When I don’t want to think, I play Yahtzee on my phone. Although, once in a while, I find myself in a semi-hypnotic state due to the repetition and mindlessness of the game, which leads me to think, to remember. Ultimately it’s a crapshoot. I’ve also been tweeting more. I’m really funny, life-of-the-party funny, not that you’d guess that here. So, I have to continue to be the funny me, the nurturing and kind me, the honest me, and the warrior me. I was having a day recently, crying all day, and a friend said, “You need to stay strong.” My response was very direct and appropriate, “I’m sensitive. I’m hurting. I’m having difficulty dealing with the childhood trauma I’m facing today. But, to be very clear, I am NO weakling.” Just because I’m wounded, crying, and a hot mess for a day, does not take away my power to survive. Hell, those days make it possible for me to survive!
I force myself through my daily routine of household chores, writing, reading, tending to my dog’s needs, and tending to the needs of my husband and the daughter who lives with us (Well, and sometimes the boomerang kid who goes back and forth between living here and then returning to his girlfriend. That is a can of worms that we can leave tightly closed. You’re welcome!)
The puzzle pieces continue to tumble out of the sky. Some of them remain obscure to me. I was already crying before I woke one day. I have no recall of the dream that caused the tears and the terror I felt as I woke. I cried all day. I didn’t function. I alerted the people who needed to know, curled up in my safe place on my bed, and cried for most of the day. I had reprieves of a couple of phone calls that I didn’t cry through. Some phone calls, I did cry through. The tears wouldn’t stop. And then I got angry. Now I have phantom dreams! The motherfucking boogie man? Come on! How can I process that? How am I supposed to live with that asshole screwing with dark places of my mind that I can’t reach? That makes me feel hopeless. I can’t combat invisible dreams. How can a dream that I can’t remember destroy me for an entire day? That was the impetus which lead me to call the local Rape and Abuse Crisis Center and finally make an appointment. Yeah, yeah, silver lining, blessing in disguise, blah blah, whatever. The day still sucked!
I met with a social worker at Rape and Abuse, doing intake and deciding on a suitable trauma therapist for me. I begin my official trauma therapy on March 9. In the meantime, I have this blog, my other blog and my book (both of which I have neglected). I have Yahtzee, my safe places to curl up into, twitter, a family to take care of. I have kleenex, although I’ve learned that I’m a crier who just lets the tears fall and land wherever they may, just not giving a shit about it. I heard somewhere that you’re not supposed to offer someone kleenex when they’re crying, because it sends the message that you would like them to stop. It seems the polite thing to do, but I’ve left it for others to extend the offer, since I learned this. It makes sense on one hand, but on the other hand it seems rude not to offer the kleenex.
Some days I “grownup.” Some days I don’t. PTSD plagues me at unexpected times in unexpected ways. Noises in general are triggers for me, loud noises, raised voices, tone of voice, small noises, it doesn’t seem to matter, they set me on alert and frighten me for reasons I can’t explain. On those days I isolate. Either people are sick of me talking about it or possibly I’m sick of talking about it. A key person in my support system has gone off grid, asked for distance. I don’t take it personally. I respect boundaries and the needs of others. It just wasn’t expected. I try to be kind to myself. I’m doing all of the things I can and need to. However, my weekly DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) group has been jacked from me by my insurance company. Instead of the $13.50 a week copay, I now have a $50 per week copay. Easy to say its necessary and money should be no object, except when you can’t come up with the extra $146 necessary to pay for what is ultimately optional therapy. Damit! I really need that to get me through this. The next time I hear some political bulshit about what a priority mental health is for our country, I will have to call upon every skill I’ve gleaned from that DBT group in order to not destroy a television!
I accept the journey I’m on. I won’t fight against it. I’ll fight along the way, as is necessary. That phantom dream weaver will not best me! Thanks to those of you who have reached out in support. For those of you who understand what this is like, you know that I can not be reminded enough that I’m not alone.