This week has been full on with activities and seeing friends. I’ve really enjoyed physically pushing myself and hope it’ll kick start me into regular exercise, aside from walking the dog around the block.
Today I met with the woman that I got my dog from a second time and we went on a long hike. It was a beautiful day, and our dogs loved it. Then when we went our own way, despite it being late in the afternoon, I decided to drop my dog home, grab my togs and go for a swim. It felt so nice to be out in the ocean, and I picked a spot away from everyone, so it was wonderfully peaceful.
Last night I had dinner with a good friend of mine, and we headed back to my place as we always do and had a few drinks. We talked about a lot of different things, but my past came up. She was quite direct and asked questions which I didn’t mind and would have been comfortable saying if I didn’t want to talk about it. But it felt quite helpful to reference things that really stick in my mind. Memories that are fuzzy, memories that feel like yesterday, thoughts, fears, struggles. I surprised myself by how open I was, but the panic bubbled terribly under the surface. I could feel a panic attack building, but I was conscious of upsetting her, so I had to employ all the techniques I could to avoid one. Like for example listening to the outside noises, looking around the room and identifying things in my mind, and sometimes just straight up changing the subject. It felt strange to hear myself verbalise things that go around in my mind all the time. In retrospect it was quite freeing. And I know my friend well enough to know she’s not uncomfortable with anything I talk about.
I think it’s going to get more difficult as the date approaches. I’m starting to feel uncomfortable with the darkness. And I’m paranoid about him finding me online or just general people outside (men), in case they follow me and see I live alone. I always suffer with these things on and off as a normal course of events, but this time of year it’s more consuming and I feel more emotional. No where feels safe. This is a time when I really miss Steve, he knew exactly what I was going through and knew how to help me. He’d listen to me all night if I needed it. But now he simply doesn’t care and I guess feels it’s not his problem. Which is understandable, but sad for me. No one knows the extent of the trauma or how it impacts me. And although it was good to discuss some things with my friend, she or no one else really gets ‘it’ or me. It’s always been such a deeply private thing for me, I’ve always struggled to reach out. That’s why it was good with Steve because he knew, without me having to spell it out. I can’t imagine having that depth of relationship with anyone else. That’s something that’s built over years and experience.
So, next week I’m taking the kids camping. I’ve been to Kmart to get more camping supplies, my boot is full, ready to be unloaded. The kids are actually excited which is nice after Steve took them on such a lavish holiday. I’ve chosen a spot, not too far so if it all goes wrong we can easily head home, and it’s got a river for swimming and BBQs for us to use. And I spoke to the dog woman from today and she’s happy to babysit my dog. So everything is in place, I just need the food shopping!
Obviously it’s occurred to me that I might feel more jumpy or the darkness might bother me more than usual, but I have to be strong for my children, they take priority and I don’t want them to feel scared.
I’m really looking forward to introducing my kids to camping, and getting them away from their devices!