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.

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Stupid day

Today is a bad day, I had trauma dreams last night, not surprising, given how much I was directing my writing towards “him” yesterday. It helped though, I don’t regret the things I wrote. I am also starting to get nervous about my therapy session on Friday and my thoughts are turning to what else I need to say. The symptoms are to be expected I suppose.

The dreams left me feeling hyper vigilant this morning, which was bad timing as I had to take my husband to the train station early. Any change of routine is difficult, add in the stress of leaving late (why are we always late! GRR) plus hyper vigilance and I was a wreck. I was late getting my oldest boy to school, so I had to take him to the office, where I promptly burst into tears. I felt like an idiot. Then I was late to work and as I dropped my smallest boy off, I managed to hit his head with the car door, cue lots of tears from him and me, plus a load of guilt. I arrived at work highly stressed and dissociating.

This afternoon, I had errands to run after picking up my boy from school, I only did the most important but my toddler seemed to be playing on my mood, he was awful and I really struggled to deal with him. Normally, I’d come home after a day like that and my husband (who usually works from home) would be there to help out if necessary. That safety net is so important. I don’t have that today and I am struggling.

I am shaking and finding  the noise and jumpiness of my boys difficult, the bouncing and singing.. the normal lovely parts of children, are just too much today. I’ve given them food in front of the TV, to allow me to sit and write this rant. A friend is picking my husband up from the train station, so that is one less stress, but it seems such a long time until he will be home, when really it isn’t. It makes me feel pathetic, it makes me feel like an unfit mother because I can’t handle my children alone. And that makes me angry, I am so angry right now, the symptoms seem to be getting worse by the minute. Roll on bed time for them. 😦

I don’t like coming home to an empty house or being in the house in the dark without someone else (the children don’t really count)! It has me feeling paranoid and on edge, which I am concealing from my children and that just adds to the pressure and stress. I don’t like people knowing I am here without my husband, yet I feel safe in my home town. These feelings of fear are not attached to now and that makes me angry. Ugh, I don’t even know that I am making sense. I hate this.

Trying to no avail

 

Yesterday, to try and reduce my stress, or at least to not add to the existing stress, I tried out a new after school routine,. It seemed to go well, my children certainly responded well and seemed happier for it. I had more energy and felt better for doing more with my children, I’ve missed them lately. Unfortunately, I suffered for it last night, it was a bad evening. I was exhausted and symptoms were heightened. It was if instead of the new routine relieving me of stress, it just delayed it. I actually felt worse in the end.

So now what? Perhaps there’s a middle ground somewhere? If not, well at least I was a better mother for my boys while they were awake. The feeling terrible is not ideal and not something I want, but I’m willing to go through it, if my time with my children and my parenting is improved by delaying the inevitable stress. I am probably getting ahead of myself, no two days are the same and I certainly will explore other avenues rather than merely accepting that I have to feel terrible.

I was discussing it with my husband earlier and he suggested perhaps I am trying too hard to make things better and I should accept that things are crappy right now. I’m not likely going to feel good and enjoy things while I’m in the midst of therapy. I see his point, I know I put way too much pressure on myself  and I also know realistically, I cannot just make this go by changing my attitude and my daily routine. But, I want to try to make it better for myself, I don’t want to give up and just embrace feeling terrible. I know I feel bad, I know I am in pain (and need to be in pain), but I need to do everything possible to make it easier for myself. I’m not sure I am doing that though? In trying to improve things I seem to be adding stress.

 

Today I had an unexpected day off work (childcare issues) and so it was just me and my youngest at home all day. I was grateful, I felt so terrible this morning, I really didn’t want to go to work anyway. We had a low key day, stomping in the leaves and generally spending some quality time together. I didn’t think I had done too much, but maybe I have because I feel horrible right now. Reflecting on the day, spending time with my boy, having time to ground and to have a clean and tidy (important to me) home, with a casserole cooking by 2pm, should have been a good day for me. It certainly would have made me feel happy 2 years ago. I don’t feel good or happy, I don’t feel like I’ve achieved, I just feel like a wreck.

I don’t want to be someone who complains all the time, or finds the negative in every situation, but I feel what I feel. I am trying so hard to make the best of this situation yet I feel like I’m going crazy. My chest is ready to explode and the symptoms are hitting me hard, one after another. I don’t know what else to do other than keep trying, if I stop trying then that feels like giving up. Giving up is a very dark road to go down. I’m afraid of stopping, I’m afraid what that may mean, but I’m a mess. I can’t keep this up. I don’t know what to do. I wish this was over, I can barely stand this.

 

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.