Yesterday, I felt like I was sitting on the shore of the ocean. Alert but scared. Aware of the possibilities. Afraid to move away from the shore and afraid to go in any further. My journey with PTSD has at times felt like I was drowning. But also, like I was just waiting for the next big wave to come and wash over me, with little hope of breathing fresh air again.
Certain words, or thoughts can change my outlook on life in a second. A look or a touch, can send me back to the deepest waters without prior notice. Nightmares and flashbacks feel like Piranha snapping away at my soul.
During a session with Mrs. A yesterday, I was completely drowning in a matter of minutes. A pleasant conversation turns into hard work and a forced effort to stay present.
My only thought was to block it all out. Run, hide, or do whatever would stop the pain. Speaking to her was forced. Allowing myself to hear her voice was a conscious effort. I’m focusing on the window, the door, the chairs, the desk, the pictures, and even the carpet and baseboards.
I hate the sunlight coming in the window, and want only to be in complete darkness until I can’t feel what is happening.
Making it through 50 minutes of therapy sometimes feels like an eternity. Focusing on myself, my feelings and my pain for 50 minutes is unbelievably hard.
I’ve tried to go into a session with an open mind. But many times, I just sit in my car and wait until the last minute to go in because it takes that much will power to convince myself that this is a good thing.
I realized yesterday that I’m still trying to make sense of a story that doesn’t make any sense. I’m trying to figure out what the abusers were thinking. Or what was so awful in their lives that they needed to destroy my life. I find myself still making excuses for them.
I decided to cook pasta last night because it reminded me of a very close friend’s home where I always feel safe and loved. I had tears coming down my face but not really able to go with the feelings. At that moment, I wished for that my mother would hold me and tell me that everything will be ok. But that has always been my fantasy and not reality.
After I ate a little, I went to my room and just laid on my bed. My bedroom has Coastal décor. So I’m lying there thinking about this shore notion and how it feels when you are sinking in the sand when the water goes back out.
That’s when this surfboard notion came to me. I have to pick up my board and learn to rise above the waves. Yes, I will still fall. And yes, I will still need to get back on the board again. But eventually I will learn to anticipate the waves and their depth, and grab my board before I’m completely under water.
Sometimes I may need to hold my breath, while I’m under water and wait for the wave to recede before I can breathe fresh air again.
I have to learn to be thankful for the calm waters and try not to spend so much time anticipating the big waves. But know in my heart and soul, that when the waves come, I’m strong enough to pick up my board and ride the waves.
Until next time – I am being MJ everyday.