Storms have ravished and flooded the area we live. My husband left work at my continued ‘nagging’ yesterday because I knew he would be stranded in the city if he didn’t leave soon enough. There is one direct motorway to our town which became impassable by noon because of flooding. The other motorway requires a detour over a highway notorious for accidents and once thats closed, which would be the case; he would be stuck in the city. Public transport stopped running first. By lunchtime the emergency services were suggesting people in the city stay over. By 3pm people that lived in the city were offering their houses, emergency accomodation was being set up and overnight parking was being offered for free – a rarity in any city. Besides all of that chaos, driving conditions were treachorus, and my husband isn’t the most patient driver and his V6 sports car isn’t exactly made for water drenched roads.
Fortunately my children are all down the road, and my car is an AWD, better built for the conditions. Our home is on a mountain so no chance of flooding and I know that we have safety measures in place.
However, at this point in time my PTSD symptoms are off the scale. The dark weather, the storm, the unpredictable scale of the storm, the networks going down, potential power cuts, my husband being stranded or getting killed on the way home all seemed suddenly too much to bare. I felt vulnerable. When I sent him updates from the emergency centres and land transport, I know he thought I was being paranoid or dramatic. He had ‘meetings.’ Work had to be done, conference calls made. But I was isolated. I’m a practical thinker, I prefer for things. I train the kids for emergencies, all contingencies, fire, earthquakes, illness, if they get lost. What to do, who to call, where to go. In the midst of a disaster I’m calm and cool.
But when I tell my husband, shits getting serious, you need to get back, the depth of complacency ignited my anger and showed his overall lack of understanding of my current position.
I live both in the current and in the past.
What’s usually a 30ish minute trip for him took him 3 hours. In that time communication was difficult because the networks weren’t consistent.
He arrived home tired. And I naturally went to get the kids because it was unfair to send him back out again.
The rain lashed down. Unforgiving. Unrelenting. The kids of course oblivious to the fact we were essentially cut off now. Home our only destination.
My mood felt sour. Like the weather. Stormy, menacing, angry. Unforgiving.
My husband worked from home today, most people took that option, the roads still a mess.
The rain still pouring. Still black outside.
I slept badly last night. I often woke unsure what was a dream and what was real. I felt restless and uneasy.
This morning I felt exhausted. My body has begun to ache. Getting up feels physically hard, like I have flu. My muscles and bones feel weak, they shake, they struggle. My mind is spacey. I think things and wonder if I’ve said them out loud. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching myself.
I feel irritable. Then I feel nothing.
I feel worthless. I have no fight.
I have no emails from the UK overnight. I’m powerless.
I feel sometimes like I’m 14 again. Terrified, confused, alone, wanting to reach out but not sure on the words I need to express myself. I don’t recognise myself.
I feel clumsy, ugly, repulsive, heavy and tired.
My husband suggested lunch today. I imagined going into a cafe and everyone staring at me. The whispers, the looks. They would know I don’t belong. They would see this clumsy circus freak ambling in.
We went to a DIY store for some mundane article. I couldn’t make it out the car. The tears eventually came. Big fat wet tears of weakness, of misery. To redden my eyes. To fill the car with an air of misery. To bring attention to my self pity and to wallow in all my ugliness.
The rain still beat down on the car. The weather itself matching my own unrelenting misery. Causing misery and inconvenience and sheer shit for everyone around.
Then a furniture store for a table. Where I grew tired of the obnoxious sales lady. And my voice and demands were made. Brief, stated. My objective made, I got what I wanted. A brief triumphent. But who was that? Was it reminiscent of my old self? Do I exist in there? Is there a glimmer of hope?
Home again and I crawl into bed.
I’ve tried emailing my lawyer – no reply.
The weekend now – so nothing will be done.
I am both here and past. I am but functioning on a thread of sanity so fine that I’m not even sure I’ll know when it’s worn out.
Sometimes I think my husband gets it. Other times he’s a stranger – is it me projecting? Or am I in an existing in a world so different now I can only watch from behind an obscure window.
The storm is here. But it won’t end in a matter of days for me.
My screams are stifled. My body stuck in thick mud. My mind so tired. I’m disorientated and I’m losing my will.