Traction

I. Am. So. Tired! Brain and heart drained today. But I think it’s a good thing.

Firstly I saw Ian, my friendly CPN, he checked to make sure I have plans for tomorrow (I do) and had printed off a bunch of information on anniversaries and people with PTSD. Very nice of him indeed.

Then I stopped at a bakery (I never do) and had a strawberry milkshake and a cream doughnut! Naughty but delicious.

Then I met my new counsellor, and I had no initial warning instincts about her. She seemed very genuine and I liked her honesty. But she was compassionate as well, unlike Clipboard. Apparently she teaches in part from a Buddhist philosophy, which works for me. She was also into primates and our primal instincts. She also carried a satchel, so that’s my name for her. Satchel.

Satchel and I chatted only briefly about my past (I’ve learnt my lesson there!), but she helped me identify my monkey brain…ok this all gets a bit weird so I’ll leave it there, but it made sense to me anyway. I certainly felt calmer when I left.

Then I had a brief reprieve before picking up my kids at all their different schools. They were all hot and tired and about ready for the weekend – they must be working really hard at school!

Next Steve came over and like a tag team, he took over as I took off. I saw my GP for the FORTH time to get this bloody medical certificate for the benefits office. I’ll be dropping that off tomorrow.

Then on I went to the ‘widowed, divorced, separated’ group that I started last week. I was already a bit raw from therapy so I was surprised when I spoke up (last time I avoided it) and even let go of some emotion. I hope I’m on the right path to grieving and healing. I literally can’t do anything else.

Now I’m back at my dark and lonely house, missing the kids, missing the big house and it’s peace and serenity. It’s Valentine’s Day and I haven’t had anything. Nada. So it’s tempting to just throw in the towel. But I really felt I gained some traction today, and I haven’t felt like that in a long time.

Tomorrow I’m spending the day with my beautiful, warm mate that’s been an absolute god send through these really rough times. I know I’ll feel safe and respected with her. I’m very lucky.

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Counselling fail

My counsellor, whom I’m going to name ‘Clipboard’ because of her constant use of the biggest one I’ve ever seen, is a nightmare. I’ve had three sessions now and I can definitively say, it ain’t working Clipboard.

About 30 minutes of our session was her having a go at me for not practicing the breathing exercises she taught me on our last session. She went on about the benefits of it and basically said, I can’t help you if you’re not going to help yourself. Bit harsh over some deep breathing!

Then I told her I was up all night last night, terrified that someone was breaking in. Firstly she reiterated the deep breathing stuff, then she went on to say, as opposed to lying in your bed scared, get up and check the house. (Admittedly I got used to Steve doing that when we were together). She told me if I felt uneasy I should just call the police. I said I didn’t want to call the emergency line over every little noise I heard. She told me that’s what they’re there for. They’re probably twiddling their thumbs waiting for a job, and if it’s just a cat or something they can let you know and you’ll feel better.

So on the basis of her advice, I’m to walk around my house deep breathing (god forbid I forget that) and call the cops if I hear a noise.

I realised at this point our relationship- it was doomed.

I’m feeling particularly vulnerable around this time and she did nothing to soothe that, she made reference to it being just like any other date, but that was it. I sat there wishing I’d stayed in bed and got a few extra hours.

The benefits office was a nightmare in itself. As usual I was made to feel like absolute scum. And then I was told I had the wrong medical certificate- this is the FOURTH time. But they take no accountability for the misinformation and the fact I have to pay to see my dr again for a revised form. So I’m off to the GP on Wednesday, right before my ‘singles course’ which will be stressful.

I’ll be glad when this week is over.

Swimming fail

Ladies night at the pool tonight, as usual on Sunday night and I try to make it fairly regular. There is a sense of camaraderie amongst women of all shapes and sizes and ethnicities being able to enjoy the pool without fear of judgement or preying eyes. I usually enjoy the background chatter, people catching up, family members aqua jogging together. And I’m certainly most at peace in the water.

Tonight before I left I’m without the kids. I’m at my house. It’s raining heavily, I’m jumping at every noise, I feel lonely. I couldn’t decide whether swimming would help or not, but decided it would get me out of the house.

My body felt worn out before I’d even really begun. The usual energising chatter sounded unbearably loud and from the snippets I caught, really tedious and inane. I tried heading to a different part of the pool and floated on my back. But the chatter continued. The pool was extra busy tonight. I didn’t feel like myself. I wasn’t open to talking to anyone and the smiles I gave were forced. I sat bubbling in the spa pool for a while and realised just how off my axis I’m becoming. The usual joy I’d get from swimming isn’t there. My hyper vigilance is at an all time high. I dreaded returning to my house, but didn’t want to drive home in the dark. Luckily the evenings are still light here.

Now I’m sat in the relative dark, relying on a sleeping tablet to get me through the night.

I have an appointment with the benefits office tomorrow morning which is causing me great anxiety and I have a counselling session booked at lunch time. And of course next week is the day of the actual anniversary, so my entire week is going to be awful. Perhaps that’s why I felt so out of tune with swimming.

I wish I wasn’t experiencing all of these feelings.

After the course

So I’ve just come back from the course. I could feel my irritation levels were really high. I felt like a kid in school about to rebel (only in this instance it was just not putting my phone on silent). I knew why I felt like this, it was both out of my comfort zone and confronting. People were really open with their emotions. I found it really hard hitting. Obviously I feel sorry for them but I have so much of my own pain and trauma that I’m barely able to confront. I realise they are stronger for feeling and expressing their emotions. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to do that in a healthy setting.

About an hour in I felt absolutely exhausted. I wondered how I was going to last.

I’m glad I went because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I sat in a group of strangers all after the same thing, closure.

Am I taking on too much? Quite possibly. But the next course isn’t until September, so I might as well start it now.

Driving back to the house I felt a deep sense of sorrow. I am sad for myself. And why not? No one else is going to be.

It might turn out that this group isn’t for me, so I’m going to go next week and give it a good shot.

Tomorrow I’m catching up with my CPN.

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.

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.