I headed back to the university on Friday. The same lecture I’d walked out of. To say I was terrified was putting it mildly. I knew I’d be getting the looks, the whispers. But if I didn’t go back on Friday, I wouldn’t go back at all. I took my seat and ignored the odd looks. At the end of the lecture I walked over to the students that had been giving me a hard time before and I wished them a good weekend. One sat open mouthed, another smiled and wished the same, I didn’t see anyone else I was out of there. I had felt my phone vibrate in my bag and checked the screen outside to see it was my son’s kindy. That took priority as I walked away. Listening to the voicemail, students and class politics a dismal blur in the background.
It was sweet relief to be in my car, but exhaustion took hold quickly. I had barely slept the night before. What crazy week is this? Starting university? Meeting an EMDR specialist? Juggling my past, juggling my anxiety, my mental health and being a mother?
Although the date is officially in February I’ve always associated my birthday with the attack as well. March 8. So really the anniversary isn’t over for me until then. I’ve never celebrated my birthday because I associate guilt, shame, dirt, never being the same, being alone with my birthday. And my birthday falls tomorrow- great week.
Today we headed over to Martinborough in the Wairarapa which is wine country. I love it over there. Usually so peaceful and charming. We used to own a cottage over there. There were markets there today so we went as a family. But it was stifling hot. And so busy. I can usually manage my anxiety but not today. It felt like there wasn’t much air. At times i felt trapped. One guy stepped back and nudged by breast by accident- and it was a complete accident. But I kept marching through the crowd feeling like meat. Feeling vulnerable. My husband stopped to get the kids some sweets but I had to keep moving, the fear of stopping making me a target. Making me open to being swallowed up. I moved on to find a homewares store but it was crap so I headed back to the family. They weren’t there.
As a solution to the separation I went back to the start of the markets but that failed. They all ended up going back to the car. An argument ensued.
I can’t fully explain my anger and frustration. A build up of anxiety, the week, dreading tomorrow, the way my husband trapped me in the car to force me to talk to him. I don’t fair wellbeing backed into a corner. My thoughts tended to the violent side to get him away even though I know in my heart he would never hurt me.
I should have gone away this weekend. I need to refresh and I need time alone. I’m over stimulated and I can’t think straight. I’m too emotional, too angry, too anxious.
I don’t want to feel like this all the time, it’s exhausting.