This morning I awoke with a very tiny shred of renewed hope. I had an email from my lawyer with questions answered. I was glad I’d taken an assertive initiative with my psychiatrist and requested a new medication regime. The current methods simply haven’t been working. But the appointments have been inconsistent, rare and there has been no attempt to review or change anything. I have been left to fumble along. Not that I believe that pills are my saving grace or will radically change anything, but rather something improve or I take nothing at all, then I carry on swallowing these chemicals with no benefit at all. This time I had been clear, this is what I want from a medication, this is what I don’t want. We discussed the pros and cons, the side effects against benefits. Today as I collected my prescription and began to decrease my dosage I felt that I least I was ‘doing’ something. Being pragmatic about my mental health, trying something different. Accepting the current methods weren’t working.
My husband also took my son to kindy which was a huge relief because it left me instead with just the three girls to organise, to mediate, to tidy up after. Slightly reduced stress levels.
And finally I have ventured out and tried again with the therapy. Big gamble. But keen to keep an open mind and knowing that with the stress of the court case and with all I’m contending with and feeling at times so misunderstood and alone, I need this release. A place of safety. To be heard, acknowledged, understood, to be supported, not judged, no expectations, no misguided advice, just a trained empathetic ear, to see me, hear me and guide me through this mess.
I couldn’t find the numbers along the street so I parked and walked along in the freezing rain and cold wind. The lonely desperate trudge to find refuge, to find comfort in the words of a stranger.
From the moment I arrived the building was old, what you might call ‘shabby’ lent to the woman to use by a local church, but not affliated with the church – she’s of Maori descent and proud of her spiritual whakapapa. She greeted me warmly. Took me to a deceptively large area with a beautifully written poem hung on a walk about being a survivor, going from the eyes of a child to an adult. I later learnt that she had written it. There was artwork, it was slightly shambolic with paperwork and toys. But I felt immediately comforted. She gave me the sense of feeling that I was in control but I had no doubt that she led the entire session. She was quick to observe body language and eye movements that I’m usually so good at not giving away. We focused primarily on my symptoms of PTSD as they are at such a peak. How my hyper vigilance and survival mode is at an all time high so that routines become obsessive and normal to me. It felt like such an enormous relief when she said things to me that I could identify with, compare to. And yet these things didn’t always strike me as being ‘unusual’ or ‘abnormal’ they are engrained in me. Part of me.
We discussed my mood swings, so intense. My need to control. My feelings of fear.
Then I suddenly felt very emotional. She told me I could live without these obsessions and routines, I told her I couldn’t believe it.
So much had tumbled out of me. And she was so kind, she understood me. She got it.
I told her I was very tired. I didn’t know what I was doing anymore. I’d taken this to court, I’d done something about my mental health, now I have to find peace. There has to be life after this.
I’ll be seeing her weekly now.
I anticipate the new medicine change will make things difficult at times. Talking again out loud about things so painful will be hard.
I need to make sure my children don’t suffer from my continued failings as a mother.
I’m holding on by a thread here, reaching out. Desperate for the sweet mercy of peace and the ability to move on. To stop torturing myself, to get my power back. And to stop my poor inner 14 year old from reliving the same trauma. To stop my ex from keep beating me down.
I need courage.