Reflection

I always downplay my pain. I encounter stress and then adjust my baseline instead of dealing with the stress. Then it piles higher and higher and when I finally break, I’m left wondering why. Now I’m just numb and unsure of how I really feel anymore.

In my head I was fine. Then all of a sudden I have all this anxiety. I can’t fall or stay asleep. I’m completely isolated from all my friends. I talk to nobody. How did I get here? (See beginning).

Sadness and anger…

Today I talked about the trauma openly with a therapist. Talking about the first incident was the hardest. It easier as I recounted the next incident. She pointed out there was something new she saw in me. Not quite anger, no longer fear.

Confidence.

Confidence in myself. In knowing that he was the one who was wrong. Confidence that only blooms out of 7 years of suffering and buried pain.

And behind the confidence, there stood sadness and anger, interlocked. Sadness for the naive girl who was manipulated, overpowered and lied to. Anger towards the boy who stole her innocence with his selfish ways.

I am forgiving myself. I never did anything wrong. This was not my fault.

Checking the facts

“One of the hardest battles we fight is between what we know and what we feel.”

We are always told to check the facts. But even if you know the facts, it’s hard to push our feelings and thoughts away. Especially when they’re so deeply ingrained in us. When you live half of your life believing you’re not good enough, worthless, or undeserving of love, it’s difficult to accept the facts. It’s tough to accept everything that’s proving your assumptions wrong, even if they are right in front of your face. Checking the facts is great. But it’s unhelpful if your emotions constantly get in the way.

Healing is pain; pain is healing

It seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? Isn’t healing supposed to make things better? When in reality, the steps we take to facilitate healing can be very painful. If you’ve ever cleaned a scraped knee, you’ll remember the pain of having to touch the open wound. But in the end, this is to facilitate the healing process.

These words by @jennagalbut revealed a lot to me about my own healing process. For so long, painful memories were hidden in the shadows, where I didn’t have to look at them. The problem with this is they would jump out at me when I least expect it.

Since starting treatment for my PTSD, I’ve been even more so on edge and anxious. I thought that the treatment was making things worse. I wanted to quit. To shove all the painful thoughts back into the dark instead of facing them in the light. But I am trying to remind myself – it gets worse before it gets better.

I am a good person

I’ve always been empathetic, I’ve seen the good in everyone, and have always refrained from judging others.

I just fell into the hands of the wrong people. People who took my kindness and forgiveness for granted. People who could manipulate me and lie to me without having me question it. People who took my innocence and tried to break my spirit.

Others tell me I’m a good person. Many people have also said many wonderful things about me.

Despite all this, I still remain unconvinced.

If I’m such a good person, why do I have to experience so much pain.

I have no idea who I really am.

I am good and I am bad.

I am proud of myself yet deeply ashamed.

I am happy but so often I get so sad.

I’m a walking paradox

Today is the (second… Or third… Or tenth) beginning of my recovery. After too long without consistent therapy I’ve finally found a DBT therapist I click with. My meds have been adjusted and I’m hoping with all my heart that the antipsychotics will work soon. Because this is hell.

I read through a lot of my blog posts and realized it really has been a tough year. I don’t think I’m good at many things but I can say I’m good at downplaying the status of my mental well-being.

The night I didn’t die

Trigger warning: May be upsetting to those who have previously attempted suicide or experienced an overdose.

The morning after, I felt groggy and unrested.

Walked downstairs to fill my water bottle. Holding it under the flow of water I noticed my hands shaking.

Stopped the flow of water. Tried to hold the bottle in front of my face, tried to be completely still. The bottle shook violently with my hands.

Walked quickly upstairs, with more urgency. Picked up a pen to write down what I remembered from the night before. Tried to write down my symptoms. My writing was unrecognizable.

Pulled clothes off the end of the bed. Struggled to dress. Struggled to pull my shirt over my head. Struggled to stop the shaking for long enough to put on pants. 15 minutes later.

Called my housemate who had a car to drive me to the hospital. No answer. Called him.

“I’ll be right over. 30 minutes.”

Sat on couch, hands shaking. Pulled out phone and messaged other housemate.

“Can you please stay with me until he comes to bring me to the hospital? I’m afraid I might have a seizure.”

My shaking hands and now blurring vision slowed me down so much, it felt like ages to type.

Realized I would need my health card and insurance. Walked up to my room, and my shaky hands pulled out a key. Fumbled to unlock the door, only to jump back, muffling a scream.

Spider. The size of my hand. Crawling up the door frame, twitching, ready to jump. Stood there in a panic for what felt like 10 minutes.

Finally opened the door and jumped back, anticipating the spider. Nothing. Looked closer and it was gone. Hallucinations.

Sat on the couch waiting for an eternity. Sporadic bolts of strong electricity would bind me to my seat. Completely paralyzed. Uncontrollable shaking. Electricity. Paralyzed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Watching spiders rise up from the carpet and crawl towards me before melting away.

“I always thought you were a little too well adjusted,” jokes the housemate.

Nervous laughter in agreement. “Jokes on you,” I say.

He arrives. I can’t move. Pulls me up and walks me to the car.

Arrive at hospital. At reception. Try to speak, but my throat is paralyzed. He completes registration.

When I can speak, all I can say is, “my hands feel so heavy. They feel so heavy. I can’t hold them up, they’re rocks.” He encouragingly picks up hand to show that they aren’t heavy each time.

Feel like melting into the floor. Eyes roll back in head. Vision readjusts. Electricity. Paralysis. Tears that I can’t wipe away. My hands – they’re too heavy.

Dissociation. Slips out of body. White light. Fear. I’m going to die here. I’m going to be buried here, thousands of kilometers away from my family. Will they ship my body back? Will they fly it back?

I slip in and out of my body again. I’m calm and at peace. Complete serenity. Electricity. Fear returns.

Try to speak to the nurse but I’ve lost all speech. I’ve lost all movement. My soul keeps slipping out, I can feel it.

Fear. What if they shame me like last time? I cry. “Please don’t get mad. Please believe me,” I think as loud as I can.

She speaks to me and I see her far away. Don’t close your eyes. I wasn’t even trying to die. I just wanted to stop the pain. Regret and fear.

Later. I’m back in my body. The psychiatric nurse sits with me, so gentle and kind. Relief.

She tells me I’m lucky. I well-exceeded what should have been a lethal dose.

I don’t know what to say so I just cry. I thank her. I leave.

Depersonalization

An invisible hand reached through my neck, cutting my breath short, pulling my consciousness away until it was completely detached from my body.

I could move, but only very slowly.

I could see, but everything was choppy, as if I was looking at a broken screen.

I could hear, but it was like I was underwater. Voices seemed far away and echoed even though they came from right in front of me.

I instructed myself to smile, to move my head every once in a while so no one would know anything was wrong. I robotically carried out these actions when I could.

I sat beside myself and saw the dead, faraway look in my eyes. The blank face. My body swayed unsteadily. I felt nauseas, as if my body was a rocking boat and I was dangling off the edge.

I somehow found my way home and fell into a long and uneasy sleep.