This Evening

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This evening I have class. This will be one out of seven of the same class that I have left this semester. I cannot wait for tonight to be over and it has not begun. I hate!!!! night classes. My worst time of the day is at night. The time of flashbacks and the start of acute anxiety. So, I will go to class and listen or not. Most of the time I have flashbacks or am off in my own head.

I have to take medications just to get through the class due to the fact that I become so angry and irritated at the fact that I have to sit there and just listen. I try to not say to much. Usually, I am only in the mood to argue anyway. What do I learn? I am not sure of that. I read before class and take notes. I record the class to listen to it later, yet at the time I am not really sure that I am getting anything out of it.

Tonight, I want to go home and try to get finished another half of a paper. I want to try and finish all of my papers early. That way I can focus on what I need to do for next year.

I really need to see my doctor. That will not happen for two days which right now feels like two weeks. I am trying so hard to stay out of the hospital and do what I need to. There are so many internal conflicts there. Right now, I need to relieve some of the stress and I am just not sure how at this point. Everything seems to be irritating. I just want to go home and be alone. Quiet and peaceful with only the cat for company.

Instead, I have a crowded class! Tonight will be another rough night. Then I can go home and be by myself. Have my own space and quiet instead of the constant noise around me.

Why? Just Why?

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I hope that life turns around soon. Lately, things have been so difficult again. My ex is threatening to take me back to court. My disability is being questioned even though I was evaluated less than a year ago.

Then there are the flashbacks that keep me up at night. The time of year and the horrible memories that go with it. Right now, I probably need more days of therapy. I need to get some of this out or I am scared I will make a choice that I will regret.

Putting one foot in front of the other is getting harder and harder. I am struggling to get through school this semester. I did not seem to have the mental energy to complete tasks. My thoughts are everywhere and nowhere at the same time.  Things that should be easy, like reading are almost impossible to do.

Some Things Never Change

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My divorce with my ex was finalized years ago. Agreements were made and signed. That was where I thought that things would end. Instead, it seems as if every year there is another court case.

It was not enough that I was in a bad marriage, that I had difficulty affording representation, or that I care for my children. 

Over the years I have been accused of not caring, not contributing, faking illnesses, being selfish, being crazy, the list just goes on. I am in a state that does not have any official legislation regarding alienation.

For now, I have begun the count down to when support will stop being determined legally. That day will come. Unfortunately, not soon enough. I just wait to see what might pop up sometimes. I am sure there will be something just around the corner.

Doing What is Best for Me: Going Out on a Limb

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I know what I want to do with my life or at least have a general idea. Yesterday, I had an information session regarding a possible career path in the field that I know I want to work in. As the session went on, I knew that this particular position would not be the best for me. All of the old messages of what I should do went through my head. Was I making the right decision? Was I throwing away an opportunity?

The hour and a half car ride home was tough. On one hand, I knew that this opportunity would not come along again, yet I knew that it was not for me. I was not going to fit with the restrictions that would be placed on me or on the ways in which the clients were worked with. I want to be interacting with clients on a regular basis. To be on the frontline, not filling out papers for them to get there.

So, my placement for next year is up in the air. Somehow, this is ok with me. I am wondering what it will be and if that may be the area where I find my place or another area that I can eliminate.

So much has changed in me since my journey began 13 years ago. I have come to realize that what I decide may be best, even though others may not agree. Also, to listen, to take the opinions of those more experienced when they are just trying to give me the best advice. Not everyone is attempting to abuse me or see me fail. Those are hard concepts to accept.

More importantly, I realize what I can and cannot handle. If, I cannot handle something, I cannot force myself to do it. Like eating ice cream for a dairy intolerant person causes stomach pain and discomfort. I am not in a position where I can relive my abuse each day. I have helped others in the past without being triggered. I need to find that place again. I know that I will.

Going Through the Fire

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I heard that trauma therapy was a guided tour though hell with the patient as the tour guide. The statement could not be more accurate for me at this time. I am at the precipice. I can see the fire and the smoke, I can feel the heat. Now, I need to take that very hard first step inside. Go back into my memory and dig out the thoughts and feelings fromm so long ago that still haunt me and have become my personal demons.

These same thoughts have also become a prison from the outside world. They keep me isolated and alone. Afraid to tell my story or feeling different because of what I have been through.

My therapists office is a safe space. If I have to go through the journey, at least someone is going to be there with me. To hep me when things get tough and to pick up the pieces so that I can move on to the next week. All of those horrible experiences need to be relived in order to heal. I hope that this works and that going through some of this makes these memories have less of an impact on my life.

If I want to help others with their problems in life, I need to address my own. It is time to take that first step into the unknown and to find our what is behind all of the flames and the smoke. Maybe after all of this, I will have a sense of piece and can have a relaxing and tranquil spot to think of my memories. Maybe they will just be contained somewhere that is safe and only I can get to. They will only be memories, not events that still control my life.

 

 

To Much, To Fast

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Being accepted into graduate school was exciting. Now it is just plain scary thinking about of what is ahead of me during the next to years. I know that this is the field that I want to study and work in. It is just the amount of items that need to be completed before walking in the door the first day. Their are orientations, essays, and more orientations and informational sessions. There are quizzes to determine if a program is the right fit or if I should choose another path.

Along with the graduate school requirements, there are this semesters tests and papers. These are overwhelming when paired with the items that need to be completed. I am hoping to catch up on a  few papers over spring break and maybe get ahead on reading. Some of that may be wishful thinking.

Then there is all of the crap from the past that the material that I see and hear each day is stirring up. The sounds of the abuse that I cannot seem to get out of my head. I finally asked my therapist to bring in a feelings sheet. Maybe that will help me to identify what is going on in my head at the moment.

The teenagers that I teach dance to are not even working. They come into class and want to socialize and be on their phones. I cannot force them to want to dance. I am going to try and teach them the best that I can over the next few weeks in order to be as prepared as possible for their show. I need to realize that they just are not that into dancing and that they have different priorities, none of which seem to be learning the dances.

Luckily there are times I can remove myself. Like watching a TV show with my daughter or having a talk with my son. Playing a game with one of the kids. Reading a book that is not for school or just coloring. Trying to find those few moments to relax is hard, yet essential for keeping my sanity at this time.

Looking Back: Not a Pretty Picture **May Trigger**

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12 years of treatment and yet I can still become triggered to the point of dysfunction. Last week, there was a video shown in one of my classes. What I saw and heard on the screen made me want to throw up for the first time ever. To hear the sound of an object against bare skin. To hear the terror and a child pleading to stop.

I am trying to deal with what was brought up in therapy, yet part of me realizes that it will not ever change what happened and just does not want to talk. 

Mental illness. The attitudes that some of the people around me who want to work with oppressed groups really gets to me. The word crazy has been used. The idea that people with mental illnesses should not have children or their children should be taken away from them. What would they think if they knew about me? 

Now it is about hiding. Trying to act like nothing is affecting me when all I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs. The word ignorant comes to mind. I think they really do not realize what they are saying and who is sitting next to them.

Looking back on my own abuse. The beatings, the sexual abuse, the emotional neglect, the psychological abuse. How did I get through it? People do not want believe in DID, yet that is what got me through. That internal environment was the only place that was safe for me to go into. My own world that no one could take away.

Who Is Next?

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It is scary that the government is recognizing some individuals and not others. We are all people. This latest move has made me question what our new President’s agenda truly is. He wants to say that life begins at conception and that every life is valuable. Then he goes and alienates an entire group of people who were just beginning to break through barriers.

I guess I am worried about who is going to be targeted next. Clearly, he does not believe that all of us are equal. Is is going to be the mentally ill or people who receive aid. Who is going to be his next target. People are not a business that you can trade or close. Each of us exists and most of us want to try to make the best life for ourselves that we can.

When I was growing up, I truly believed that this country was filled with endless opportunities. I did not realize how wrong that I was at the time. Only certain people have opportunities. The rest of us are limited by many barriers that prevent us from moving forward, always being stuck in the same location.

My hope is that we, as human beings, can support each other no matter what our differences. Maybe get a coffee or a meal for a homeless person. Ask someone if they are ok. Be aware of who is around us. For me, I am going to continue to care and not judge people.

Trauma **May Trigger**

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A child left alone. An adult who has been assaulted. The survivor of a school shooting. A veteran who just returned from active duty. Everyone of these can develop PTSD. Everyone’s PTSD can look different. There are so many symptoms of PTSD and sometimes the person can look “ok”. I love when people say that or they are fine. He/She will get over it. They are a strong person. PTSD does not care if someone is a strong person. Once an individual lives through trauma, they cannot undo what they went through. They cannot just shove the memories to the side and go on. Well, maybe they can for a while, yet it catches up. The flashbacks, panic attacks and nightmares begin. Then the hypervigilence creeps in and maybe that person no longer wants to leave the house.

My trauma has left me with internal scars that seem to open up whenever I see or hear certain people or noises. A smell can easily trigger a flashback. Often, I lose time and cannot get back what I lost. PTSD does not just go away. Sure, I have learned how to breath, mindfulness, and other coping skills while inpatient. They work so well while in the hospital. I wished that they worked that well for me in day to day life. I have had many traumas throughout my life. Each one has shaped me into who I am and the way that I react to the world around me. It has taken over ten years just to be able to go out of the house for even a small bit of time or not have flashbacks with certain triggers because I am prepared and not startled by my surroundings.

Recently, there was someone who exclaimed that everyone should keep their personal stories to themselves. That they should not speak about personal information. I am sorry, I do not agree with that at all. I have been through some tough times and I want others to know that they can get through those tough times as well. I know of support groups and resources because of my illness and being active in some groups. If someone told me that there was no hope of getting better, I completely understand what that feels like and I have been there all to often. In fact, before I went to therapy I was just there the other week. I tend to be a black and white thinker sometimes.

I hope to see in more shades of gray and help others to get to the point where they can do the same. Not everyone is ready or wants help. I know when I was first in treatment I did not want anyone to ask me questions and I was not willing to share anything with people. I would just sit in a session for 45 minutes. Not to be rude, but because I was truly scared that somehow my abuser would know if I told what happened. Even today, I have to remind myself, like so many other trauma survivors that I am not in that situation anymore. Trauma is a word. What happened is my experience and has shaped my life. As far as I am concerned, others can name it whatever they want. I know what I live with and what I have experienced.

Unlike that person, who believes in not sharing, I will politely disagree. What I have been through has shaped me and is part of who I am. It will always be with me.

 

 

 

I Wish I Had Something Happy to Write

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Depressed, tired, overwhelmed, Etc. Pick a negative word and I can probably relate to it at this point. This semester is sucking everything out of me and I am not even through the first month of school. I am seriously considering if I have taken on to much. Can I really handle this at this time.

The topics that we are talking about are not happy. The pictures are raw and uncensored. Professor accounts are to detailed. Having to walk to some of the campus is hurting my body so badly that when I do make it to class the only thing that I want to do is rest. Other classmates are loud and I cannot deal with the conversations that are going on around me.

There is still the stuff to be done out of class. Readings, papers, and projects. Then there is all of the things to do for home and for my dance class that I teach. Add it all up and it all turns into one big mess.

Medication is not going to help this. There is not a break for weeks. I cannot keep going like this without a major meltdown. Then thinking about a meltdown causes me to plummet even farther down the rabbit hole. If I have to go into the hospital, I lose time with my kids and have to jump through hoops just to begin to see them again. Then I am concerned that my ex would not follow the agreement yet again and I would not see the kids for even longer.

Have I reached a bottom that I cannot pull myself out of at this point? Maybe I have.