I came home from my day painting a shed at a friends the garden I work in, full of confidence in my ability to get through this time. That I am in fact actually okay, I just have a tonne of emotional shit and life shit on my plate too. And just so happen to have had it there for years. And entire life in fact. And then the trigger came, from a message from someone that I can’t be bothered to explain. But it set off the worry that I am in fact, too complex to be supported. (The lady texting me is a friend who is also giving me cranial sacral therapy every week and chats in that time too. It’s like medicine). I read her message as though it was her saying she felt I was too complex for her. That she could not support me because I was too complicated. When in actual fact, it may have simply meant that she wished I was getting more support and she was sorry she did not feel as though her support was enough. If that makes any sense. Anyway. (Read ahead, it gets a bit more interesting… 😉 )
This is where the intense worries chip in – because of the extent to my life story and the trauma involved, I worry deep to my heart, that I am destined to be one huge fuck up forever. Every person remarks that it is a miracle that I am sane and that I am this sunshine. That I am ‘okay’. That I am me. That I got through it. That I have done what I have, with all of that lifetime of crap alongside me. This leads to a deep rooted anxiety that I cannot get through this because of the quantity and complexity of it all. Of the trauma and conflict. But, as people do tell me, this is not true. In my heart I know this – I have every confidence that I can get through this. When I look at people telling me it’s a miracle I am who I am, I have this solid confidence and knowing in my gut, almost saying the words:
“what are you talking about? Of course I’m okay, I am me and this is just stuff that’s happened but it’s not going to ruin my life. It hasn’t completely until now, and it will not forever. I don’t care what you people say – what the diagnosis of PTSD means – it is not me in my entirity. I will get through this. I am going to be okay, and I am okay, really. There were amazing bits of my life until now, and my childhood too, that have acted as resources against the terrifying and terrible stuff. It’s just life, right. It’s up, down, and a bit inbetween. I’m okay. I’m going to be okay, no matter what you say.”
And within seconds, this confidence gets flattened by an ever growing anxiety flame:
“Oh crap…I’m going to be a mess forever. I’m already a ten tonne mess, how can I think I am going to be okay. Who am I kidding. How ON EARTH am I going to be okay? How can I think, it is all in relation…other people go through more and get through it…blah blah blah…? That can’t be true. Look at what I’ve been through – I’m screwed. It’s complex to the extreme. It’s trauma to the extreme. It’s neglect, it’s conflict, it’s pain, it’s complications, it’s emotional manipulation. I’ve just been living a lie until now – a lie of ability, capability, looking after myself… it’s about to fall apart any second, because it has just been you coping. And now you can’t. Soon you really won’t be able to, because look at you – look at your history, your past…you’re destined to be a mess. You are one…”
So I took to another doodle. I doodled the hell out of this voice. She hasn’t quite quietened down but I am feeling less in a trauma state than I was at the beginning of this post. I have taken to drawing out my individual doubt characters, and here is a new one. I just wish she would pipe on down. I hope you enjoy:
The dramatic element that I cannot live life if I can’t be doing 100 things, living like ‘everyone else’ or all my friends, feeling ‘together’. But what if I just have a year, or six months, of simple living – working my gardening work, going to therapy…looking after myself through this healing time. To me that feels HUGE to give myself that time of taking it easy. Healing. Growing. Being. Hibernating.
I think this is part of the problem. In my eyes, head and body, I FREAK OUT that I cannot live like this. I cannot be this way. I cannot get through life like this. I cannot earn money this way. (That is a big element to it). I need to be in some kind of theraputic care. Yet then I look around me and wonder how true this really is. Yes, I feel like one giant complicated traumatised fuck up a lot of the time, full of anxiety that I am in fact mad and should be living in a home or in hospital…but this is just anxiety. Just severe anxiety, and severe ptsd. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do it whilst living like others do … does it? I fear that I am deluding myself to a false truth that I can do this. That I am ‘curable’ without going to extreme hospital methods.
The funny thing is, that a lot of what I fear, I know someday will actually happen out of my CHOICE. For example, going on one to one retreats, or going for day long healing sessions, etc etc. Sure these are different to the dramatic methods I mention above but in my heart they feel just as scary right now. And I just don’t feel ready. But what if I am actually in need of that now – but in more lengthy ways. Months at a theraputic community. Weeks in a hospital. What if that is what I need right now? What if I cannot do this myself? Obviously noone can do this alone. But when I say myself, I mean without constant professional care. Live in type care.
And for the record, I know that “what if’s?” tend to be ANXIETY TALKING. ; ) ugh.
In my heart, I know I need to take one step at a time. Get to a place that I can actually think of diving into the healing. Get past my anxiety of this and trauma response to this, so I can continue this healing journey I have begun to begin.
I long to hear from other people with ptsd, how their journey began and continued, and whether they at times felt completely lost and with no hope too? I feel deluded from my own anxiety and my own dramatic reaction to how I feel. I am just not used to feeling this un-okay. But when I look, it has been around for a long time now and I am still here. I am improving in some ways, and others I see I need to work on as they are getting worse or staying stuck in their rut. But I just long for me to allow for myself to feel this way, and to see that what I am feeling is PTSD – it is anxiety to an extreme level. It is based on a tonne of shit from your life, but it is able to be overcome. I just don’t feel that at the moment. I just cannot see how. That light seems so dim, not in a depressing way, simply a matter-of-fact way. I long for a blow torch of hope to come floating through. But perhaps that is the key in this mix – it happens slowly. Does it? Perhaps it happens slow, like little flickers from fireflies floating by, until your candle of hope is ever-burning within you, and you can step off into the world shining again.
I also long for some kind of scientist, therapist, or professional, to consistently remind me and tell me that I am actually able to do this in a way that I want to. In a way that I feel comfortable. In this way that I am trying – living and gently working, and doing therapy too. But what if I am just too much a fuck-up? What if I am too deluded, full of anxiety, trauma, and such, to be able to live a normal life too. I don’t have a husband to help support me. I don’t have family to lean on. But I have me. I have my strength. I have a scattering of friends. I have many others but right now, in the depth of this time, I am focusing on just a few. I have professional and soon-to-be more professional support, in the way of a weekly group for two and a half hours, of CBT for mixed stuff. Anxiety and depression mainly, and a scattering of PTSD in there too. I will then, when ready – after about six weeks, begin EMDR with a specialist there.
But is this okay? Can I get through it this way? Or is that not enough, for this complex condition?
I’ll leave all those questions open, because for the time being, my anxiety is still UP and I cannot quite answer that the above negative words are not true. I guess only time will tell and show me that. That I can do this.
I hope I can.
I know I can.