Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Storm in a Bottle

Well, I started thinking about my life over the last month and realized that my life and been like a storm. Sometimes there are clear skies like any span of time, but I have weathered so many storms that I feel that so much of me has been battered against so many shores because of it. However, I can say I am still standing so that says something, right?
Though I wasn't going to turn this into a diary, it might very well end up that way. Sometimes a person just needs a record of their life to see where they have been and what they have accomplished - as in how far they have come from where they were. Not to say that I don't have more growing and learning to do, but I am a far cry from that highly emotional, reactive teenager. Hopefully most of us have grown out of it, though I know of at least one or two people that never went past Junior High level, but in general we all grow and mature.
The worst things I deal with these days are my triggers that set of the PTSD. When one is tripped life seems to be whipped up into a storm filled with lightning and high winds threatening to toss me into a deep sea and smash me against a rocky shore. Somehow I always seem to make it to the other side. I don't know how sometimes, but I make it to the clearing skies. This last Wednesday was a perfect example. I was triggered by staff here where I live; something that hit me deep and tossed me back to a part of my life that had almost destroyed me. All of those emotions came up and threatened to swallow me up. I tried every coping skill I knew and nothing helped. Imagine being in a big black ocean with storming seas tossing you around like a rag doll and there's no way to escape. You're helpless and there is no hope of it ever stopping. Pain gets overwhelming like that and literally, emotional pain is a killer. It makes you want to die just to make it stop. That's where I was all because of a trigger that brought me back to the past. All I could think was how everything was useless. That everything was going to stay the same. That I couldn't even help myself so how was I ever going to help other people? I was useless and had no worth. I wanted to take my life. Had I had access to Ativan I might have taken them. I can't say I wouldn't have. However, I was smart enough to know I was in trouble. I even considered going to the ER. The only thing that stopped me what that I was afraid of them taking my phone if I got admitted.
In the end the emotions calmed, like the petering out of a storm. I rode it out because it was all I could do. It took me hours to finally decide to talk to staff (since they had been the ones to trigger me), but when I went to do just that, I got brushed off. Now, I don't reach out easily. I did when I was younger, but as I've gotten older I find myself more reclusive and solitary. I don't let people in very often, mostly because when I have they hurt me, or that has been the experience. It's not something I have done consciously either. It just happened. So when I finally went to staff is was a very big thing for me. I have told staff a few times before also that I don't reach out easily and when I do there is always a reason, so getting brushed off was not a good thing. In the end, when she was finally ready to talk to me I didn't want to talk anymore. I wasn't doing it because she had not talked with me earlier. I just didn't feel like talking about it anymore. It was over. That was it. Normally I would have reached out to someone, whether my friend and writing partner in the Netherlands or one of my dearest friends in Australia who encourages me to share, vent and whatever else I need with him. But I didn't do either until the following day. In fact, I didn't until well into the afternoon. My friend from the Netherlands was first. Then one of my friends here at the place I live. In fact, he calls me Aunty and so he's my nephew. :-) Then, that evening I finally wrote my Aussie. The best thing about him is that I literally can tell him anything and he won't judge me and just gives me unconditional love and support the best he can.
The next day was much better. Clear skies came. I woke up and had a return email from my Aussie, which made my day right there. I had also woken up feeling good! I had needed that badly. I was able to focus and not only did I write with my friend from the Netherlands on our story, I was able to work on my own, which I had been stuck on for a few days. My writing, as much as I love it, seems to come in spurts, but at least it's coming once again. I went through a terrible dry spell for awhile that added to my darkened skies. I was feeling so good that I was able to handle dinner for the whole house by myself! Usually it's a two person job, but from who they had me teamed up with, I knew I wasn't going to get any real help. On top of that, they didn't want to help and I didn't care. It was chicken fajitas anyway - simple dinner. Just a lot of prep work. But I got it all done and even had the table set and everything set up in time. They allot 2 hours to complete dinner and I got it all done on my own over 15 minutes before time was up. I was so proud of myself. Cooking for 14 people is very daunting! It was very gratifying to see almost everyone go back for seconds. So my day ended well also.

These last two days haven't been as good, but haven't been bad either. I did finally talk to someone on staff about what happened. She in turn told my care coordinator who had caused the trigger. We'll see what that means in the future. The woman I told is probably the only one of staff I trust and she has experience with trauma and she is able to really help.

But for now, the storm is quiet. The seas are calm. The sky, maybe, isn't complete blue, but it's a far cry from lightning strikes! Now we'll see what tomorrow brings!

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