Add to Technorati Favorites

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I'm finding myself dwelling on the past week--processing, perhaps--and I need to note a few things here, just for clarity:


I did not sleep well. I had hoped I might be able to relax enough to sleep long into the morning, especially since most nights I was up very late. However, as is my norm, I continued to wake at daybreak. I did find, though, that I could sleep on the bus, during movies, through the majority of my church meetings, on plane rides, and sometimes I would catnap after I awoke in the mornings. Fatigue seems to do that to me. My kids have a belief that I can sleep anywhere, under any circumstances. They could be right. I don't believe I'll ever stop being ridiculed by them because I slept through the tornado which swept through our town a couple of years ago.

Relief from nightmares and flashbacks.

This did not happen. In fact, it was as bad as ever. I know the reason for this and it was based on a set of unfortunate circumstances, but I still hoped I had done enough groundwork to at least keep the flashbacks at bay during the day. It was not so. There was one rather crippling day of cascading flashbacks. By the time afternoon set in, my body was pain-wracked and felt as though it belonged to someone else. I was angry, but too tired to express it. I wanted to be present, to visit with friends, to enjoy my time with them. Instead I was being distracted nearly every 30-45 minutes with painful, stupid flashbacks which left me feeling exhausted and disoriented. I'm always certain when this takes place, that I look like a freak and act like I'm crazy. Not that there's anything I can do about it, but it's disconcerting to be trapped in memories from a long time ago and have an audience present.

Still, there seemed to be an impetus behind the rapidity and quantity of flashbacks. I can only compare it to the stomach flu--when you can't seem to stop vomiting, but you know eventually it will all be over and you'll get better. I've never felt that before in conjunction with flashbacks. They've just seemed like nasty, random occurrences, unpredictable and purposeless. The next day, when I finally had my sanity back, I understood what I needed to do to help alleviate the onslaught of flashbacks, and I did it. Part of it was personal work, part involved another person. I've not experienced a flashback since Wednesday.

Work abstinence.

This was not easy. In fact, when I was in distress on that awful flashback day, it was all I could think about--I NEEDED to work. However, that was not a possibility. We were on the bus, or at the zoo, or walking up and down hills... By the time we were near a place where I could set up my computer and work, I was no longer capable of it, mentally or emotionally, perhaps even physically. I'm uncertain whether my escape to work when I'm having difficulty managing PTSD symptoms of any kind, is a blessing or a curse. I certainly don't want to endure another day like the one mentioned above, nor do I wish to use work to avoid processing necessary emotional crap. 

Still, I was amazed to find myself relieved that I only had two workdays left in the week when I returned home. I was ready to work--and ready to rest after finishing my hours last night. That's new. So maybe my week of not working was helpful? I just don't know.


I've never spent this much consecutive alone-time with friends. Ever. In 2006, I took the first solo journey of my life. I drove to my grandmother's house and spent a couple of nights with her, then to visit my sister-in-law briefly (not overnight). I spent an evening with TB's family, then slept in a hotel room alone for the first time in my life, then TB and I had lunch with my rapist cousin the next day. The remainder of that day is a blur; I remember very little of it. Tolkien Boy must have driven me back to my hotel, eventually, because I know I spent one more night there before driving to see ATP for a couple of days, at which point I went home. An interesting trip, to say the least.

Four years later, I was flying to Seattle for a week with friends--something I have never done before. There was no family obligation, no creepy rapist lunch, no need to block memories...just time with friends. Also, I have never spent more than two nights with friends before. My head says to stay longer than that is not a visit, but an imposition and I must never impose. Therapist told me this belief stems from my certainty that I am a disposable distraction--people like me around for a little while, but are quite happy to see me leave. He said, probably there are people who love me who would be glad to have me stay longer than one or two days and I should think about testing that theory out while I was in Seattle. So I did. Sort of.

I stayed with TB three nights. Then I stayed with Jason and family two nights. Then I stayed one more night with Tolkien Boy. That's four nights with one friend. Granted, they weren't consecutive, and there was another friend with us for much of the time--although I'm not sure that's notable, but it sort of feels important. Perhaps because I wasn't the sole recipient of TB's hospitality? I'm not sure.

I tried to talk about this weird phenomenon with TB when I returned that last night, but I was really tired and I have a feeling it didn't come out the way I had planned. I believe I said something like, "I want to stay--but I don't want to." My memory says he responded with something about my needing to go home to my husband and kids, which was not what I was talking about at all, and I tried to further explain, but I think I said, instead, "Well, I wouldn't stay anyway, even if I could." Again, not what I was trying to express. Complete conversation fail on my part.

The next morning I couldn't decide if the conversation actually took place or I dreamed the whole thing (yes, this is common when I'm sleep deprived). I tried to ask TB about it, but again, couldn't seem to dredge up the right questions. He seemed bored with the whole thing, and not forthcoming with any details of that which was discussed the night before, and I was still tired--perhaps he was, as well--so I dropped it. It's not unusual for me to begin a conversation with Tolkien Boy and have it end up far from where I intended it to go, but I don't believe I've ever had one with him where my meaning was expressed so badly or misconstrued by him--but I don't know that for sure because I really can't remember exactly what was said, and TB didn't tell me anything more about it the next day, although I do remember him saying we had a very nice conversation (and I don't believe we did).

Anyway, the fact of the matter is, I did stay with a friend longer than two days. And the result of this is that I'm feeling all sorts of insecurity over my regrettable imposition. I do not know how to feel otherwise and Therapist is unhelpful. I did, however, recount my beliefs about being a disposable distraction to TB on the last day I was with him, and I remember him saying I am not disposable. This was after four days of robbing him of his bed, so maybe it's stay four nights with a friend. Maybe.

That's enough. I don't want to think about this anymore.

No comments:

Post a Comment