Planning for good things to happen

English: Tony Corke climbs to the top of Sempe...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am really happy today (too), however, a bit scared.

Last night I managed to enter next years cycling event, it is really huge, for a small country. The second largest race in the country. I got the opportunity, and signed on and paid and then I had to breath a bit… Almost 100 kilometres mountain bike race, together with 13000 others.

This year, I had to miss out, because of all the pain in my neck and head. I am still not all that OK, but better. It felt really bad to miss it, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to prepare. To busy at work, to many things to think of, and no time for training.

So this morning I have been thinking of plans again. One of my great readers commented once on another of my planning post: ”Man plans, god laughs”. I admit I am a bit like that, I make plans. Now that Christmas is getting closer, I use a planning tool, to put everything in, so that I don’t forget. It doesn’t always work out as planned… I also like to make plans at a personal level, like I planned to quit heavy bad sleeping pills after last summer. It worked.

So now I wish I can make a plan all the way forward to the bike race in June next year. I need to loose some weight, I need to put workouts into the everyday schedule, I need to increase the amount of kilometers on the bike. I need to take great care of my motivation and dedication, if those two are not fed, they vanish.

I wish I could plan for the winter to stay away too, this morning we had 2 degrees C. But that is probably too much to ask for?

How are you about planning?

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The end of Childhood as Horror movie!

Heroin syringe

Heroin syringe (Photo credit: Thomas Marthinsen)

Explisit!
I am not sure when he stopped.

My therapist has asked me several times, if I was scared of getting pregnant. I don’t remember. Pain in my childhood covered my memory and made so many things disappear, just to reappear as fragments. Not all of them are frightening or dangerous, or in the PTSD-category, like some of the things I have described earlier. Most are just undiscovered memories, as if you would look through old photo albums. That’s ok.

So I don’t remember if I was scared of getting pregnant. At first I guess I didn’t know how one did get pregnant, it wasn’t included in my sisters version of the flowers and the bees. As I got just a bit older, and understood more, I was also able to get away more easily.

My day would be like:

  • school (not every day)
  • going to town for music lessons (as much as I could) or to the library
  •  just going to town, hang out with people I thought about as friends, usually a lot older than me.
  • getting home too late, and go straight to my room.
  • if he was home, and not one of his travels, I’d think twice (at least) on what to do. Sometimes I’d just get out again through the window immediately. Sometimes I’d wait for a while. Sometimes I tried to sleep. If I got out, I would come back at 4:30 or 5, and get two hours of sleep before having to start another day.

I always had top grades at school, even though I never made an effort, and in periods, I couldn’t have gone more than every other day. Sometimes teachers would try to talk to me, and they said they would call him. My respons would be “so what?” People must have known though. Someone in school, the pill-pushing idiot of a doctor, someone in that very very sick home I had.

I ran away several times. Once my sister saw me, she was going to work on a very early morning shift. Saw me, ran to grab me, and called him. I couldn’t believe she would do that!

Once I told my friends at school that I was going to far away, to another country. For like forever. After two days, they told the police that. After two days, even he got worried. I was in my hiding place by the sea. I don’t recall what happened as I got back.

At 13 I met this boy who lived by himself. He was 18. Which meant free alcohol, many funny pills, and the introduction to smack (H, skag or whatever you call it). I did only one serious suicide attempt, the plan was to pop all the pills I could find, and top it off with a shot. Problem was that the pills were still in their packages, so I had to press them out one by one. I started taking ten, and then ten more… when I woke up again, I had the syringe in my arm, and there was some blood. Some 26 hours had passed. So it must have been a close call. After that, at 16, I came off hard drugs, on my own.

Last term at school, I had put my life together, sort of. I was normal, like the others. I thought so anyway.

These last few weeks of writing has been quite intense. If my mind doesn’t come up with more ugly flashback, the things I have told about here are the worst. It’s not all. but maybe it is the parts that needed to be told the most.

At 16, I met my first husband, we married when I was 18. At 25, my father died on one of his many journeys. That was when I started remembering. I had some 25 years of f***ing up my life, and by next year, I have use 25 years trying to mend. The story is not over.

Pain is good

Explicit!
I was too young. That morning I woke up with a terrifying pain in my lower tummy. Nobody ever told me about it, they probably thought it could wait for another couple of years. I must have been 11. I’m not going to go into too gory details here, but waking up with what looked like two litres of blood in my bed, made me think I was dying.

Of course I didn’t tell anyone. Dying was an ok option, he couldn’t hurt me anymore.

Well I didn’t die… and my effort to try to hide this from the world using huge amounts of toilet paper and hiding the sheets was not successful. It was my sister that told me what this was all about, she was 17.

My excruciating pain had me in bed for three days a month. And more painkillers were introduced. Nobody knew about the broken arm painkillers from a year back, and now I got more.

I got proper sleep. I got painless days. I imagine my body to be a tight bundle of hard strung muscles that would never let go and loosen up. The pills made me relax.

I wonder what the doctor must have thought. Did I appear to be a normal little girl? Did anyone see through the picture perfect family he tried to create?

My pain threshold became lower each month…

My period also gave me a break, he would leave me alone.

In one of my flashbacks I cut myself wanting lots of blood to keep him away. I don’t think it happened often, it could have happened just once.

Pain gave me relief.

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…

Oh, it just felt so good!

Two little pills, I got to relax, sleep, and I didn’t feel any pain. I guess I had been on edge ever since my mother died, no, before that. Ever since I got into the habit of hiding. Ever since we moved to the large house with the big garden.

I told the doctor that I had fallen, he asked why I came alone, I said there was no one who could follow me.

He waited outside in the car, impatient, I imagine.

The doctor called to find my parents. I knew where he was, so I had no worries about that. This was before mobile phones… But I didn’t want the doctor to speak to him; he might think I said something wrong. It was a nice doctor, he held his hand on my shoulder and told me it would be ok. For an instant there, I believed him, and started to cry. He found a nurse to take me to x-ray, and promised that he would see me again, afterwards.

My left arm had broken, just over the wrist, not very serious really.

I just had to get out of my room, he was in there. I was sitting on the bed, he sat on my desk chair, I made a go at it. I had to get out. I wasn’t fast enough. So my arm broke.

He took me to the hospital, he didn’t speak in the car. I was just sliding into pain, and letting the pain in my arm be me. I had learned how to do that, indulge in pain, being silent and numb, out of reach.

I remember the warm lovely feeling of getting the cast on, the nurse told me how good I was doing. I really didn’t want to go out of there again. Before I went, the doctor gave me a glass of pills to take home, he said to give it to my mother to have her look after it. I promised I would. I could take one pill when the pain was too much, but no more than twice a day. And two pills at night.

The first night I put all kinds of things in front of my bedroom door, so that there would be a lot of noise if he was to come in. I slept.

The second day I endured the pain all day, to be able to take more pills as the night came. I sneaked out quite early, and didn’t come home for bed time. I slept like a baby, probably for the first time since I was a baby… At one of my hiding places by the sea.

I was ten. A child, a grown-up. I knew how to take care of myself.

Only safe when I was alone, only safe when I trusted no one.

Ideas on healing

A bit strange, that the first person (C-PTSD A way out) to comment on this blog has so many of the same ideas on healing that I have. Thanks Marty:)

I have been in serious trouble for as long as I can remember. Hiding has been my way of coping since I was four, after that came running away, drugs, a short period of forgetting as I got three children, and then cPTSD struck big time. Then studies, drugs, therapy, depressions, work, more studies, more drugs… and so on, really. It has been my whole life. I hope to go into more details, for my own healing sake, later.

But as I wrote in one of the earlier posts, I now find that I have a more solid ground than ever. About a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an iPhone App, Deep sleep with Andrew Johnson. We were discussing apps during lunch I think, and she complained about bad sleep. (I would of course never do that… having something like the Berlin wall between my work and family life, and my PTSD issues, kind of a misunderstood idea on how to be successful.)

After downloading the app, and a few more of the same, I thought that this is bullshit. I used to go to bed like seven times every night, feeling restless and sometimes a bit anxious, but I managed to listen to the programme once, put it on play once more, and actually calmed down. So I decided to go with this, for the three weeks he recommends. It worked. I realised that by using my breath, and managing to focus on his lovely scottish accent talking me through every muscle in my body, made me calmer. And sometimes just a small step like that, the feeling that I HAVE CONTROL over something, changed the way I looked upon my whole situation. It said that I CAN DO SOMETHING to change. After so many years going round in circles this was a major step out of a circle.

These apps was an introduction to meditation, something I have always been curious about. I never had the time or took the effort to look it up. It felt too difficult, too strange, and even if I go regularly to the gym, I would never sign up for relax-classes or yoga. Too strange! But now I was curious. I started with “Meditation for dummies” but advanced quite quickly to Jon Kabat-Zinn and “Full catastrophe living” and Mindfulness. Enjoyed both apps, books and YouTube on this subject and it definitely works for me. Now I read everything I can get about Mindfulness…

I am not a premium student… I find that I actually can meditate and focus on my breathing, and after I started to do this regularly, I am much more in control of my feelings. I struggle a bit to find time to sit down and not do anything else, or think about the other things I should have done. But I don’t have the same problems falling asleep at night, and I am calmer. Last week I did a one hour speech at a national conference with 500 people, which usually gets me a bit nervous, at least before I start. This time, as I felt the butterflies invading my whole body, I managed to lower my shoulders, focus, close my eyes, breathe… And it all went away. It must be the most focused speech I have ever given, response was good too. (Afterwards I felt like a worn out washing cloth or something though…)

Being mindful changes the perspective from “I wish I didn’t…” or “If only it was Friday and I was through this hopeless dreadful week”, or “If only I get well, I will start exercising (or something)” to now, right here right now. “If only” doesn’t exist anymore. Sounds a bit weird.

This is the day I have, this minute, this hour. This opportunity.

The panic is still there, but maybe the panic for the PANIC is less intruding. Sometimes it still gets out of hand, and the last time it got really dangerous. But even so, I feel more in control, and I stop to think, instead of rushing into bad choices. I can choose!

Good choices are green, don’t you think?

Grey, sort of

Cool grey

Cool grey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Managed to set up this blog on its own… Anonymity is very important for what I am going to publish here, so I didn’t want to use the same author as elsewhere on WP, or have anything in here that can identify me. I blog a lot, have a very visible social media profile. My occupation demands me to not use those channels with full name to be too personal. So this can be my free space:)

A bit paranoid perhaps. But check “about” if you wonder why. Or continue reading!

A bit of background; I am suffering from complex PTSD, and have done so for what must be about 25 years. 25 years… that is kind of scaring. It is almost all my adult life. I do not have flashbacks every day, and I can have long periods of time without or with just few symptoms.

The reason for my PTSD is childhood abuse. I suffered a lot. And I managed to make my life quite complicated not getting help, not getting the right help, doing drugs for long periods of time, and really messing things up. I am still a bit messed up, but think that my life has never been as promising as it is now. So maybe that’s the reason for this blog, finally I can begin to recover, and as I do so, writing is going to help me.

This is not going to be a story of complaining. I already did that story, in a blog only visible for me, a diary with all possible garbage from my twisted thoughts. There is no value in that, and it really doesn’t help either, to try to describe all those bad dark feelings.

This is going to be the story of my attempt to get things on track. I finally have a platform in my life that can make me get on. Something solid. A better place to start. And I am not religious or anything:)

Follow me if you want to know more!

This Sunday is rain and wind. Sort of grey. I love the wind in my hair!