Down again

Today I went to the day centre and I didn’t feel very relaxed. I did talk to the staff and a guest speaker who was there to discuss pharmaceuticals. I felt obligated to be polite and partake in the discussion but really I was tired and couldn’t think very well. Ironically he thought I came across so well he assumed that I was well, these kind of remarks feel quite dismissive. Just because I am functioning and hiding my feelings well doesn’t mean I’m any less well or any better than anyone else.

I had therapy this afternoon and I talked about how my inner child is really on the surface and seeking comfort and nurturing . Even during the session I picked up a cuddly toy and held onto it. I didn’t feel the need to talk about anything specific in therapy and felt a little bit like I was just paying lip service by being there.

When I returned to respite, I felt considerably more tired and quite low. 

I was able to squeeze in a hair appointment because I thought that might pick me up. My hair has been especially neglected.

But all that happened was I ended up having long conversations with my hairdresser that I wasn’t really in the mood for, plus my hair cost me a fortune and left me feeling broke. So I returned to respite and crawled into bed. I was upset that I feel low again. I thought I was improving. Last night I slept so well. And I had every faith my new medication regime was going to pick me up.

Instead I’m anxious and afraid that it won’t work and I’ll continue to feel low. I feel such a sense of loss and disappointment.

I messaged my case worker and he told me recovery is never straight forward. I suppose it stands to reason that it wouldn’t be linear. I just wish I could feel happy.

Day centre

I’m absolutely shattered from day therapy but I just wanted to say that it was really nice to be out and to be surrounded by such kind and supportive people.

I had ‘canine therapy’ which was basically me lying down with this gorgeous Parisian mountain dog! It’s unlike me, but I’m really needing to feel nurtured.

I also used a ‘weighted ‘ toy to rest on me which was really helpful, much like the blankets.

I miss the kids but I know I’d never reap the benefits of somewhere like this if I had to go home and deal with the kids. I certainly wouldn’t remember my medication regime. New pills!

I stopped and bought myself a toy!

Nurturing my inner child 😊 I wanted something to cuddle into a night.

Last night I had terrible nightmares and I really REALLY couldn’t face today. I wanted to stay in bed, but I’m glad I forged forwards.

I’m going tomorrow morning and then onto therapy. Another draining day, but hopefully conducive in the long run.

Torturous night

Last night is the worst night I’ve had in a long time. I’m feeling groggy and dizzy but I need to write it out because I’m worried about my sanity and I don’t want to call on friends.

I couldn’t sleep for ages, even though I was tired. I cried on and off and surfed the web to waste time. After 1am, I thought I better try, I was plunged into sickening nightmares. Graphic and violent. I was a child in these dreams, vulnerable and terrified. I woke up in a panic attack. I felt really scared and vulnerable. I checked the time, surely it must be getting towards morning and the light will come to reassure me? It was 1.45! I couldn’t believe this powerful, debilitating nightmare that felt long could only last for half an hour!

I went to the loo, took some diazapam, tended to the fire and tried to get back to sleep. I felt restless but too afraid to take a walk. When sleep finally came I was thrust again in nightmares, painful and terrifying. Abuse, neglect, fear. I awoke in a panic, twisted, damp sheets. For a moment I worried I’d wet the bed. I stumbled to the loo, slightly disorientated. In my blundering state, tended to the fire again. It felt bitterly cold. But I couldn’t stand to have a shower, I felt I’d be vulnerable.

3am, lying in bed. Emotional, exhausted, terrified of my own mind. Feeling painfully alone, unsure of myself, suffocated by the never ending night.

Finally giving into the lure of sleep. And thrust back to a medley of terrifying nightmares. My mind reaching for something. Recreating my history, seemingly checking every corner of my mind, reliving but with a twisted abstract feel. Me, young again. No control. The dream being my reality. Seemingly lasting for hours.

4.30, bedsheets soaked. Disorientated. Dizzy with tiredness and a shortness of breath as though I’d been running. Acid in my throat. Feeling so sick, feeling alone and confused. The fire no longer a priority. Every noise sounding like a threat.

Alone in bed. Wondering why. Unsure what to do. The child within me feeling traumatised. 

So long until sunrise. Night is playing an awful trick. It’s blanketing me and never ending. I have no way of switching off my tired mind. It’s active, it’s thinking while I’m awake, trying to make sense of things.

Succumb to sleep again. This time I’m witness to my own insanity. The breakdown. My mind and body unable to process the pain, the stress. I’m lost in a world that exists only to me. I’m locked away. I’m feeling claustrophobic in the dream. I want to get away, I need to be free. But I’m both physically trapped and mentally lost in my own mind. I can see myself going through the motions, but I can also hear my brain. I’m desperately aware of the pain, of the confusion, of being lost and being held against my will by people that want to ‘cure’ me.

I’ve just woken in a panic. Restless like nothing I’ve experienced in a long time. Scared of the images, and scared of losing my own sanity.

I’m dizzy, my headaches, my mouth is dry. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I need. 

Thank god it’s light now. There is safety in the light. It’s so quiet though, as though everyone else has ceased to exist. I’m alone with this turmoil, the thread of sanity.

I don’t understand why I suffered last night. I’m scared of a repeat. I don’t know how to start the day from here.

I feel physically and mentally tired. I feel afraid. I feel disoriented and caught between my dreams and my nightmares.

I don’t know what to do. 

Did I see my inner child?

Last night I had the most vivid dream. Seeing inside a small attic I was watching a variation of different personalities. Some male, some female. Different clothes, different styles. Assertive, submissive, angry, feminine, individual, flighty, arty, professional, controlling, even a drunk in the corner that didn’t want to be part of any of it. In my dream I was aware that these were representations of the different parts of me. I have no idea how I knew that, I just did, and the attic was my mind. I stood, unknown, an unseen, listening and watching these characters all that I could identify with living in the attic, becoming strong at different times. Being needed at different times. Sometimes becoming uncomfortable to watch.

Then the attic began to clear out, and I was left in the apparent emptiness. I stood for a while considering all the parts of me I had witnessed and then I heard a voice, strained and slight.

There curled into the foetul position was young adult. Naked aside from a dirty blanket, too small, part covering her. She was bloody from old, untreated injuries. She was terribly malnourished, her skin almost transculent. Her eyes dark and sunken. So weak and frail. A bony arm tried to reach out. She saw me. And I realised in that instance I had forgotten her. I crouched next to her and knew her chances of survival were slim if barely at all. 

I wanted to apologise. I knew her degraded state was my fault. Her sadness was breath taking. 

I knew that this must be the representation of my inner child.

There has been a lot of talk in the group therapy and in my counselling about the inner child. At first I was cynical. But gradually I have warmed to the idea and it makes a great deal of sense to me. Over recent weeks I have tried to connect more with my inner child. To learn about myself, my tantrums and fears and to an extent where I have become emotionally stunted to an age where the trauma and my upbringing had stopped me from growing.

This dream is the first type of it’s kind for me. I found it harrowing to say the least. 

Although I haven’t suffered severe neglect or malnourishment, my body has been treated brutally. As a child I wasn’t  given the affection and consistency that a child needs in a healthy environment and I struggle with the possibility of abuse in childhood. Being raped as a young teenager took its toll on me physically, mentally and emotionally. In my abusive relationship I was physically hurt, sexually hurt and humiliated, locked in rooms, stripped of my clothes, my dignity, feared for my life. 

The toll of this trauma has been self loathing, self harm, breakdowns, relying on various medications.  I have been in so many states of depression, numbness, psychosis, denial, anger, confusion, fear, mania-the whole spectrum that I sometimes doubt my true mood.

The only truth I know is that deep down there is a little girl inside of me. And she’s terrified. She’s lonely. Her tears – when she’s allowed to cry, her painful and unrelenting grief. She’s confused. 

But I have stifled her. Like so many others have.

So I consider in that dream I saw a representation of her, of me. The forgotten. The left behind. The dirty, shameful secret.

When I woke up I was in a cold sweat, wrapped tightly in the feotul position, presumably for some time, my back ached painfully. My limbs felt like I’d been on a long car journey. I had to get up and walk around, properly stretch myself out. The image of the girl still strong in my mind.

Sleep was hard after that. I felt anxious. Haunted. Uncomfortable.

I’m not sure how to move past that dream.  It might all have just been a meaningless dream, but my instinct tells me there is more to this.

A long day


So therapy today. As usual I arrived intending to talk and protect myself. As usual she found her way into my core and i found myself tearful with exhaustion but relief. An understanding and a connection I’ve never felt before. I took a lot from today’s session, like how I can communicate to my children better about their own safety without coming across too scary and aggressive. I learnt I need to let some things go and not carry them as a perpetual reminder of my failures to flog myself with at every given opportunity. I learnt that in some instances it’s best to leave my inner child behind and be adult for the sake for my kids – for example we had the kids teachers interviews this afternoon. The thought of school brought bad memories up, and that petulant, aggressive, rebellious kid was bubbling in preparation. I’ve learnt more about how trauma can stunt ones growing so that an inner child can get stuck so it’s easy to revert to that mentality for protection and because that inner child was never nurtured and helped to grow. It makes a lot of sense, when I feel I’m losing control of a situation I get aggressive, I get obnoxious, I get angry and it’s born out of fear, I don’t trust anyone and I must make everyone around me believe that I’m invincible, that I don’t care. I’m just a terrified, clueless kid. But I need to learn to control that. For me, for my family, to communicate better.

We talked about my current unhelpful coping mechanisms that have become so normal to me, isolation, anxiety, shutting down, self blame, guilt, shame, distrust, avoidance, to name but a few. She reassures me that I can be normal again. She inspires me greatly. I know her story. She’s honest, direct, strong, inspiring, confident, honest, comfortable with who she is. I can only imagine being that person.

Currently I sit in her office and sniffle and share evidence of what a poor mother I am, how weak I am. How I prefer to avoid things and how a trigger can ruin my entire day.

She has faith. I wish I did too. But I keep seeing her for her inspiration alone. She does give me hope. And since I’ve been seeing her I’ve been crying a lot more. Really crying. Something I would never feel comfortable to do previously.

Teacher interviews went well. I went easy on them! The feedback was good and I’m proud of my girls. Despite everything they’re smart and do wel academically.

Then I took my two youngest girls to see Inside Out, something they’d been desperate to see. They were so excited. It was lovely to see them so happy. And I’m glad I put the time and energy in. It means so much to them. 

A long day, with a lot of things to focus on. Leaving the movie theatre it was dark and I was out of my comfort zone, but the kids were oblivious and just so thrilled by the movie, it distracted me. 

Getting home I’ve found it hard to unwind. My mind feels busy with the events of the day. My husband is exhausted but i forced him to sit up and watch television with me. I needed the distraction. 

My nightmares are bad. And I know there’s a sadness deep within from the counselling session.

Going into the school felt hard to. Usually my husband does these things, but I want to be part of their lives and school is part of it. It feels almost fearful going in there. But I vowed to leave the lonely, hurt teenager in the car and face this as my adult self for the sake of my girls.

I suppose tomorrow I will feel more raw. Today I have tried avoiding the feelings more. 

Why must it be so fucking hard?

Self made pergutory 

My daughter is finally back at school full time after all the trouble with her arm. Poor thing. It’s still a struggle for her. Of course part of me could keep her at home and nurture her and care for her, wait on her, but she needs her confidence back and frankly I can barely look after myself these days. I’m drained to my very core.

I have the symptoms of a cold, but it’s something I get when I feel completely stressed out and my body is struggling.

I had therapy yesterday. Yet again this woman saw right into me and got to my very core. I broke down and sobbed which is incredibly unusual for me. I talked about my loneliness, my fears, not being understood, my obsessions with keeping safe, my mood swings and how I am around my husband. Almost with a childlike fear at times. Needing more support, but not being able to articulate what I need or how I need it.

She used her experiences and to hear how similar her feelings were was such a huge relief. I almost wanted to shout and grab her, YES YES YES!! YOU GET ME! But I restrained myself. I feel very connected to her. Her examples are bang on, her knowledge and experience are a mirror of my own. It’s impossible not to cry when I hear my own thoughts being said out loud back to me, but with reassurance that it can be broken down and changed. That I can be healthy again. I feel a glimmer of hope, if only for a short time.

I’ve heard from my lawyer that the offender has received his summons now. First to the magistrates to make a plea then it goes to the High Court. The news, although expected still sends ice down my spine. The memories so clear in my mind. The fear, the lack of the control. The spinning towards the edge of a cliff. I want justice, I deserve to be heard. But equally I’m scared of the process. I’m scared of him, his family and just how much more strength and focus is required from me.

After my therapy I met up with two women I’ve become friends with from the support group. We went to the women’s centre and drank tea in front of the fire. It was a true highlight for me. We all know each other’s pain, we can talk about that or the most mundane things. It feels easy, comfortable. Safe. Unlike my usual routine of heading home to bed.

I’m tired. I say that often. But I’m not just generally tired. I’m exhausted and drained. I live two parallel lives. One where I’m mother, do laundry, tidy, etc and when that’s done I’m living in my past. There is an inner child in me that’s scared all the time. Confused, wanting to reach out but not sure who to.

I live with such anxiety all the time. I hardly sleep at night. I don’t do much, and yet I seem to be living the life of a thousand brains.

I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to live in this pergutory. I wish to enjoy and appreciate my life. But I’m the one holding myself back I get that. How messed up is that??

Getting there

I am in this odd state of limbo. I feel mostly fine. I get up, I have more energy, feel more motivated. Having the company of my canine compardre really helps, in terms of getting me out walking and feeling safer and calmer around the home.  When I compare myself to a month or two months ago, the difference is quite astounding. If ever there was an argument for medication – I am it!

I saw my Psychiatrist on Wednesday. She feels that when we first met I was at a 0. She would now regard me as a 7. She feels I am easier to talk to. I don’t disassociate so often. I don’t seem so forlorn. I am not barely surviving. I am, in her words, in remission. I asked her if I could start dropping the Seroquel. She told me, no. She felt it was too soon. She was worried I might relapse if we start taking it down too soon. Let me stay stable for a while. She is going away for two weeks. I asked her what she expected me to be at when we returned. She said probably still a 7 or a 7.5.

I like having time frames. Hearing time frames and expectations, makes me feel safe. It gives me a goal, an objective. My Psychiatrist told me she didn’t expect me to be bouncing off the walls. And you know, I actually take comfort in that. People expect when you’re getting better that every day is going to be another good day. Suddenly you’re not allowed bad days. Its almost like a failure to have a bad day.  I feel the same myself. If I feel miserable I think, shit, I’m failing at this. I’m not trying hard enough. Its like we’re all working to this trajectory where when someone is depressed they must do everything they can to have one good day after another. When my Dr tells me, you may have a good day, a wobbly day, a great day, a bad day, etc, she’s setting a realistic expectation.  She’s letting me know, its OK if I don’t feel so good some days. That’s its normal. I need to hear that. I am harder on myself. I expect the best from myself. I hate failing.

Thursday I saw Anne. I didn’t disassociate at all in that session. Which was odd considering she spent a lot of it talking to my inner child. Sounds odd – I know! Its weird for me to. There”s aspects about myself that I keep hidden. Repressed I supposed. Anne sees them. Somehow. She believes my inner child is the reason I don’t let go of a lot of grief and also why I am, well, I suppose stunted emotionally. She often appeals to her. In an attempt to try and break down some of my walls. I know it all sounds crazy but it seems to make sense at the same. I feel some emotional shifts. Anne says there are very significant changes to my facial expressions. I work hard to allow some emotion to come out. But its not my strong suit.

So this evening my husband and I have booked a babysitter and we are off out for dinner. We are committed to trying to spend more evenings out together. Although as it stands both of us are absolutely shattered!

I have had to explain to my husband that as my overall strength returns, there is a need to turn more inner reflective. Its not intentional. It just feels like so much has gone on in my head. What little energy I have had goes into the children. Now there is a bit more, I am trying to sort out my head. I have so much rolling around in there. And he is at work all day. I don’t find it easy to relay my sessions with Anne. They don’t really make sense to me! But I hope I’m digesting it and its going in and I will start to find peace.