Down

I write a blog for myself. I want to document my feelings and things that go on. If some people read it and find it useful – great! Some other people might read it and think it’s boring tosh- and that’s fine too. As I said, my blog is my diary, and being online is validating – as opposed to keeping a journal.

So with that in mind I’m writing how I feel right now. I hope that in a couple of days things will change.

Today I had therapy, it was a non event, she taught me breathing exercises which were pretty pointless thanks to a gaggle of young women outside the window being noisy. The only interesting thing that occurred was asking if I thought all men were dangerous, to which I replied instantly yes. All men have the capacity to get angry and then dangerous. She told me that wasn’t true. She wants me to recognise my responses as irrational and garner some control. Of course she’s right. I spend most of my life hyper vigilant and ready for an attack – it is exhausting.

Anyway, after therapy I felt quite raw, still tired from the night before and still processing so many things. I opted to go to Steve’s house. I didn’t want to be alone and my house somehow doesn’t feel safe like his. He was working from home and I told him I felt sick from everything and really sad. And I did feel really sad. He didn’t even glance up from his iPad. It was obvious I was a bore to him. I straight out asked him if he thought I should be over this by now. His answer was vague, but painfully clear to me. Then he went to get the kids. I sat for a while looking out the window and then realised there was no point to me being there. I was clearly emotional and I didn’t want the kids to see and Steve clearly doesn’t care so I have nothing.

At my house I’ve felt like I’ve come off my axis a little bit. Im feeling down. Miserable. Lonely. Afraid. Like I’ve failed because I’m not over it after all this time. The failure is a big one.

Interestingly I felt like I was getting somewhere after the group and chatting to my friend about things. I honestly felt things were changing. And yet they’re not. Apparently I’m just repeating things.

So I’ve hit a wall. I no longer know what I’m supposed to be doing. And worse still my mental illness is threatening to consume me because I’ve lost myself somewhere.

So this is how I feel tonight. Alone. Sad. Like a failure. And I’ve no idea how to get myself back on track.

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Group

Yesterday was the group. I tend not to say much about myself and listen to others instead. But the need to talk about February was too great. I explained that it was an anniversary of sorts – didn’t give much detail, but went on to say I was easily triggered, that I didn’t know how to handle the month, let alone the specific day. Most if not all the women in the group said they were guilty of triggering themselves. The reasons a, creating a situation they had control over and b, an element of self harm/punishment. I was so relieved to find out I wasn’t alone. I also talked about some of the preventative measures I’ve put in place such as deactivating Facebook and avoiding the news. The facilitator talked about avoiding confrontation and taking extra care. I felt really supported in the group and less alone. I’m so glad I went.

After group I went back to my friend’s house (someone from group) and we had a really in depth conversation. I explained it was shame that was stopping me from talking about any details and she felt talking was the only way to get rid of the shame. She talked about her own experiences, her own shame and facing it head on. I was able to open up a bit more to her, whereas previously I’d dodge it. It was incredibly painful and i bordered on a panic attack, but it felt good to talk a bit more. To trust her and to open up to her. She had some ideas for the actual day, watching movies or going for a walk. Just doing something different but not lying in bed all day.

I talked about how I wanted answers. The ‘whys’ primarily and she rightly said that no answer would help me. That the pain would still be mine to bear. She’s right of course.

I didn’t leave her house until 11.30, so after group and an intense conversation I felt drained to the very core. Of course sleep didn’t come easy. My brain was in turmoil. I’d wake up and then drift into a troubled sleep. My friend had told me to expect that.

I have therapy later today, so I feel I have a lot to go over.

I definitely feel I’m putting the work in this month.

Struggling

I deactivated Facebook. I didn’t realise just how much I scrolled through my newsfeed, I find myself grabbing my phone and then realising. I’m probably getting more upset having Facebook though, so I think my brain and my emotions will appreciate the break. And I have messenger active, so I can still communicate with friends.

Last night I had a powerful flashback which nearly sent me into a panic attack, but I had the children at mine, so I had to stay calm and distract myself.

The flashback was of my ex forcing me to receive a sex act that the rapist forced on me. So a double whammy. I feel so out of control of these images and memories. I hate it. I hate living like this. I hate that I feel so vulnerable and everywhere feels dangerous and every man that comes near me feels like a threat. That said, I also act over aggressive. A bus driver asked me to move my car, and I told him it wasn’t my fault he couldn’t park his bus (he had loads of room). I got in my car and he opened up the passenger door and swore at me. I just saw red, I felt cornered and I told him if he didn’t shut my passenger door I would ‘cut his head off.’ – a slight exaggeration I think! But it was fear fuelling my anger and on principle I wasn’t going to be bullied by the man.

I’m feeling tired and irritable. My concentration is shot because my brain keeps reliving in the past, so often I miss conversations with my children, and I can’t stay focussed on reading or tv.

When I went for an appointment with my CPN yesterday and he was off sick, but he’s made contact via email and it’s reassuring to have that check on my mental health. In terms of my mood I know I’m stable, that I’m not entering a low. This is purely circumstantial. I hope it stays that way too.

The kids are back at school now (new term started here), so I’m back to chauffeur mode. I need to learn how to use that time so I’m not isolating myself again – which is tempting. The kids on holiday gave me a purpose and I was desperate for them to have the best summer holiday and form lots of memories. Now I need to learn to do things for me.

Facebook

Every year I do the same. I unblock ‘him’ on Facebook and look through his profile. Even though it affects me terribly and makes me feel sick to my core, I feel this need to see what’s happening in his life. I realise Facebook tends to only show the good and not the bad, but looking at the pictures it seems life is treating him well. I am so gut wrenchingly sad to see this. I’m not sure what I hope for, but in reality I doubt anything would soothe me. It’s all smiles in the pictures but I remember his anger, I remember his not stopping and I remember the pain.

It’s not too dissimilar from these celebrities that act like they’re gods and people adore them, but some women have experienced the other side. The dark side. Unbelievable to so many, it makes it worse, makes it some how scarier, that these people can swim through life, never having any accountability.

And the same thing happens every year, Facebook makes you wait something like 3 days to block someone you’ve just unblocked. So I wait this time down, fearful of my own online safety.

The other issue I’m having with Facebook is triggering articles being published. They pop up on my newsfeed and I am saddened by the stories but made angry by some of the comments.

Steve knows all of this. He tells me to shut Facebook down for a few weeks this time of year. I like to see my friends and families posts, but the price is becoming absorbed in this online world and forgetting to process what I’m actually seeing. Instead over loading and feeling it all when it’s too late.

I fear every year being like this. Never being free of the memories, never being able to breeze through this time without any emotional turmoil.

The thing that gets me most is my sense of powerlessness. I tried reporting him, I even tried confronting him in a letter. But he got a lawyer, and there wasn’t enough evidence because it was historical. Despite a witness finally being more forthcoming. Although I feel for her because I think she was victim too (one of his friends). I don’t think I’ll ever have closure. I only would have closure if he admitted to what he’d done.

So I’ve done my Facebook thing, painful as usual.

I’m considering shutting down Facebook for a few weeks. Apparently messenger is still accessible so at least I’m contactable to friends and family.

I feel so alone with this. I wish someone would reach in and take all the hurt away.

Past and present

I’m feeling increasingly more jumpy. Also more emotional and more frustrated. I can’t stop ruminating over the police investigation and how hard it was, not to mention how futile it was. For him, it’s long since forgotten, but for me I’m still having to deal with the trauma. I’m sick of this every year. I have tried to forget it, but my mind always takes the same route, and the memories come flooding back. I feel so powerless.

On another note, I heard from the investigating cop about the one that’s been dismissed and the internal investigation still hasn’t started yet. To be honest, I couldn’t care less about that. The cops are a network, no one is going to do anything within the force. I feel like shaking them and telling them to use their resources to investigate what happened to me. I don’t know if enough rocks were unturned, and I hate myself for not remembering names, although for the important witnesses, I’m not even sure I knew their names at the time. It doesn’t stop me feeling like I could have done more.

And my ex continues to come into the picture. As if I don’t have enough traumatic events to deal with. I suppose he’s living the life of Riley too. I have no faith in karma or the justice system.

This Sunday is the support group and I’ll definitely go to that. I haven’t been for months. I think it’ll be beneficial to be around other people that can understand me. I’ve tried finding some comfort in a couple of websites; aftersilence.org and pandoras aquarium. But then I end up finding the posts triggering.

2 of my children are back at school. The youngest. I miss them terribly, especially my son. But I am able to get more done during the day. My other 2 start on Thursday.

Steve is away a lot so I get to stay at the house and to be honest, it helps. If feels safer here. It always did feel like my sanctuary. When he’s back, I actually dread going back to mine. Although I’ve got it laid out perfectly for me, it’s hard to feel at home. The house is in a suburb on a fairly busy street, and there’s crime down there. Whereas up here at the house, there isn’t crime around and the house is on a private, dead end road, so no through traffic.

I miss my old life. And I can’t get over the sting of loneliness. I’m going through all this trauma alone.

I just want February to hurry up and be over.

Therapy fall out

Physically I’m feeling unwell, I just vomited quite violently in the toilet.

Mentally and emotionally I feel beaten up. I feel a myriad of different emotions. Fear, shame, guilt, anger, sadness to name a few. I really thought when Steve got back from work he’d appreciate how bad I was feeling, but he didn’t care. I stayed in the bedroom while the kids played outside and he watched tv. I don’t know why I expected anything different. But he’s the one person that’s always got me, always understood and supported me. I suppose it was wrong of me to expect something different. After all I’m not his concern now and it’s none of his business.

Memories plague me. Snippets of horrible scenes that I don’t want to think about. I feel the shame and sense of being dirty as though it only happened last week.

I wanted to shower and scrub myself, but I was at Steve’s house, so it wasn’t really reasonable to expect to do that.

Even my relationship with my ex has come to the forefront of things. And even worse, ‘our’ song came on the radio on the drive home from Steve’s and it felt like I was being taunted from a past that should be buried. I think about how he manipulated me, how he abused me and how I held him in such high regard (this is a different ex, not Steve).

I talked about too much today and it’s really messing with my head.

Unfortunately I have the 2 younger ones staying with me tonight as they start school tomorrow. But I would have preferred to stay alone tonight. I’m sad, I’m lonely and now I’m sick. I just need some space. I’m due to return to Steve’s Tomorrow as the 2 oldest are there and he’s away overnight.

Therapy and holidays

Had my first therapy session today. Jury’s out on whether we’ll gel. But I did open up an awful lot to her today, more than anticipated with a new therapist. It’s like everything I’ve been ruminating over came spilling out. All of my anxiety around the date, the flashbacks, the panic, my ex and how he treated me, the confusing stuff with the cop. I asked her what was normal, I asked for her perspective, I relayed conversations, thoughts and memories as they came racing through. I even spoke a little about my relationship ending with Steve and how that’s impacted me. Once I started, there was no stopping me! It goes to show just how much I’ve had in my head, how much has been bothering me and weighing me down. I did feel calmer when I left. My head felt like it had more room.

I’ve really got a lot in with the kids these holidays. We’ve been constantly either at the beach or at the pools. It’s another sweltering hot day here and I’ve love to be on the beach, but the kids are struggling with the heat, so they’re happy at home. Two of them (the two youngest) start school tomorrow. It’ll be strange after having them around for so long! But it means I can get stuff done without worrying about dragging the kids around. And I’d like to spend as much time as I can at the beach before summer goes.

So, feeling pretty good about today, certainly relieved to have started therapy again. Although for me, it’s usually the night I start to feel it.

And really happy with the way the school holidays have been. I can’t imagine I’d have been capable of this a few months ago.