding. I watched some TV, I’m surrounded by soft, clean furnishings, my house is light and peaceful (now the boys are sleeping). I am doing all the right things even though it’s an effort, but it isn’t working.  It seems to be coming out here and perhaps it’s helping, in fact I think it is grounding me some. Just focusing on trying to explain how I feel, typing, touching the keys and correcting the typos, is grounding. Plus sometimes it seems to help to explain it to others, it helps me to make sense of, or get things in order for myself.

I feel full of guilt for being this way, even though I cannot help it, it still feels as if I should be able to control it. I feel guilty for not being up to caring for my children alone today and the extra strain and pressure it puts on my husband. 

Positives:  Though this is horrible, I have a good deal of awareness that I am unwell, what my symptoms are, the memories behind it and the feelings that are going with it. I have been doing what I am able to do to comfort myself and to ground. I’ve eaten, I’m hydrated. I know that this will pass, because it will, it always does. It’s not easy, it’s quite distressing, but the awareness is good, knowing what I am fighting is really important. 

 

 

 

Seeking

Therapy Friday prompted me to write this, it is from how I felt during my time with him to how I feel two days on. I’m disheartened to say the least, but I know my T would scold me and tell me how much progress I’m making. Anyway, here it is. 

 

Power, control and safety

I seek their blessed freedom

Glimmers of hope he gave me

with him I could finally see

 

daring to reach out and grasp them

time whisked them away from me

In his presence I found them

but alone just a distant dream.

 

My familiar ghosts surround me

lingering, their closeness I seek

sickeningly, I find in them comfort

No fight, they lead me back home

 

In Me

She wasn’t always hidden

that horror once did pierce her

she never thought she’d escape

 

but feeling the pain and terror

would prove to be a blessing

it would guide her to the glorious point

 

And that point was her precipice

over she would plummet

I would be there to catch her

 

In me shielded from her death

no unmanageable pain befell her

I returned to her what was stolen

 

innocence once again

My sacrifice was necessary

in me she could have life

 

We are safe.

 

There’s nothing here, it’s empty

but it’s freedom from that torment

the walls are unbreakable

In here she is safe.

 

Outside there’s an echo,

a pull back to reality

I can feel her try to leave me

I pull her back to where she’s safe

 

because I won’t let it penetrate here,

this is shelter from that sentence

she must remain in my refuge

here I will keep her safe.

 

One day she desires her freedom

she must see I can’t let her go now

she needs this place, we both do

here we are safe.

 

This once her haven

she now says is our prison,

she takes my hand and leads me

I realise together we are safe.