A day off!

English: White swans (Cygnus olor)

English: White swans (Cygnus olor) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My head and neck is bothering me again, not feeling too well, but not all that bad, so I called in sick. Really, I am so dizzy, that driving is not advisable. Hope to feel better tomorrow, and back to work issues and utter chaos. I love my job! Normally I would sit here working, after calling in sick, but today I thought no… I am going to have a day for me, only me. And it is going to be as good as possible, in spite of pain and dizziness.

I started off with one whole hour of meditation. I’m glad I put the timer on, otherwise it could just as well lasted three! Amazing how time flies just breathing, and letting all things pass by in my mind.

It made me feel calm and happy. After that, I tried one of my yoga routines, for more breathing, but found that I needed breakfast more than air. 🙂

I am not easily persuaded into new things, and if there is a hint of something “alternative”, I back off. I have a friend, who works as a healer and a homoeopath, and do the occasional baby massage. We have lots to talk about! 🙂

The thing is, probably, that I need to be sure that there is something there that can help me, that I feel like I can do, (where I won’t fail), and that there are reliable results. The inspiration came from my acupuncturist, he practise buddhist meditation, and explained a couple of things in a very natural way. I had severe pain after my crash last summer, and he introduced balance, “chi” and the universe, as the only normal thing to reduce pain. It worked, not instantly, and I still need regular painkillers from time to time.

I started reading, and tried meditating. Read “Meditation for dummies”, “Mindfulness for dummies”, and went on to more complex theory. “Full Cathastrophe Living” is a must.

My first meditation experience was a success, I sat for one and a half hours, I thought it had been like 15 minutes. I understood “calm” and “balanced”, and saw how useful this could be for me. Coping with pain and sleep disorder, first of all, but now I am exploring getting rid of (or less troubled with) c-PTSD using the same techniques.

It is going to work.

I have never this one “thing” to rely on, it has been more like walking on quicksand. And whenever something got to me, I’d just dive in and go under. Again and again and again.

I also went for a short walk down to the sea. Sat there for a while, looking at the white wonderful elegant swans. Felt good. Kept humming U2s “It’s a beatiful day” and it is!

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Reach me
I know I’m not a hopeless case

What you don’t have you don’t need it now
What you don’t know you can feel it somehow
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
Don’t need it now
Was a beautiful day

Hope your day was good too!

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Reading this made me feel good 🙂

Mindfulbalance

In meditation practice, you work directly with your confused mind-states, without waging crusades against any aspect of your experience. You let all your tendencies arise, without trying to screen anything out, manipulate experience in any way, or measure up to any ideal standard. Allowing yourself the space to be as you are — letting whatever arises arise, without fixation on it, and coming back to simple presence — this is perhaps the most loving and compassionate way you can treat yourself. It helps you make friends with the whole range of your experience.
           
As you simplify in this way, you start to feel your very presence as wholesome in and of itself. You don’t have to prove that you are good. You discover a self-existing sanity that lies deeper than all thought or feeling. You appreciate the beauty of just being awake, responsive, and open to life. Appreciating…

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Something in me believed

He started traveling. He got a job where he didn’t stay home for long at the time. I remember our housekeeper complained over him, leaving the kids, and that traveling for 150 days a year was never part of her plan.

For me, it was probably a lifesaver.

When I was eight, I got appendicitis. That day, we had been to town, shopping maybe, only her and I. When we got home she had made porridge. I can’t eat that. The consistence, the taste, the colour… She made me try, and I did. A bit. And started vomiting. Of course everybody thought I faked it. So it wasn’t until my fever got so high that I went in and out of consciousness, that she thought of contacting a doctor. I remember my sister was there too, she was worried.

Afterwards everybody was jealous of me, getting to go to hospital in a real ambulance. I hardly noticed. I was in so much pain, that I was sure I would die. And get to see my mother again. (She died just over a year before this happened). There should be a heaven for all dead people, I thought.

I stayed in hospital for a week, got presents, a barbie doll, and a Tarzan book. It had more than 200 pages, I read it all, and was proud. I hardly ate at hospital, the feeling of being sick sort of just stayed with me for the whole week. And the hospital smell. Only thing I would eat was bread and ham. I got bread and ham and white cheese. I never ate the cheese, I hid it under the mattress when nobody saw me.

He came home on the day I was released from hospital. He had bought me something. I don’t remember what it was.

Stories told

A vanilla ice cream cone

A vanilla ice cream cone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sounds like it was all bad. It can’t have been. There must have been summers and running in the sand. Ice creams. Playing. Nice people. Sunshine and good days.

I don’t know. Once we used to look for the good stories, in therapy, but so many of them turned out not being good after all.

I think the best times I had, was the ones I spent alone. When I was around friends, I was always the different one, everybody else had two parents, and whenever I think about it, people didn’t find their way around that. So hard to relax and treat me like everybody else!

Maybe someone else suspected that things weren’t ok at home, and I didn’t pick up on that vibe.

So the good things I remember with others, are almost always connected to someone totally outside, like my music teacher. Or to time spent by myself.

I never thought I didn’t like spending time alone. The old house and the big garden were over the road from where most of the other children lived. It was a dangerous road. After I started school, and got friends, they were still on the other side of that road.

Of course, hiding was never fun. Hiding meant getting away from danger.

After I started school, I went town on the bus by myself. Well, after starting with music. I didn’t have people over me at all time telling me where to be and when. I went to the library often. I was too young to get into the real library, the one for grown ups. Once or twice they’d stop me and ask where my mother was. I’d say, she is in there, we planned to meet. Most of the times they believed me, or didn’t care. Or didn’t believe me, and didn’t care.

I actually remember being there with her there too; I could read at five, she borrowed books in French. I tried to find out what the letters meant.

So I could spend insane amounts of time in the library. I loved it. I had to stay. I couldn’t borrow books to take home, not being old enough, so they were stuck with me.

I also loved being by the seaside. Whatever weather, listening to the waves, the wind. I’d go there if I was sad, and I’d sit and think for a while. Sometimes I’d cry. Sometimes I’d throw stones in the water, I got quite good at throwing one up high, and hitting it with another.

I wasn’t meant to be like this. It isn’t, for any kid.

I started this post because people are commenting and wishing me well, as if I have a crisis going on, or if I am feeling very sorry or depressed or something.  It’s not like that really, I am ok. I could never do this if I felt like banging my head against the wall. So I try again to find something good…

Keep the comments coming though. Thanks for helping me, letting you in on my story is scary, thrilling, exciting, and I learn a lot. Daring to share has become real. Well, that IS a good thing.

Trying to explain a flashback

The mind is a strange thing. I’ve been a journalist at war for two short periods in the Balkans. I saw demonstrations, shootings, crazy elections. Once I was smuggled into a hospital where shot victims were held. I’ve signed papers leaving the UN without any responsibility for my life, for the reason of getting from one part of the Bosnia to another. I’ve travelled incognito, crossing every border there are on buses. The soldiers came collecting passports and valuables at gunpoint, I was lucky they never found my camera. I walked in the mountains in Montenegro, over borders, carrying thousands of Deutsch mark (only going value) glued to my thighs and body. Friends of mine died. I wanted to help.

It was an insane thing to do. Risky, crazy, stupid… I had children at home…

Those are things that people normally get PTSD from. Post traumatic stress disorder was long a diagnoses closely connected with war trauma and only that. The reason I mention my Balkan experiences. is that those experiences  haven’t led to these reactions for me. So there doesn’t have to be any obvious connections. Still, I live with PTSD or Complex PTSD.

When I wake up at night, (not from a bad dream), I re-live experiences from my childhood. I was sexually abused, neglected, and to some extent grew up alone. Some of this I remember. but many details are just blurry. I already told about some of the things I do remember. The ones I don’t are the ones that bothers me most. Those happenings are the ones that still gives me flashbacks. The others are stories from my childhood.

Together with my psychologist, I’ve sort of come to terms with the facts that these things really happened. I was abused. No one looked after me. I did spend too much time alone. I did (do) drugs to get out of it all and to get some sleep when it’s too hard.

I am not sure where I go from here, but that again is another thing.

I can never tell the story, when I have a flashback. Like a chronological;  first this happened, then this, and that, and after that he went away. I usually remember pain. Something over my throat, sometime I think it is a hand, or maybe a knee. I have a feeling I can’t breathe, (but I never died so obviously…)  I remember smells, tobacco, sweat. It is always dark. I hear him breathing. My body turns numb, every time. I can’t move. It is like the pain IS me, it’s the only feeling existing in the universe, and if I should move only my little finger, the pain would be 100 times worse. I know I am being raped. Because of the pain. But also from what is not inside the flashback, the blood, the intense scrubbing and washing, the vomiting, running away, after. Things I did that I clearly remember (but hate to talk about).

When the flashback doesn’t involve all that pain, it starts with fear, and pain comes after. I don’t know, maybe that is because I grew older, and these are memories from later in my childhood. I have a feeling I learnt to handle the numbness and the pain, and that the way of not feeling, sort of turning off pain, helped me.

The first time I had sex, I wasn’t “in” it at all. Besides the fear that wasn’t there, there was nothing.

It happens at night, usually. Some years ago I had flashbacks even during the day. I had specific triggers, I ever I saw hand sown leather shoes, with a special pattern, I’d just loose track of everything. I would get out from where I was, and not remember doing it. I recall once I was shopping, in a big shopping centre. Next thing I remember is that I was sitting outside, under the emergency stairway, shaking and crying. I’d left my groceries. I couldn’t remember why I had come there, and I looked for half an hour to find my car.

It’s been some years since that happened.

I don’t know what to do with these bad night-time flashbacks. These bundles of pain, that happened so long ago, and happens far too often now. Writing it down makes me sick.

I’ll leave it at that for now. Thought I could somehow keep a distance while explaining. Didn’t work…

I’d like for nice things to happen

English: road bicycle racing Español: ciclismo...

English: road bicycle racing  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like feeling the green grass under my feet. The wind in my hair while going downhill fast. Have some time on the beach. Instead., these last few days have been spent mostly in bed. Woke up on Friday feeling really dizzy, went cycling for work, and back, and the world was spinning… Every time I get to bed, it gets very bad, my head won’t stop, and it actually takes up to two minutes for my eyes being able to focus again. Getting up, it’s the same thing, if I manage to hold on to something, I might get up. If not, I’ll get up to a sitting position in the bed, just to fall over to the other side or backwards. I had the same vertigo thing after my neck injury last year. Didn’t need a replay!

The weather is gorgeous, and during the weekend my plan was to go cycling. Do fun stuff with my husband, who was home for the weekend. See the boys, (I did and had to go straight to bed afterwards). So nothing turned out how I planned. Only reason I am a bit upset about it, is the cycling race in less than two weeks. I want so much to do it. It doesn’t look as it is going to happen…

Last ight have been awful too, waking up with terrible nightmares not being able to breath. Just have to get up. Fast. Having done too much sleep is not good. It never helps. I need the same hours sleep every night, same routines… and at weekends it’s always get a bit out of routines. And being ill hasn’t helped.

This didn’t turn out very good. It was supposed to be about nice things. Sorry!

Burnt child

One of my friends and her family went to visit her uncle. I got to come along, being the girl without a mother that people felt sorry for. It must have been one of the school holidays, it was more than two nights. But there was a weekend during those days we spent there. A house on the countryside, as the fruit trees blossomed. Sunshine.  A farm. I am scared of cows. They smell bad too.

We borrowed two really huge mens bicycles to get a couple of kilometers to the petrol station, it must have looked ridiculous, we didn’t reach the pedals. It was all downhill. We wanted ice cream and sweets, maybe it was a Saturday. Day for treats.

I went to the to the back, to go to the toilet. I didn’t realize I was followed. Couldn’t get away either. He put one hand over my small breasts and the other down my panties. He said I liked it. He smelled of petrol and grease and tobacco. He let me go again, and I don’t remember the way uphill. Don’t remember any ice cream. Never told anyone. Not until now.

That night, we went to a party, or, no, not a party. Kids (though some over 18) getting together, playing music. There were a few beers there, and as the older ones got a bit drunk, no one cared about me, or my friend. Well she did, I probably told her to shut up or something. Or went on talking to someone else. Then some real booze came on the table. Nobody could just go buy it, it was expensive, and hard to find someone over 18 to buy. So it was homemade, and awful.

That didn’t bother me much. I drank until I was unconscious, woke up vomitting, drank some more. It was my first time.

The next day we sat talking in a field. My friend and me, and some of the others, probably agreeing it was a good party last night. One of the real cool boys sat in a tree, I liked him.

Then I set fire to the dry grass, and it spread very fast. I burnt my hand. Fire engines didn’t come for more than half an hour.

The others covered for me, but I was never invited again.