It occurred to me last night in the bath that I had again forgotton the date of the ‘anniversary.’ I hate to use the word. It sounds like a celebration of sorts. But nothing else suits. It is a passing of time – marking the survival, the hurt, the violent taking of something, the start of such a terrible turn of events, a night in which a part of me died, a childhood lost, a woman forced into the ugly world, alone, isolated, terrified. Not a wedding anniversary, not an anniversary of a joyous event, an anniversary of a rape.
So why do I never remember the exact date? Despite going through the police investigation as well as the actual trauma itself so long ago the date simply won’t etch itself into my brain. The month is February. But I’ve always associated it with my birthday in March on the 8th. So I’ve chosen not to celebrate it. The two months are usually hideous for me, but March has usually been somehow worse. Last year I made the decision to know the date. To acknowledge it. To own it.
This is when knowing the date probably wasn’t a good idea. The pain of knowing the exact date was almost too much to bear. My husband tells me that leading up, after and all through March I was a wreck. The worst I’ve been in years.
I wonder if my brain shuts down the date on purpose to protect me. When I sat in the bath last night, I just couldn’t bring the date to my mind. I felt panicky but I decided to leave it there. I must handle February and March as they come.
Fortunately my mood has been stable. Despite the move, despite the summer holidays (kids at home). I’m in that mind frame where I feel ‘normal’ as if I don’t really medication at all! I’m sure anyone with a mental illness can relate to those periods. It’s strange to think that if I stopped taking my pills within a couple of weeks id be either climbing the walls or swirling down into the depths of hell with the demons. That thought is incredibly sad. And of course stops me from missing my medication.
I’m feeling a bit claustrophobic by the constant company of the children. Their arguments, their lack of routine and constant demands. The noise, the mess, the demands is grating. As we have no family there is no time out. So it’s a constant ongoing war on laundry, tidying, cleaning, shopping, arguments. That just sounds like a gripe, but when you have a lot of other concerns, anxieties and worries and there is never any alone time or peace, it starts to drain.
Anyway, I’m looking after myself, I think! And I’m feeling determined to keep fighting.