Blog for 2014

2014 is closing in (I’m in NZ so of course we’ll see it first). I haven’t blogged for a while. It seems that so much was happening I was waiting for a good stop point to write retrospectively. New Year’s Eve seems the best place to start. An obligatory year end blog.

I don’t intend to reflect on the past year. Like the last couple of years before it’s been difficult, filled with lessons, painful hits, regrets, periods of wondering if it will ever end. Like most people I’m hopeful that the new year will bring peace, luck, better fortune. But I’m not overly optimistic. I’m perhaps more dedicated to hard work, more realistic about where Im at. More able to verbalise my truths, my pain, my struggles.

This month we bought a beautiful house. It feels like home. It has a great feel about it. The views are fantastic. I have a base that I’m happy within. It feels safe. I do get nightmares, but I manage them, I deal with my anxiety. I can’t be anywhere without nightmares. I’m enrolled back into university next year. I have a direction. A purpose.

I’ve argued with Jeans about a couple of missed appointments. It’s blown out of proportion, so I haven’t had therapy for about three weeks. It’s left a hole in my progress. I had been doing such confronting, painful work. Facing my demons. But it’s stopped and I feel in limbo. I will of course tend to this situation. But I’m frustrated with myself and I suppose at him. Why must everything be so complicated?

My psychiatrist has left and has referred me to her colleague. Unfortunately I won’t get to see this person until mid February. My mood feels stable and I keep popping the pills. But there’s the anxiety of having to form a relationship with a new dr, a new way of doing things. A person I need to trust to manage my illness with, my medication regime with. To understand that I’ve managed this for years now. To see me as a person, not a mass of symptoms.

My children have managed to get into the classes they wanted next year – funny that! 😉

My parents actually acknowledged that I was alive this xmas by sending a hamper to me (to an old address – the courier called me). I was quite surprised. The attached note read they hoped I could ‘move on.’ I assume that means from dealing with the rape, the police investigation and my mental illness which are all such a terrible burden to my family to ACKNOWLEDGE (not even support). I feel their bitterness, ignorance, lack human decency to much to bear in my life. I sent an email expressing my gratitude at the gift and left it there. How could I possibly respond to such a loaded greeting card? Sometimes in life, you just have to quit toxic people – even when it’s family.

So here I am, rape survivor, domestic violence survivor, bipolar nutcase, mother, wife, daughter, scared of clowns, addicted to coke zero, sing really loudly (and badly!) in my car to everything, sitting on my couch in my lovely home. Hoping for a healing and peaceful 2015 and wishing everyone else the same!

Working through tough times

By the end of the week I was barely functioning. The panic, the tiredness, the fear, the memories, the body memories. I emailed Jeans. I thought I was going insane. An extract of his email response;

“Maybe you could think of it a bit more like you are now going to war you are going to battle but the only way you can go to battle is to see the enemy until now the enemy has been more hidden. Now it is coming into view. I can’t stress that hard enough, you haven’t failed, you are doing the best you can.”

And a very poignant reminder at the end,

“And knowing that these really hard days come, they go so in the thick of it knowing it will pass it will move even though it doesn’t feel like it, you have experienced that change again and again.”

His words offered some encouragement, some hope.

I was sleeping with the TV on, no sound, but I needed the light. I felt so jumpy. I felt so vulnerable. I had to ask my husband to stand and talk to me while I showered. I couldn’t bear to be alone and naked in the shower. I felt stupid, I felt angry at myself. I felt ashamed and I felt hate and anger.

It just happened to be the group meeting on Sunday. It’s the first Sunday of every month. I decided to go. My husband expressed concern that it might have an opposite effect but I needed to be around people that would understand me.

The group was only about 10/11 people this time, certainly manageable. I took a gamble and shared my present state following my disclosure to my therapist (obviously I didn’t talk about that). I said how vulnerable it left me feeling. How afraid and weak. How alone, emotional and fragile and all things I hated. Plagued by nightmares, anxiety and panic attacks. To my enormous relief another woman shared her story of experiencing something identical. She had shared something to a therapist and subsequently spent five weeks housebound in a similar state. Her descriptions, her emotions, it just blew me away. Then another woman piped – it’s ok to stay in the house and not do anything. You need to rest, you need to heal. It’s ok to say no more! And to just stop for a bit. Because of course I’ve been continuing the self bullying talk. About being a failing wife, failing mum, failing woman. Another woman hugged me – which was an incredibly giving moment and something I wouldn’t have expected or accepted graciously before. Another woman me about the things in life that we simply can’t control and shouldn’t get so caught up in trying to control – another issue for me. It was for me a calming sea of tranquility. A glimmer of hope.

Suddenly I didn’t feel like a complete outsider. Lost and tangled in misery, trapped in painful memories, trying to crawl my way to air, to freedom.

I have increased my quietiepiene, which means my sleep is much deeper. My brain needs that time to recharge. But it makes waking up so hard to. And I feel groggy. If I don’t take it – I don’t sleep well and I don’t function well on a lot of sleepless nights, I do take it, and I’m left feeling sluggish the following day. Right now I know my brain needs that recharge time. But I do have children that need getting ready and dropping off.

On the plus side, it’s summer holidays here soon so the school will break up soon and the kids will go into a holiday club.

This is why I’m so intent on pushing myself. I want all of this evil out of me. Everything gone once and for all. I can’t carry on carrying this around.

Bad day

Today is a write off. My throat is tight so air feels minimal. I feel unsafe. Although I didn’t have nightmares in the obvious sense I had clear dreams about losing control of my body, nearly falling overboard on a ship into black water, getting trapped in a small room and having to claw my way out of it, pulling it apart piece by piece – yeah, my brain made it easy on me to work out. But the feelings in the dream weren’t comfortable. Fortunately my husband was able to drive the kids to school. He had not long left when the first tidal wave of anxiety hit me like a freight train. In this instance I went for the diazapam.

Throughout the day I’ve suffered a debilitating migraine, panic attacks threatening to come on, only controlled by keeping up diazapam. At one point memories seeped through my brain and the sense of darkness and despair and the insidious shame was too much. I fleetingly considered self harm. I pictured myself doing it, the blade, the release, but after so long? I know how hard it is to stop doing that once you go down that track. I want an escape, a release from the pain – conversely, I can’t stand the memory and the shame. The sense of suffocation. But i retreated to my bedroom. I have spent the entire day in my bedroom. The laundry isn’t done, the dishwasher isn’t unstacked and reloaded. There were things I was going to do today. But I failed. I just want to be in my bedroom right now.

Have I failed? Have I let it get to me?

I feel afraid. I feel alone. I feel scared of my own shadow. I feel angry. Why don’t I get to live my life?

My breathing is rapid again. I’m sad. I’m in pain.

Opening up more

Today’s therapy session was excruciating. It started off so light, talking about my week, general updates, etc. there were silences there led me into a false sense of security. Jeans sat patiently, he seemed very in tune with me. He knew I was thinking of things and knew I was feeling. He gently coaxed me. I found myself drawn to discuss the shame surrounding my attack. Most specifically a part of the attack that he did as a way to apologise for ‘hurting me.’ It’s been my biggest struggle to reconcile. The confusion, shame, disgust, anger, repulsion, sadness, isolation. Only previously discussed with the police and CPS, it’s something I keep buried deep and I’m unable to go into details here as well. I’m ashamed, embarrassed and uncomfortable. Perhaps most damaged by this.

I started to dissociate to such a degree that the room lost colour, and I felt the threat of passing out.

I fought it. I realise I need to feel.

But the shame is so painful. I wanted to disappear. Curl into a ball.

I hate myself.

I hate my body.

To verbalise this today was painful beyond belief. Painful and uncomfortable. I felt the room becoming ugly, the words were twisted and vile.

I felt anger when I reflected that he goes on to live normally, whereas I need therapy. Where I have anxiety and fears, where my life is dark, where my body is tainted. The anger was raw, powerful. I recognise the anger as the misplaced, misdirected anger that flares up when I sense I’m losing control. It bubbled under the surface. Pushed harder I knew it would explode. Because I carry hate in my soul.

The sadness is there, but it’s long since lost. The tears don’t fall anymore. They don’t know how to. Ignored and told to go away for so long when I was young. They have no place now. So while I feel sad, it’s hard to express that. But I’m sad. I ache for the loss of my childhood. I ache for what could have been, I ache for the options taken away. I’m sad for the girl inside. Lost and confused.

But the battle for justice can’t be fought anymore. He goes on.

I need peace and I need to be open about these things, face these things. Get what’s in my brain out in the open.

Today was excruciating.

I left the session in a numb and slightly disoriented state. I’m so tired.

I wish someone could take it all away.