As a wave of a storm can pass through the sky, to leave destruction in its midst,
A ptsd trigger can do just that and more.
This past week I have really been able to watch how doing something hugely anxiety provoking and linked to past traumas, really has a bowling-over effect.
This morning I head to one of the biggest trauma triggers of all for me. And I am terrified. But the interesting thing is, that this is the first time I have been able to express this on here because the times before it was so raw, just the thought of typing it out felt like a trigger. So perhaps it has already softened, and already shifted – even if just a speck.
There is a story of a thousand words behind why this morning is a trigger. But I will begin with just a few, and will tell the story when I have begun to work on this stuff so it doesn’t play trigger-nometry with me.
When I overdosed, I ended up in the most traumatic psychiatric ward of all kinds. San Francisco General. After two days I was miraculously physically better, and so, to cover their backs (much to the wonderful nurses on ICU’s disgust), they put me in an E.R. Psych ward, of the free hospital for 24 hours until my 3 day ‘hold’ was up (legally they have to put this on anyone who attempts such a thing…fair enough). Any Californian I have mentioned this to, their heart has sunk – ‘they all know the hideous-ness that this would mean’. It was like a horror movie. It has left me scarred beyond words. And the scars I am just now seeing for their preciseness and depth, rather than a haze of pain and hurt. This in itself I think is progress and empowering too. Because now feelings I feel and irrational phobias of ending up in hospital again that haunt and attack me at any given moment, are all caused because of this event. Not because I’m crazy. Not because they are actually going to happen. But they happened once before – so how do I know they won’t happen again? I won’t. I don’t. But all I can do in these moments of terror and fear, is hope and trust, and see that so much is different now. That was a mistake – a hideous and haunting one, but a mistake all the same. It did not mean anything
So this morning, as I prepare to go to an induction meeting at a specialist therapy place, I am triggered and trembling. This place is actually called a ‘hospital’ – hence the freak out. But in fact, all it is is just an incredible place that offers intensive or not intensive, outpatient and inpatient therapy treatments. Today I am meeting with a lady to organise a programme of therapy for me. You create a tailored routine especially for you. Amazing, right? Right. No matter how amazing it doesn’t stop the avenues of trauma being opened and explored, subconciously and conciously.
I feel numbed and I think slightly dissociated. But rather than freaking out at this like I have been, beneath this state I hold an understanding, for the first time properly, that what I am feeling is just all the feelings that I felt at the time of the trauma. At that time I was so deep in the event and focusing on survival, that I could not really acknowledge, express, or allow for what I was feeling. I was in a haze of confusion, terror, PAIN, and re-traumatising in every moment or every second I turned to look anywhere, or to just breathe. There was no silence in that place.
Beneath this triggering I am feeling now, is an acceptance that actually maybe, this is healing. This is a chance for the feelings and memories to surface, and for them to be acknowledged, heard and LOVED. And be told it is okay. It is not going to happen.
This morning, I keep finding myself putting my hand to my chest and just holding my heart for a moment and telling these feelings that it is going to be okay. You are okay. I am okay. It is okay. It is not going to happen again. I hear you, I feel you and I am sorry for all the hurt you have felt, and the terror you have experienced. But it is not happening now. It is different now. You are here to be healed. You are here to be held and told it is over now. What happened, happened. And now this is happening to heal you.
I have to hold trust that what I feel now is surfacing to heal. These memories and these states are simply expressions of the trauma, and this trauma needs to be healed so this is why it is here. To do just that.
I have two minutes to run out of the door to my lift, and I leave you with love. And nerrrrves. ; ) X