The Climb Continues

It seems like so long ago. But it still feels like yesterday.

Some things have gotten better, some have gotten worse, and still some have stayed the same. I was thinking about it one night and I have been giving myself the “you’ll heal with time” speech for a really long time now. So I decided maybe I need to figure out exactly how long it usually takes PTSD to “go away”. Because by now I should be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at least, right?

Well…….it would seem as though it doesn’t just “go away”. My brain is actually physically different now than what it was 7 years ago. Can you comprehend that? An adult brain can actually change (contrary to what we were always taught in school) and the physical nature can be changed through continuous trauma. It took me awhile to ponder over that. I don’t have a laundry list of symptoms that will just magically get better with time. I have a list that I have to live with and figure out how best to live with them and keep them from affecting my life so much.

What’s gotten better? The frequency of severe panic attacks. The fear of falling back into the “victim role” as it applies to “him”, of feeling like he could take back control of my head with just minutes alone with him. A lot of the unhealthy coping mechanisms. The way I see myself as a person with value and worth and most of all, a whole lot of strength and determination.

What’s gotten worse? The depression. The overall inability to handle even the smallest crisis. The tolerance I have for the self destructive thoughts that I used to be able to talk myself through because I knew they’d pass. The inability to think clearly when faced with difficult decisions. The desire for isolation. The uncontrollable detachment from myself and inability to “snap out of it”. Dissociation.

What’s stayed the same? The startle response. The fear of him returning or wanting to see his children. The inability to be in crowded places. The feeling of being a chastised child or feeling talked down to when it’s probably in my own head. The feeling that he was right whenever my ability to be a mother falls short of his expectations. The feeling that I will never again be “happy”.

PTSD can be made better or worse depending on the support system that holds you together. That explains everything when it comes to me. I have very little and I wish I was just “being dramatic” as i was always told. However, it’s a fact. I have had to develop the mentality of doing it all myself. If I come to depend on someone for assistance with anything, there is no back up plan. (simple example, I sent my son to a school where he doesn’t have a bus option and his friends mother was all too overjoyed to take him and pick him up everyday. Until her child started getting sick and her only reason to leave was to have to get my kid.) And then mine got sick and I apparently texted her after she had left her house. What I got felt too much like being “fussed at”, and it’s not worth feeling that way. But that’s just a simple example, even when you can’t do it all perfectly, you still have to do it perfectly.

So fuck it, I’ll continue climbing this mountain alone.

I Can’t Find My Way Home

My children hate me. At least the youngest two, after all, they tell me all the time. Everyday.

I think I’d hate me too. I’ve recently placed a word with it; disengaged. I used to be what I considered to be a really good mother. I stress “used to be”. I took for granted that would ever change, because nobody sets out to become a crappy parent. I didn’t plan on having a “vacation” from being a happy mother, who loved all of the fun things that come along with childhood.

Now I have no reserve. Everything is too loud, too chaotic, too stressful. I’m tired.

I was ok with some of this in a way because I would heal and eventually begin to recognize myself again. But it’s been well over a year and plan A isn’t working. The problem is, there was no other plan.

“Mom we really don’t do anything anymore.” What do you say? One of the easiest ways to deal with life and all the judgement waiting outside, is to simply never leave your comfort zone.

Something has to change. I just don’t know how to fix it. One day I’m going to wake up and they are going to be gone; moved out, started their own lives. And I’m going to have missed it because I couldn’t bring myself back into the real world. They’ll tell stories of growing up with a mother who was depressed, isolated, irritated, and…..disengaged. Regret, shame and embarrassment fill the empty spaces in my head. The spaces that aren’t already filled with sadness, self-doubt and paranoia.

I don’t want to be the person I was pre-abusive husband. But I don’t want to be the person I am now either.

“From the start

She knew she had it made .Easy up ’til then

For sure she’d make the grade. Adorers came in hordes

To lay down in her wake. She gave it all she had

But treasures slowly fade. Now she’s falling hard

She feels the fall of dark. How did this fall apart

She drinks to fill it up. A smile of sweetest flowers

Wilted so and soured. Black tears stain the cheeks

That once were so admired. She thinks when she was small

There on her father’s knee. How he had promised her

You’ll always be my baby. Daddy come quick

The dreaming tree has died. I can’t find my way home

There is no place to hide. The dreaming tree has died”~ Dave Matthews Band

Trauma Bonding

       I guess that’s what I’m going through. My husband is in jail, I only found out through his EX-wife, who seems to know more about what he’s up to than I do. Six nights or more ago she called the police on him from three hours away. I don’t agree with what she did. She knew he was drunk and that wasn’t gonna end well. 

Anyway, it’s been a year since we separated. I’d gotten all this “strength” back. So why am I breaking apart all over again? Like he just left. Why am I sitting here feeling sorry for him? Wanting to save him? He’s a monster; I don’t need to be told. He doesn’t deserve to have me crying over him. But that impeccable urge to run and protect him is overwhelming. I’m just pissed at myself because I never would have thought I’d be time warped back to that feeling of when he had just left. I’ve read one of the things you don’t do is bash the abuser to the victim: it will only make the bond stronger. How long is this shit gonna last?!?? A year is really nothing when it comes to recovering from them, is it? Before I get lectured, I’m not stupid I can’t afford his bail. (Well I can but he’d screw me over without blinking)