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.

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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.

The present and the past

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!

New year woes

I’m writing my last entry for 2017 before 9pm in bed. I’m feeling really unwell and teamed with my medication, it’s making for a sluggish and disoriented period.

Last night I was up at Steve’s and was struck with the same debilitating PTSD symptoms. I’ve given up trying to question the whys now. I wasn’t triggered, the house is safe and yet I had this unrelenting fear of an intruder, coming to do me harm. I suppose the greatest feeling that accompanies this is loneliness. I have no one to share my fears with. No one to give me comfort or reassurance, or even at least acknowledge and validate my fears. I just have to push it down and get on.

Today I took Ava for her final vaccinations and a microchip. I think I found it more unbearable than her! But the microchip is so important.

Following on from her appointment I felt too unwell to do anything else. I actually felt faint at times, and the sweat was pouring off of me. We came back to my house and I awaited a text that said Steve was leaving Napier so I could estimate their arrival time.

Of course that text never came. And now I’m bed unwell and it’s all my fault and the kids wanted to stay in Napier and I dragged them away from all the fun up there. Blah blah blah. I get fed up being the selfish, meanie mother sometimes and there’s no reasoning with Steve. Once I’m in the dog house, I’m fully there to stay. Still, at least it gives him something to bitch about to his parents. My failings. If only I could be as perfect a parent as him.

I have no desire to see the new year in. I’m done with hoping for something better. It’s just more disappointment and shit to handle, with a different number at the end.

I have no inspirational comments or pseudo motivational sound bites to make. It’s just me signing off one miserable year, expecting the same next year.

Bad night

Last night was horrific and it’s been a while since I had a night as bad. I watched a couple of movies (nothing scary) and felt relaxed. I’d spent most of the day up at Steve’s cleaning out my eldest daughter’s bedroom (it was really bad). I aired out the house and did some laundry. So being back at mine felt good, plus I took Ava for a walk during a break from the constant rain. As far as I knew, I wasn’t feeling triggered or unsafe. But I guess that’s part of having PTSD. It can just happen for no reason.

I took a sleeping tablet as my sleep hasn’t been great, but all that did was keep me stuck in nightmares and when I managed to force myself awake – it wasn’t for long. I felt terrified. I was absolutely convinced that my attacker had found me. Every noise became him. I was in and out of panic attacks, I felt completely frozen in fear. Even having one of Steve’s golf clubs by the bed didn’t reassure me. I felt completely vulnerable.

The fear was unrelenting, the nightmares continued, graphic and upsetting. There was no rationalising last night. As far as I was concerned I was under attack and I was powerless to stop it.

By morning I was absolutely exhausted. Relieved to see the daylight, I decided to sleep longer in the relative safety of a more rational brain. My stomach ached violently all day and I struggled with nausea. When I made it to Steve’s house, I started on my second daughter’s room, but it felt really hard and my body felt sluggish. In the back of my mind, I worried that while I was at Steve’s, my house would be broken into. I worried that someone could be following me and see me alone between two houses. I worried that I’d get a call with bad news. The anxiety was overwhelming and I felt constantly hyper vigilant. I couldn’t let my guard down, despite feeling so tired.

It’s certainly been a while that I have felt so strongly. I know I experienced periodic panic over the Xmas period, but this was something else. This I used to suffer weekly, then monthly and then I guess every few months. It’s a debilitating completely suffocating blanket of fear and anxiety.

Tonight, back at mine, I watched a movie and now I’m in bed with flutterings of fear. Just as I was locking up, my security light came on and my mind jumped immediately to it being an intruder.

I hate feeling so powerless.

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.