Hi. Happy Saturday. It was a happy start to the day having a brunch date with my teen where we ate a spectacular pancake stack dripping with Greek yoghurt, fruit compote and loaded with blueberries. I love walking with linked arms down the street with her and having some quality time. She’s so busy these days these moments are precious. I’m also trying to make positive quality time as she’s seen me so much lately just struggling to live and be awake.
She needed new eyeliner which she seems to use up overnight and we had fun looking at the 100’s of books in the free community bookstore. We both scored a couple of gems. She was delighted with a ghost light she bought for Halloween from Tiger. And then she was just adorable with me when I burst into tears in the car as we were about to drive home.
It was May when I was assaulted with the realisation that my life has been a series of abusive incidents. That nothing was what I thought it was with my Narcissist husband, that incidents where I was taken advantage of and crimes were committed against me, were not in fact my fault. And I started to process everything in a much more difficult and painful way.
Except it wasn’t pain as you would expect it. It was a cut off from my surroundings and environment. A numbness, a disconnect. I survived by writing, poetry and a book. If I left the house it was demanding on my mental state due to dissociation, derealisation, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts. I was walking through a different town to everyone else. It was a film set. Everything looked strange to me and noises and visual information were louder and more pronounced respectively.
Then 3 days ago something changed, shifted. Everything once numb, started to hurt. I was still the walking dead but prone to bouts of sobbing and intense sadness and becoming more awake. I am becoming more in touch with my environment again and also more in touch with the pain, the hurt that has been generated by the study and processing and just awakening to these memories.
I was surprised to realise that just over 4 months have passed! Literally 4 months during which I have been in some sort of state of shock and exhaustion. A depression different to my Bipolar depression although my Bipolar Disorder played havoc at the beginning with a Mixed State and a Mild Psychoses. My Bipolar has settled. I am firmly experiencing a reaction to trauma.
Part of my sadness was that I have missed being connected to my child but she is adamant that it has not affected her. At least I have a plan for that now. We are going to have breakfast or cinema dates 2 or 3 times per month. As much as money will stretch. Even going for a walk we connect differently than we do at home. I really see her and she sees me and we have quality communication.
However I am struck with the magnitude of what I have uncovered. The extent of the abuse and the damage it has done to me. I can’t shut it out now. It is too late. The door has been opened and it needs to be worked through. And the last couple of days, I think my tears have been because I wish I hadn’t opened that door. The pain and disturbance it has brought has been immense and now I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And I don’t want it. I want to give it back and close the door with all of my awakening firmly behind it.
And yet I don’t. If I had not opened the door I would not have had the opportunity for change. I would be highly at risk of continuing to put myself at risk, continuing to allow myself to be re-victimised and continue to live a life fraught with pain and dysfunctional relationships. Of course, it was not my choice anyway. My brain decided it was ready, it was time to open the door and bring it out, I couldn’t have controlled that. It was all subconscious. So I have no other choice than to accept this as part of my journey in life. Already I have substantial insight to my relationships and how I ended up in them. Why I blamed myself for things that were not my fault. I have to continue the work for a better future.
Right now I don’t know what that future will look like. It is hard to get through each day and do a few basic tasks and manage my emotions. I barely sleep even with urgent and temporary Temazepam. Planning meals feels like rocket science and executing them feels like space camp training. I eat badly and I’m living like a recluse.
But I am going to improve and I have this post to hold me to that now. I’m in it and I have to get out of it like a magician or stunt artists box. I have to find a way. Thinking about the fact that it’s going to take a while to get therapy and then more time to progress in it, freaks me out. So I am going to proceed as I would in a Bipolar episode. Day by day, hour by hour if necessary. I might even read the self management guide that I put on here way back, to give me a starting point.
Lana Del Rey has a song called “Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have” which I identify with strongly. But in the song she then sings “But I have it”. And today, I have a little bit of it too.
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If anyone has experiences of either DBT or Psychodynamic Therapy and which worked best for their PTSD or CPTSD I would love to hear. Either in the comment or email me at email@example.com
Love Alice x