Road to Recovery

On Wednesday I finally had my first session of therapy for my PTSD, a lot of indepth questions were asked to try and give the therapist a fuller picture of what we are dealing with. I spoke a lot about things I don’t normally and to be honest even when I do open up I’m usually hiding behind a screen, blog posts or texts, I never openly talk verbally about the things that have happened to me. Even in NA I struggle to scratch below the surface.

Since my session I have been deep in my emotions, trying to process them and find the patterns/triggers that cause the issues I have. I feel like I’m cloaked in a darkness fumbling around for the torch to help me see my way out, I hope that explains how difficult this is for me but I actually want to change. I want to do the work, no matter how hard and no matter how long it takes.

During the session, before and even for a day or two after, I wanted to quit. It didn’t seem worth it to go over it and over it in my head, out loud or at all to be honest. But I had a breakthrough, a small one, that may seem insignificant in the whole scheme of things but to me, it was everything I needed to change a gear and move forward.

Advertisements

Good Morning Sleeping Beauty

It’s the sarcasm of me oversleeping, and it was said lightheartedly and without intent to hurt me but here is what had really happened, I fell asleep yes. But when someone oversleeps you think they got a solid nights sleep somewhere deep into dreamland when for myself the reality is so much worse than that. I fell asleep 10minutes before I had to leave, I overslept by 20 minutes. I woke up drenched in sweat already from the horrific nightmare I’d just ensured in the lightest of sleeps and I looked at my phone and had to gather myself together and get there as fast as possible. I was exhausted and broken, I could still feel him on my skin and I hadn’t had time to shower the feeling away to find a way to ground myself. So you made the comment and I laughed it off, digging my nails into the palms of my hands to hold back the wave of tears about to spill out of me. Tired has no meaning to me now, now I’m just running on empty consistently and holding back so many emotions. So good morning world, what are you going to throw at me today?

I haven’t slept in 3 days

I’m currently running off a diet mainly consisting of Redbull, espresso and sugar, most definitely not healthy but also not my fault as I’m trying my best to be enough for everybody on the huge lacking of sleep I’m having.

The nightmares are currently massively overwhelming, I’m struggling with anxiety during my waking hours now, the short term difficulty breathing or catching my breath, feeling panicked. I don’t know if this is a side effect to PTSD or the lack of sleep I’m having but I constantly feel everything is just a little too much.

I’ve bought some herbal sleeping tablets, nothing addictive but I’m hoping they will have enough of a calming effect to help me drift off to sleep.

And yet I am still clean, I do need to get myself to a meeting as soon as possible but I am clean, sober and exhausted.

I went to the doctors

I finally bit the bullet. Yesterday morning I sat down with my GP and told her about everything I’ve been going through. I’ve been referred to a specialist who will diagnose me but she also agrees it sounds like PTSD. She offered me pills to help with the sleeping but I don’t trust myself to take the dosage so I declined. I’m now changing my diet and my routine to make it more balanced for dealing with my sleep deprivation which isn’t so bad now I’m back at work, I’ve taken on tons of hours to keep myself busy. When I’m busy it’s better. When I’m exhausted from work and lost in the chaos, sometimes I sleep better. Not always but last night I got a few hours. The nightmares still came but this time I wrote them in my journal and focused on my happy place to drift off once again. It wasn’t instantaneous but I didn’t feel the panic as long as I normally do.

Fingers crossed I can find a way to live with this

An open letter to a man I once loved

To the man I once loved,

I didn’t feel like I was a child. Yes, at the time we met I was just 14 but I had been through more than people older than me, I thought that made me wiser and more mature. In fact it made me more childish. I was in such a hurry to grow up because once you were an adult you were allowed to leave and nobody ever seemed to question you for it. My parents had both left and come back at multiple intervals of my life, my older brother had left and gone to university, my auntie was on the other side of the world, and yet I, the child, had to stay and clear up everybody else’s mess. I wanted to be older.

You made me feel older, from the second we met. You treated me like an equal, not some stupid kid. You told me about my eyes, how beautiful they were, they were once my favourite feature but I feel like you own them now and I cry when I look into them in the mirror. You never asked me how old I was, I liked that, I felt like you could see the woman I felt like I was, not the girl I actually was. But you really liked me because I was that girl, because I was young. You apologised for the kiss and told me it was wrong. It wasn’t wrong though was it? It felt right to you, otherwise you’d have stopped all communication right then and there, yes, you kept it platonic but you texted me everyday and made me feel special.

For years I have told people it wasn’t like that with us, that you never groomed me because technically I made the first move but I didn’t. On my 15th Birthday, you convinced me to sneak out of my parents house and you drove me to your caravan. You cooked me dinner and gave me wine, I may have kissed you first but you weren’t innocent in this. I loved you, back then, I really did. The first few weeks of our relationship, things were perfect, I don’t think I ever stopped smiling. You were attentive and loving, showering me in your affection.

I remember when it all changed but by then I was in too deep. I’d given up friends for you, the relationship with my parents was worse than it had ever been and I needed you. I didn’t really have anybody else, you knew that and you reminded me of it. That’s when I started taking drugs moe frequently, that’s when I lost myself. I used the drugs to numb the pain you caused me, I used them when you destroyed my self confidence daily. You’d remind me I was worthless and unlovable and I’d believe you.

Here’s the problem though, I’m so ashamed of the girl you made me become. I’m ashamed I ever let you lay a finger on me, let alone that I took you back every time. I never told anyone, not until recently. I wasn’t just ashamed, I was humiliated and I thought people would think I was weak. I have something called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I self diagnosed myself with it about 6months ago because I was too embarrassed to tell a doctor. I have nightmares and flashbacks and I don’t give myself any credit for fighting it daily, I think I’m pathetic because of it. I’ve lost my self worth and I hate myself. I am clean. 5months so now but before that I’d been clean for 5years. You’re the reason I slip, when the nightmares and panic gets too much it makes me want to take drugs to self medicate the symptoms.

Every night I feel the pain I felt all over again but this time I’m clean when I wake up and it hurts more than did back then. I hear you tell me how worthless I am and I wake up hating myself, hating myself more because you still have this power over me. The other day I had to lock myself in the flat and text my friend constantly because I wanted to use more than I think I ever have. But I didn’t. I am strong. I fight these battles every single day and I win. I’m still here.

I’m finally going to see a doctor, I’m terrified but I know that I need help and this has been going on too long to just hope that it passes over. I will build myself back up again into somebody stronger than ever. I wish that I had enough courage to stand up in court with those other girls and tell my story of you. I wish that I could tell the world how terrible you are but I am not yet ready for that. I’m glad the other girls are braver than me and are telling their stories of you. I hope they get the verdict that they deserve, that I deserve, that every young girl who falls in love with an older, abusive guy deserve. I hope that when you are sat in that cell for a very long time that you finally realise all the terrible things that you did. I hope you feel bad for all of us girls who lost ourselves trying to love you. You took my personality and my strength from me and I didn’t deserve that. For as long as I can remember, I thought that I did, that this was all part of something bigger but the truth is I deserved somebody who truly loved me back then. I needed someone to fight for me and defend me but that wasn’t you. I needed to be a kid for a bit longer but the second you stared into my eyes, my childhood ended completely and I spent so long trying to be who you wanted me to be. I wasn’t the girl you wanted, the girl you loved. I was just another trophy in a paedophile’s cabinet.

Realising who you truly are is the only way I’m going to move past this point of my life. Sometimes when I close my eyes I think of you how you were at the start and I long for that man. He never existed, he was a mask you used to get me and I have to remind myself of that.

I hope you get locked away and no other girls go through this because no girl deserves the war I fight in my mind daily. The nightmares and the insomnia, the physical pain I feel, that is all because of you and I would not wish it upon another human being.

From

The Girl You Destroyed

A day in the life of my PTSD

So I’m currently suffering worse than I have in a long time with my PTSD. I’m working nights and mornings so I think I’m hiding it well but everyone expects someone with PTSD to be a quivering mess, I function, sometimes better than others but it’s still hard.

When I’m finally free to sleep, after all my work is done I check the doors and windows twice before going back to my room. I’m currently sleeping with a knife near my bed, I know that this is more dangerous should something happen but it makes me feel more in control. I leave the light on or one of the hall lights, something so I’m not in complete darkness, I need to know my surroundings. My heart will be racing and I try to calm myself for sleep. I lie there for a long time before I can sleep, i listen to the noises around me, trying to notice anything out of the ordinary. My whole body is on alert, half from fear of something happening while I’m asleep and half from fear of the nightmares that are due to come. When I finally do fall asleep, I usually wake sweating or screaming, heart racing. I can feel him on me still, his body weight holding me down or I can feel the bruises that have long since healed. I struggle to breath, it takes me a while to get up and walk around, I need to constantly tell myself that I am safe. I’m exhausted all the time.

Other nights my flatmate will get up for a smoke or to use the toilet and my body will freeze from fear. I eventually gear myself up to go and check out the noise. It terrifying. I get irrationally angry at him for making any noise, forcing myself to walk away and not fight with him over this. This is not his fault.

Once I’m up, that is usually it, I get up and I go off to work. I fake smiles and try not to flinch at loud noises. I scan the streets around me searching for faces of people I know, sometimes I have to double look thinking I’ve seen him in a crowd, forcing myself to breath through.

I busy myself in work, fighting panic attacks and sometimes struggling to fight the feeling of his touch on my skin. Conversations with friends become forced and difficult, I struggle to keep eye contact, sure they’ll be able to tell everything that’s going on just by looking at me.

I finally get home and I repeat the process. I don’t know when I last got a full nights sleep, my body is drained and I’m still fighting. But I know this won’t defeat me, I will not let him win, not this time.

You haven’t written a blog post in a while…

A friend of mine follows this blog and he mentioned in passing the other day that he hadn’t seen much from me in terms of blog posts, he told me I should write about the good as well as the bad. There is some good and there is some bad in my life right now but the reason I don’t write, the reason I haven’t written anything for a while is because I’m trying to pretend everything is fine.

Growing up, no matter the issue at hand, my mother would force us to smile and pretend to be happy. They’d buy us things to hide our pain, or at lest distract us from it and I’ve been doing this for myself ever since.

My parents marriage is at war, but not one I’ve seen before. They’re not talking about it and they’re both trying and I hear the pain in my Dad’s voice when I speak with him. Something is off balance and I don’t know how to deal with that, I don’t want to get dragged into their drama but I also don’t want to regret not speaking up.

I’m suffering for severe self hatred, something I’ve never really dealt with sober before, if I ever felt self conscious( which has been a rarity in my life) I’ve always used drugs or alcohol to numb it. I haven’t specifically always liked who I am or parts of myself but I’ve always just accepted I can’t change who I am. Lately I hate the person in the mirror, or the way I react to things. I hate people looking at me, and I’m constantly wondering what people are saying about me behind my back.

My ex boyfriend, Andy, is up for trial soon for grooming different young girls and I’m trying to avoid it like the plague but somehow it keeps catching up with me. A good friend of mine approached him, drunk, blaming him for things that are wrong with me, blaming him for many things. Andy attacked him. He should’ve known better than to go to him but he didn’t, he was drunk and angry and trying to defend me. All it’s done for me is bring back the nightmares and the lack of sleep. It’s easier to hide now though as I’m working a few night shifts so people don’t need to know. I’m also afraid all the time and I think I see him in crowds of people, suddenly I can’t breathe. I tell myself repeatedly that I am safe, that I am okay but I am not. He’s still walking free right now and until he’s locked away, I can’t see this feeling going away.

But on a plus side, I am clean, just. I’ve walked past a dealers house several times in the last few weeks but I kept on walking after brief pauses. I know I should get to a meeting but this self consciousness won’t let me near that right now, I feel judged by everyone, friends, family and random people on the street. I don’t have the strength to walk into a meeting and even make eye contact with someone.

I have 2 fantastic jobs, both of which allow me to forget everything for a short while. I love working nights as I’m away from the judging eye of the people and I can just work away instead of sitting up in bed overthinking. And my day job as PA gives me some courage to talk to people and I’m too busy to be self conscious for that short while.

And the travel fund is growing. I’ve just got to get passed all this and then I can enjoy travelling the world with the knowledge that 50% of my fear will be locked behind bars. Here’s hoping he gets a long sentence so I never have to feel this scared ever again