This weekend I’ve predominantly slept and shut myself away. The noise of the kids has been more overwhelming than usual and my aversion to being touched worse than its been for a long time. Even my son whom I love a good snuggle with especially in the mornings and I can be a bit soft on him in the evening when wants to sit we us, I’ve not wanted the feeling of limbs, or heat on my body. While I know it’s my son, my cherished warm little guy that in my darkest hour keeps me going, my body just doesn’t want the touch. My youngest daughter is always full of love and wants to hug me, but her hugs become claustrophobic.
When they’ve been distracted I’ve hurried out the room to check their rooms, take out bowls, throw out rubbish, in keeping with my routine with keeping the house clean and tidy but then I skuttle back to room like a witch from a fairy tale.
I just went out to see my husband and kids in the spa pool. Excited faces (they’re not allowed in it very often), laughing and playing. All I could see was scattered damp clothes, the water being thrown over the sides (yikes that’s not good for the water level!), it’s going to need a hit of chemicals after they’ve been in it, lots of towels that would add to my laundry list, and they all looked up at me happily to ask if I’d join. A spa pool full of kids? Frankly I’d rather take my chances in a lake of piranha.
I utilised that as an opportunity to hunt bedrooms for hidden rubbish, hidden lunch bars, hidden pens, and do the laundry cycle.
I suppose this feeling comes from the week I had. The impact of rushing around, keeping to times and not allowing any emotions to get in the way. Not having time to rest.
On Friday night my mind was racing through all the issues, anxieties, topics from therapy – there was no respite. I took quitiepiene. I needed to shut down and sleep. My daughter woke me in the early hours to say she felt ill. I could barely murmur for her to have water and some more sleep. Not long after our son joined us. Being disturbed like that gave me a huge migraine. Fortunately my husband decided to get up with our son. So I was left to sleep off the migraine.
I’ve felt irritable throughout Saturday. I tried taking minimal doses of quitiepiene and occasionally diazepam. There was a restlessness, anxiety, miserable. I struggled to relax but I knew I was tired.
Sunday has been similar, although I’ve really avoided everyone as much as I can.
I have always ignored my needs. When things have stressed me out or upset me, I have just moved and busied myself. But I notice that it’s not uncommon for other survivors or other people with PTSD or depression to listen to themselves and take time out when it all gets a bit much to avoid getting to a point where they’re pushed to it, as I have been.
The trouble is when I’ve been pregnant or fractured my foot and the experts advice has been to slow down – I have done more. As though I need to prove I am better than their advice, or some sort of superhero. If someone tells me not to expect to achieve something within a set timeframe, you can bet your arse I’m working to accomplish it within half that timeframe.
Why the need to prove myself all the time and to whom? I’m not going into any history books! There aren’t doctors talking about that one patient that defied advice and […] and my husband isn’t waxing lyrical with his colleagues about how his pregnant wife used to move furniture around and carry things upstairs etc. as usual the only person I stand to harm is myself. And the only person I’m trying to prove myself to is myself.
A residual trait from my upbringing. Don’t think you’re anything special. Regardless of what’s wrong with you (except mental health – they didn’t believe in that) you do the same as you usually would. Don’t make excuses, don’t expect pity and don’t ask for help.
So all those inner frustrations and bitterness must have manifested and made them the repressed, bitter people they are today. Judgemental, never asking for help (or giving it), angry at the world and unable to communicate.
On my journey I have learnt to say when I’m struggling.
But these last couple of weeks have shown me there’s still a way to go. I was able to push myself, ignore my concerns – and I did have them, isolate from people, stop communicating, and push myself against my better judgement.
Now I’m in my room feeling isolated, disconnected. Triggered. I’m feeling young again in that I’m vulnerable, I’m afraid – of what I don’t know, I’ve let myself down.
Mental health, being a survivor, it’s so complex. When you think you have a grasp, everything becomes unfamiliar again.