Lithium and PTSD

So I’m officially back on lithium now. It’s too early to feel the awful side effects, but my psychiatrist reassured me that my mood would stop dipping. So we’ll see how it goes. I’m starting on 1000mg increasing after a week. I’m still keeping my other medication which I’m hoping to reduce over time because I’m now on so many pills.

My PTSD reared up spectacularly recently. My car was making a hideous noise to the point I was panicking while I drove it. I made it to Steve’s house and asked to borrow his car. I begged him to call the dealership because I’m so anxious about confrontation. I’ve dealt with them three times already and my anxiety was too high. I was prepared to abandon the car altogether. He made the initial call but I followed it up after he kept on having a go at me for dumping the car outside his house. They agreed to come and collect it.

So turns out, someone took my wheel nuts off, no doubt desperate to steal my alloys to make some money for Xmas. Fortunately one is safety locked on, so I was driving a car with no wheel nuts. I was very fortunate that I didn’t have an accident. The car is either parked outside my house or the police station where I work. Naturally it’s unlikely to be the latter where this occurred, so it means the offender came onto my driveway. I reported it to the police who classified it as a burglary and they asked me to check for signs of entry into the house. I couldn’t see anything, but that didn’t stop me from panicking. That night I barely slept, every noise sounded like an intruder, I was absolutely terrified. The first time I have felt so vulnerable in my home.

I told my elderly neighbour what had happened as she parks outside her house and she told me that her neighbor (on the other side) had had his car trashed. A garbage can thrown over it, windscreen wipers bent. I was shocked and I guess grateful that nothing worse had happened to mine.

I borrowed one of Steve’s golf club’s in an attempt to feel safer at night. But it’s been hard. I’ve been especially jumpy and been suffering with horrible nightmares. I have had an unrelenting migraine for three days, which is costing me a fortune in medication as the prescribed codeine isn’t working.

The deduction from my pay for my student loan was so huge, it’s meant I can’t make the rent. I don’t understand it at all, I thought I had to meet a certain income threshold. I really don’t need this. I’m literally going to be one of these people that is better just living off benefits. Which is awful because work, despite the long hours, has been really good for my confidence and sense of independence.

I’m really feeling the stress and with Xmas fast approaching, it’s only going to get worse. I hate Xmas as it is, so I’m making steps to avoid it, although I’m supposed to be attending this bloody work function on the 13th. I can’t think of anything worse. The people I work with are nice, but so bitchy and in these cliches it’s pretty pathetic. They’re definitely not the sort of people I’d want to liaise with outside of work. I’ve offered to cover the night shift in an attempt to get out of it, but they’ve worked it so that I can still attend and work later!

I’m not seeing the kids from now and through the weekend, I’m working and Steve’s away so his parents are down and looking after them. Of course I’m grateful to them for stepping up, but I miss the kids terribly. I wonder what this is all for sometimes.

Advertisements

Not sleeping

I saw Ian again today and the topic of lithium came up again. I’m now seriously considering it, especially with Xmas coming up.

I’m struggling with these shift hours and the resulting lack of sleep is making me irritable and restless. I’m still under a lot of pressure financially, and my bloody car is falling apart at the seems. First it was the battery, then the electrics, now it’s making a knocking noise. I regret getting that car more than anything right now, it’s causing me a lot of stress. I finally asked Steve to help me this weekend because I’m working and he acted like I was asking for a pot of gold. I just figured he’d have more sway rather than a nearly hysterical woman seen to be moaning all the time. I feel completely on my own and with no support.

Last night I couldn’t sleep for hours. My anxiety is so bad, it’s taking over my life at the moment. I worry about everything and anything. It’s 2am now and it’s going to be another late night, as I can’t seem to sleep, despite taking a sleeping tablet.

Sleep is such a major trigger for me, so is Xmas, so I’m worried about my mood dipping again.

On the whole, work is going well, and I use my days off to tidy/clean the house, so I’m being productive. And I’m still showering daily. But I find my irritability is always lurking in the background. I find noises annoying, like a ticking clock today, or my child sniffing. It’s all loud and irritating. And I keep feeling that creeping sensation of restlessness which ruins my capacity to concentrate. Finally I’m experiencing the crushing symptoms of anxiety. The racing heart, the breathlessness, the cold sweat. It’s affecting my every day life now.

I see my psychiatrist next Friday, so I’ll use the week to consider my symptoms and have a discussion then.

Lithium has previously worked for me, I just don’t like the foggy feeling. Or the complete plateau of feelings. But maybe that’s what I need at the moment.

Going down

I saw my CPN today. I was in tears by the time my appointment started. I’ve been working long hours, I’m scheduled to work tonight from 9.30pm-7am – with no breaks. And tomorrow night the same! I was up at 4am this morning because Steve was going away for business. I’ve got no money, my car is expensive to run (why oh why didn’t I factor in running costs) I’ve got no food and no money to buy food. And yet I’m working all the hours I can which is slowly killing me. I’ve been so emotional, I had to ask Steve to order pizza for me and the kids tonight. He did so, without any argument and I was so pathetically grateful I sobbed over that.

So I’m feeling kind of raw, overly tired and tiredness is a huge factor for me. Plus all this talk about sexual assault allegations is making me feel triggered and sick.

I wanted to see the CPN to check in because I’m terrified of a relapse. He told me that he felt my reaction was that caused by stress – which he considered normal, but commented that shift work can of course trigger mood disorders. I’m talking to him next week to see how I am.

I’m glad he’s there to listen and guide me as I can’t afford therapy anymore.

I haven’t been able to catch up with any of my friends because I’m either working or too tired from work, so I’m feeling quite alone and isolated. More trigger points for me.

The commute into work is killing me, parking is a hassle, and the train seems too much hard work after a long shift,plus I don’t like travelling alone at night.

In all I feel like a flake.  I’m barely making enough to pay rent and bills. My hair looks bloody awful but i can’t afford a hair cut, let alone colour. I feel miserable about my appearance, but can’t do anything about it.

I’m of course grateful that I have a house AND a car AND a job. But at the moment work is ruling my entire life, I’mmissing valuable time with my children and my financial situation is dire. Meanwhile Steve continues to live in the big house and now drives a Jaguar. 

I feel so useless.

Parent drama 

So I had therapy yesterday and in this session I discussed my feelings of disappointment that my parents are not making any effort with my children. I decided to confront the issue with an email which I’ve pasted here as I feel in retrospect that I was unfair – and the kids have agreed with my point – which discussed it. My relationship with my parents has always been tumultuous at best, but I really thought everything would be different in NZ. Sadly they have reverted to their old ways. I’ve not had a response so they’ve not even attempted to change their behaviour or discuss the situation;

Hello

You may have been surprised by my outburst and I don’t want you to think a, it was just a bipolar thing or b, I don’t appreciate what you have done for me.
In England you were both fantastic and I appreciated your support, financial and emotional. I’m really glad you came back with me. However, the reason I felt strongly that you should leave is because;
1, when I asked dad about the lawyer his immediate response was ‘that’s all we need’ and seemed put out that your plans were affected

2, you’ve not asked to spend ANY time with the kids and I felt I had to ‘force’ you to come to horse riding. I realise 4 is hard work but you could have taken it in turns to take 1 or 2 at a time 

3, there’s no point in saying you don’t want to ‘get in the way’ I’m back in NZ now and you guys have limited time with them

4, Ella was looking forward to her ‘birthday dinner’ which I suspect would never happen. And I’ve told you they’re going on Sunday.

5, I’ve heard you wax lyrical about your day trips and lunches out and not once have you asked me or the kids to join in. I realise it might be an ‘expense’ thing but the kids would have loved a trip to the park or the beach

6, I’ve had next to nothing in money, the WINZ pay out was minimal because of stand down times and only a few days were included. I have managed to feed the kids, but barely – although I appreciate that’s not your problem – it’s been stressful

7, I went to a therapy session but I was called before the session had even finished because there was no milk and the kids were to quote, ‘very noisy’ and I felt rushed to get back which subsequently made me anxious.

8, I’ve had to assume immediate, full time care of the kids with no support. I’d loved to have spent some more time doing the house, or perhaps just getting a coffee after my therapy session, some form of back up, but instead I’m juggling it all, while trying to manage my mental health and new medication 

9, Barb and Terry weren’t going to get involved over the school holidays because they assumed you’d want to spend time with the kids, but I realise you wouldn’t have coped for even the Monday, so they’re going earlier. Where I know, despite how I feel about them, they dote on the kids and will take them out, feed them, show an interest 

10, another example was dad not being particularly interested in seeing Moonie’s school

You may think I’m being unreasonable and I repeat, I know what you’ve done for me and I appreciate it. But I also know that if my kids needed me (with or without their own kids) I wouldnt give a damn about the country, I’d do everything possible for them. You repeatedly stated that this wasn’t a ‘holiday’ and yet you seem begrudged when I’ve asked for help. 
I don’t want to end on bad terms, it was really great connecting with you in England, and you’re more than welcome to stay at my house on Saturday night. I’ll stay at Steve’s so I can spend the night with the kids. After all it’s the least I can do for you after you accommodating me for 3 months and paying for my accomodation in NZ.
Perhaps I’ve expected too much of you and perhaps I should have been clearer about the sort of emotional support I’d need. But I know that when you stayed with us in NZ previously and Darwin, you were far more interested in sightseeing then spending quality time with the kids. That’s ok, I shouldn’t have anticipated anything else. We all have limits after all. I certainly have mine.
I’d like to thank you again and hope you continue to enjoy this beautiful country. And the weather stays nice for you. I’ve explained all of the above to the kids so they understand where I’m coming from and they can understand my frustration. But won’t think badly of you, just acknowledge that your relationship is different.
Hopefully see you around, if not, I love you both very much and thank you.

Update 

I don’t want to go back to New Zealand! But of course I miss my kids terribly and I couldn’t live on the other side of the world to them.

It’s frustrating not being able to use a car and relying on my parents, but my friends have been awesome and I feel much less alone here.

The whole prospect of dealing with housing and the divorce seems so overwhelming. I’m sure if I stayed in the UK for longer I’d be stronger. But I can’t afford to stay, I can’t get a job because I need to go back.

S has done me a favour by acting like a prize twerp and being pretty bloody awful. I no longer miss him or hold onto a future with him. I’m concerned about how difficult it will be going back and him not being as least amicable. But that’s to do with making things easier, not a need to feel anything from him. If I had the kids here, I wouldn’t give him a second thought. I have family and friends here that care about me. I could easily start my life over back here.

But alas, the kids belong in NZ and I belong with them. They ask me everyday when am I going to go back. They get tearful and I know my lack of presence is affecting them. Although S would tell me they’re doing well without me! – anything to hurt me. But I care only about their welfare.

I’m applying for jobs over there while I’m here – and getting plenty of rejections too! No, my transition back won’t be an easy one.

Am I strong enough to cope? Thats the question. I wanted to come here and try to recuperate. And I am gradually getting my head together – but that’s through the love and support of people around me. I’m not sure how I’ll fare once I’m on my own again. Old habits die hard. And I’m always on the edge of a dark depression.

Tomorrow my best friend gives birth, so I’ll focus on her and the baby for now. I have a few weeks left to try and prepare myself.

Facebook

I have some wonderful followers on here that either come along to read, or post inspiring and heplful comments.  It makes me feel less alone, in difficult times.

As such, I’ve taken a leaf out of a fellow bloggers (epage!) and have created a Facebook page. Here you will find a (very) novice platform to contact me, create discussion or to find some agencies that may be helpful.  You are always welcome to contact me via that page or on here, and I’d be happy to locate more sources as needed.

The most important thing that this blog has created is a community in which I’ve been able to express all of my inner most thoughts, feelings, fears, symptoms and my life journey to recovery.

No one should be alone.

Thank to everyone over the last years that have held my hand and offered me words to think over, words to soothe and words to remind me that I’m heard.

The blog of course will continue as normal.

Penny Insane

(https://www.facebook.com/PennyInsane)

Penny

xx

 

 

A husband’s view…

I read with interest when a blogger I follow and very much enjoy – let her husband write his perspective to her trauma. To her journey. Often as victims we don’t hear how our partners/friends/husbands really feel.

Please read this amazing blog entry below.

As a husband, I naturally want to save my wife’s inner-child from 6 years of sexual abuse, unfortunately i’ll have to settle for the clean-up crew..

http://adjustremembered.com/2015/09/23/i-may-be-her-batman-but-ill-never-get-to-stop-the-villain-of-her-past/