I went to the monthly group today. And I sucked. Do you ever get triggered and respond angrily? I do, and the output is so instantaneous so full of force that I can’t put a lid on it.
I knew I was in a bad place. The terrible nightmares and panic lingering. Then friends turning up on the Saturday night I hadn’t expected. It was ok, I didn’t drink. But I did pretend that I was absolutely fine, that I wasn’t losing it. That I didn’t want to cry, that I didn’t want to curl up in bed.
Sunday morning I felt it was better to go to the group. Be around people that I can relate to. In the past its offered comfort, a place to share and be heard and really understood. So I drove there with anxiety in my chest like a tight vice grip.
A small gathering of familiar faces. I listened to their traumas and their anxiety. My mind went back to a conversation I was having on Facebook, yes I know dreaded facebook, where this guy seems to think that murder is heinous and we’ve all gone ‘pedophile crazy’ – this response to my outrage about three dangerous sex offenders allowed to walk public parks in Christchurch (NZ). His complacent attitude. His sheer ignorance about the damage these people do. I realised I was more upset about this conversation than I had realised. If he could be in this room, see these women, grown women, some mothers, some wives, some professional, some students, all trying so hard to put the pieces of their lives back together again. All living with the daily pain of PTSD, nightmares, anxiety. Trying to push through deep fears, fighting depression, demons walking alongside them. In this room are broken women. We are not murdered but something has been taken from us. Something that requires us to find a way to live again.
Bearing this in mind, I knew I was already feeling this terrible cloud of suffocation. Anxiety. When one of the women was explaining that she wouldn’t be allowed to get her teaching degree unless she spent the night in a marae (Maori meeting grounds) with 50+ other people. Of course considering her trauma the thought of spending a night like that was terrifying for her, but she HAS to do it or fail her degree. It’s part of her cultural awareness training. Even though the girl speaks Maori and knows more about the culture than most young Maori! How one night will make a difference I don’t know. So of course I could feel my own fears creeping in. The loss of control, the danger, the darkness, the ignorance of those around (like the guy on Facebook). It all compounded and then I was shouting.
I expressed with swear words and all how stupid it was. How disgusting it was. How her entire education shouldn’t depend on this. How her own trauma should have been considered. Of course that kind of angry tangent wasn’t allowed for long before the facilitator shut the conversation down. I was let bubbling quietly. But I wondered if I’d inadvertently upset my fellow group members.
I didn’t feel helpful for the duration of the group. I didn’t want to talk about what was plaguing me. I felt my issues were inadaquate. I felt useless. I still feel that way. A fool bumbling through.
I start university tomorrow. I know that everyone will be looking at me, who is this idiot? She doesn’t belong here. She’ll fail.
They’re right. I don’t belong anywhere.
I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. It’s not living.
If I was in a park, I would like to run into a murderer. At least I can be at peace.