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.