The day after group always hits me. I wake up, I think it will be different. The stark reality hits me. I’ve spent the day prior around fellow survivors. I’ve said things out loud that I wouldn’t usually dare. I’ve heard others express their deepest fears and sadness. It’s been a few hours of raw, open sharing over trauma. And not just any trauma – intimate trauma. Monday should return to normal. The normal day, mother, wife, person that doesn’t dwell on the atrocities of the world.
But it doesn’t work like that. The day after a group I feel vulnerable, exposed. I’m drained. My head continually throbs. I needed to walk the dog, get some groceries, but the world seemed too noisy. It seemed to bright, too uncomfortable to be part of. I slept for a few hours. My husband taking the kids to school.
When I awoke I was miserable. Lonely. Who can you share that misery with? Who can you talk to? I can’t ring my friends and wax lyrical about feelings and my plight following a group for survivors. No one wants to hear that. No one wants to hear that my anniversary is closer. That I’m terrified. That the nights bring nightmares. That I’m tired everyday. That physically my body hurts. That my throat feels tight. That certain words bring flashbacks that I can’t control. I am alone.
I started to feel the urge to cut. I wanted to the release. I need to feel human. I wanted the control. I took a small knife into the bathroom. Then I thought, no, it’s been so long. Don’t do this. Go out! So I did. The dog and I. Dropped off some dry cleaning, picked up some groceries. The distraction did help. Although I felt like a zombie. When I got home I was even more exhausted. I slept until my husband got back with children and even then I couldn’t face an evening in the lounge.
I took a long bath. In which I had a flashback. I disassociated. Then I curled up in the bath and tried to pull on more memories. There was something in particular i wanted to remember. I guess a lot of time passed. I had forgotten where I was. Then I became terribly emotional. I couldn’t speak. Fortunately my husband had been checking on me, I hadn’t realised because he was concerned and he was due another check and saw me in my state. He helped me out of the bath.
It’s getting harder.
I’m wracked with pain.
Did he anticipate this? Did he think I would forget and move on? Or was the plan to make me his?
I’m glad I went to group, I did find comfort there. It’s just the next day is always so hard. And this month was always going to be especially difficult.