The huge bout of PTSD symptoms has gone. As is normal, I feel rather drained and exhausted emotionally. Therapist believes that one of the reasons the occurrences lately are more intense and enduring, is because I'm learning to manage the symptoms--I'm allowing them to happen so I can learn to cope better. I have no idea if he's right, but a similar thing happened before the flashbacks stopped a few years ago.
When the PTSD symptoms leave I feel spent. I have no desire to talk with or spend time with people. Practicing several hours daily, working out at the gym, and working online are endlessly appealing. Then I panic because I have a terrifying memory of my uncle, floating off the coast of Florida in a tiny boat because that's where he could be completely alone. He would tell no one he was leaving or where he was going and we would only learn that he was "boating" when he arrived back home. I don't want to be my uncle. He is now almost completely anti-social, paranoid, and alone.
When the emptiness hits and the desire for complete solitude overwhelms me, I find myself ignoring the phone, emails...sometimes I chat with people but only if they hail me first. Then I wonder how long will they will continue seeking me out if I don't reciprocate, so I hastily return emails and phone calls and try to reach out to people on Facebook or online--but it's a rather huge effort, and so I remain emotionally exhausted and trying to remember why I'm doing those things.
Therapist says to just keep doing them. I often wonder if it feels easy for him to say that to me when he, himself, has never experienced the things I talk about, but I trust him, warranted or not, because I do not want to become my uncle, or my sister's friend who committed suicide, or the people I chat with at night in the PTSD chat rooms--people who live alone because it's too stressful to have a spouse or children, but they miss those people like crazy. I don't want that.
We've been having typically fluctuating weather. It's not unusual for November to have a snowstorm and below zero weather one day, and be in the forties or fifties the next. Our birds are silent in the cold. I've been missing them, as the past few days have been frigid. Yesterday it warmed a bit. Today is gorgeous and the winter birds are talking outside my window. It's lovely.
The warmer weather helps me, as well as the abundance of sunshine. I'm less likely to hibernate in my house and ignore all humanity on days like today. Still, when I talk to people, I don't always know what to say and I don't always want to talk. It has nothing to do with the person, who is wonderful, and everything to do with not being able to understand why they're in my life in the first place. I used to believe this feeling came from lack of self-worth, but that's not the case. It truly is completely baffling to me. I'm a workaholic. I love obscure poetry and literature. I take calculus classes when I think no one is looking. I'm a little obsessed with making food that is colorful and tastes amazing. I think almost everything in the world (including spiders and snakes) is beautiful in its own way. I'm a complete music nerd. If allowed, I would talk about music history and piano pedagogy nonstop--probably for days. I'm not particularly fascinating or beautiful or young, so I often wonder why people are interested in me at all. I seem, to me, humdrum at best and completely odd at worst.
Therapist says that phrase describes most everyone in the world. Perhaps we're all birds of a feather?