Well… no… not happy

I’ve stopped sleeping. I guess it is just stress, however, stress is serious for me when getting consequenses like this. Stuff happens when I don’t sleep. I don’t want to go there again.

betterstress

Last Monday, we had meetings at work, and almost 300 people are loosing their jobs before summer. In our department of eight, two people have to go. We don’t know who yet, as “competence” will count more than “seniority”.  So, it can be me, but I don’t think so. Not in this round of cuts, but my job is definitely not safe. I was on an interview for another position, I hoped to get a positive answer, but haven’t heard anything. It was almost three weeks ago, and I haven’t got guts to call and get a negative answer.

This week we will know who looses their job in my department. Which one of my dear colleagues and friends will be let go, which office will be vacant.

I am not handling this well.

This weekend I was home alone, my husband was away. I was planning on doing lots of stuff, things I like doing, going for walks in the mountains, cycling, and some more useful things, like sorting clothes, tidying… I did nothing.

I cycle, work, and try to sleep. That’s it. Don’t like it.

 

Keeping on being happy

New Year Fireworks, Athens

New Year Fireworks, Athens (Photo credit: RobW_)


I am basically happy. I used to be:

  • sad
  • unmotivated
  • stressed out
  • desperate
  • impatient
  • worried

Those feelings used to own me. It is not like that anymore. I don’t go around all day with a big smile or anything, well, maybe some days. 🙂 And I feel good and calm. What used to cause real anxiety, worry, and upset me, doesn’t make me drill down into chaos anymore. I am more like “oh well, how do I solve this?”

If you have followed my blog from the beginning, you’d know I was quite intense and energetic. I posted almost every day, and I had a lot to say. I never really planned it, but writing turned out to be my breakthrough. Writing about all those bad things, made the symptoms disappear. It was probably not the only thing happening. I am not sure. At one point I felt finished. My deep dive into bad emotions and even worse memories was done.

I have been ok since then. Almost all the time.

I am very grateful that this happened.

I started thinking about next year today. What hopes I have, what I wish for to happen. I think I will put together some new years resolutions, not like the usual ones, but some thoughts on how to grow. How to reach my goals. How to continue having control and be at peace.

Thanks for reading everyone! 🙂

So I didn’t become a superstar…

superstar

superstar (Photo credit: marie-ll)

When I was a child, I dreamt of being famous. Of having everything I wanted, travel, being rich. I had to dream myself out of all the things that was happening. But doesn’t everybody dream like that? My husband dreamt of being prime minister. I don’t remember what I wanted to be, a singer, an actress, I just remember I wanted to be somewhere else. Someone else. which of course had its natural explanations.

Life has so many “if only”. It hardly ever turn out the way you wished when you were a child. If only I was grown up. If only I had a lot of money. If you still are in the “if only” way of life as an adult, you might have a problem or two. At one point, you have to take charge and decide. Didn’t life get to be what you expected? Are you still sitting there and waiting for dreams to be fulfilled?

It is probably not going to happen. And you should not waste time waiting. The big change, is when you experience that YOU are the only one that can change things in your life. When you decide. I will be happy. I will love and be loved. I will change my way of thinking, so that I am in charge of my life.

You can decide some things. Others come crashing down from nowhere. When they do, it is good to have training. So that you can say; “Oh no, I DECIDE HERE! Don’t you dare crash into my life and try to take over!”

I am very happy that I am not a superstar. I am not even a bit famous. I am me, that’s it!

There will never be a book

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

I love to write.

Although I do not have enough time, and sometimes I lack ideas. I love to see the words form, and sentences get meaning. Writing this blog has been so important for me. The issues that I managed to put into words, all those difficult things that I never could talk about. I wrote. I could hardly look at comments and “likes”; it made me really nervous. In retrospect, writing helped me to make all the dangerous stuff less dangerous. I found that I could think about it without ending in hopeless flashbacks. It was never good, to write, as in “getting it off my chest”. But I think that by writing, I got to use something not so closely connected to feelings, I had to be specific and clear, to the point. Set all feelings aside for a while, though my hands were shaking, and I cried sometimes. I had to plan, to decide what to write about as I sat down to do it.

‘You should write a book’, my therapist said.

Maybe I will someday. But not about this, not about, PTSD, child abuse, insomnia, flashbacks. Me, as a child, can rest now, I think. I feel ok about it all, I never would have guessed that last spring, before I started this blog. 🙂

You are all an inspiration. Thanks 🙂

So; life’s like a river. Things passes by, and we move on

myWPEdit Image

I am leaving therapy.

It has been some years. Getting ready to let go of that helping hand, is a long process. I think I decided that the time had come after summer vacation. However, I was not in a very enjoyable mood just then, returning to work, feeling the pain everywhere, from being so busy. But it was really just a bad mood. No depressions, nothing not normal about it.

So last week we decided to end treatment, or talks, as it has been lately. I have two more appointments, one in November and one just before Christmas, I think I will try to change that to after Christmas. Christmas is never a good time for me, too much family, to many memories and feelings.

I’ll get back to more thoughts on this later.

So; life’s like a river. Things passes by, and we move on

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?

Dreams

sleep

Dreaming (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I have had so many strange dreams lately, which is quite unusual for me. I hope it means that my sleeping pattern is changing, after cutting back on sleeping meds. I don’t really believe that dreams are all that important, or that there is a meaning to all of these strange things that gets into my head while I am sleeping. That would make life VERY complicated. 🙂
My dreams tend to be quite chaotic, and sometimes I wake up, just knowing that I dreamt something upsetting, without remembering what it was. I haven’t had any flashbacks or flashback-“dreams” for weeks and the last ones hasn’t been all that disturbing.

I think my sub-conscience is trying to figure out something. It’s been about a car accident that happened when I was a child. I don’t know exactly where it was. I just remember the car going off the road, and downhill very fast. There is a wood, many trees, and it is quite bumpy. This was long before there were seat belts, and I am on the floor between the front and back seat. My mother is driving. My brother is also in the car. I’m afraid, of course. That’s all that I remember. I tried once to ask my brother what had happened, but he won’t talk about it. Even if I asked him quite late, after he had a few beers… He said that we spent the night in a house next to where it happened. I don’t remember any of that. I don’t know if anyone got hurt, maybe I remember some pain in my head. But I’m not sure. Other than this, my flashbacks seem to have taken a break, it seems. I hope they are gone for good 🙂

But just this other night, I dreamt, we were running a petrol station, some of my friends, my youngest daughter, one work colleague and me. It was really very busy, and everything that could go wrong did. We ran out of diesel, people stole chocolate from the store, many were mad because they couldn’t fill up their cars, the queue of angry customers went all the way through the front door. We didn’t handle the situation very well. It was like when you have four people in the kitchen trying to do the same thing at the same time. When it finally calmed down, we went to sleep on the floor. It was like NOW I am going to sleep for SO long! I was just so tired, after working for days. And as I came to that conclusion and kind of felt the sleep coming, the alarm on my iPhone set off. I woke up angry…
Didn’t last for long though.

Improving?

Sunshine Coast

More of this please?? (Photo credit: semuthutan)


Today I have answered e-mails like if I was something extra-terrestrial… Though, I did get to work an hour and a half late.

I can’t seem to get into the habit of getting up at six, like I used to.  However, that means that I am sleeping well!

How long will it take to get into the habit of work again? I read, last year I think, that if you’ve been away for four weeks, it will take just as long (four weeks) to get into the routines again. That’s quite long… But maybe true!

This is my second week back, and I must admit, last week I had so many things to check online before I could get any of my items in my to-do done. I thought like this: If I answer this e-mail, than she will answer me back and maybe have another question for me, so I will have to write yet another e-mail…

Seriously, I really like my job. I just miss 32 degrees, sunshine and lazy days.

Yesterday I saw my therapist again. This time of year is usually very difficult for me, and I am happy she will see me every week for a while, at least. I think things have changed since last year though. But maybe as some things improve, others appear. To sum up, it goes like this:

I sleep better, and haven’t had any flashbacks since I came home.
Although struggling, I have done some workout; the kayak is my best friend for the time being.
I have a feeling of coping, instead of chaos. (Crossing fingers that it lasts).
I managed to talk about my husband yesterday; he’s been acting like he’s having PMS or something lately, a real bitch… and I am not sure what it is, or what to do, so it worries me.
I find it difficult to think “mindful” and meditate, both work and family are a bit overwhelming just now.
I need time for myself. Not sure why that is such a big thing right now, but I really do.
The pain in my neck is really really BAD. I saw my physiotherapist yesterday, it is his fault. He worked at all the muscles in my neck, head and face, which surely has made the back of my head black and blue, my neck feels twice the ordinary size and I have a terrible headache. I hope what he’s at will help, the reason for this is of course my bicycle crash last year.

Today, I am spending some time with the girls, again. Tired.

Gone fishing…

Guess I’m still suffering from kind of post-vacation-depression… Don’t really understand why this is always so hard! I mean, usually, I love my job, (or like very much at least). I have busy days after work as well, some of the stuff I have to do is good, some is tiring. I try to work out, so I need time to do that too, but right now, it seems like plunging into everyday life is something that requires a life west. I guess that after a couple of more weeks, everything will be back to normal. But right now, the thought of that is kind of awful.
Is life meant to be work, obligations, and stuff you don’t have the conscience to NOT do? I need to work to earn money, and I like solving problems like I do at work. Like my colleagues too. I have a family that I love, but now they were just waiting for me to come home to grab hold of me and my time… I love my husband, but can’t wait for him to get back to work, so that I have evenings on my own (he works in another city, one hour flight away).
Guess basically it is the ME-time I miss, all ordinary things overwhelms me.

Before we went away, I said I’d focus on these things, here’s how it went:

  1. Sleep routines. Not lack of it. Follow my attack plan on sleep meds. /Yes, did that. 
  2. Live here and now. Enjoy what happens. Take ALL the good photos. /Hmm… been a bit busy, and don’t know about the photos yet…
  3. Plan what and where we eat, I feel so much better without bread and fast carbs. /Lost cause…
  4. Get on the bike for at least 30 k a day, that’s just one hour (well, when it is flat)! /No, didn’t happen, but my bike has travelled most of Europe… 
  5. Don’t hurry (except downhill on the bike)/To little downhill on bike, a bit hurried in between
  6. Stretch my neck four times a day. Breathe… /Well… I guess no…

I made the sleep thing anyway, which is very good.

This week I bought a small kayak, and went fishing (the plastic bag is for the fish!). Didn’t get any, sea is full of stingy jellyfish that always get into the line and tip off the real fish down there. Good recreation, and good training for any muscle above the knee, it seems…  Weather sucks though. But this is going to be my new excuse, gone fishing! Me-time…

I am really happy to life a place where this is possible 🙂
Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Acnowledgment, sort of…

Sometimes, if something very bad has happened, people just hide it away. I did that too. As I have written about earlier, I started remembering after he died. I don’t know how many years it took for me to understand that all these horrible things actually did happen. Still, if a flashback has sort of new content, I doubt that it is true. I think it just can’t be…
I have been very open about everything with my youngest daughter, and she discussed this with her cousin, my niece. Both of them are grown up. My niece then told my daughter about anmemory she has, of him, my father. Nothing very bad, really, but an incident when she as a child (she was seven when he died) had THAT feeling. That one, when even as a small child she knew, that this is uncomfortable, intrusive, wrong.
I am so sorry she had to have this memory. But it is also a relief for me.
It’s not me.
It happened. My story is true, my feelings are not crazy, there is logic.

Bad bad feelings?

English: Toy balloons Русский: Воздушные шарики

Up and away, never to be seen again (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really hate it, when I get into those «if only» thoughts and regrets. Why is it so hard to accept the past, and be OK with it? Guess that’s the essence of it all. It’s no problem to see that what happened to me was so wrong. I guess I used a few years just accepting that it happened. And a few years trying to find ways out of it.

Sometimes I think I have found it, the way out, and some days it is just lost again. Some days there are things that trigger feelings and memories, which I wish to be gone forever.

Some days I need help to see things in perspective.

I try to meditate, I try to live by all the mindfulness ideas, and know that it helps. But some days are just different.

I wish I could put all of these feelings in a bin bag, tie it up and throw it away. Never to be seen again.

To my:
Anger
Shame
Loss
Sorrow
Regret

Please leave. Now.

Another strong movie; Incendies

Incendies

Incendies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we are into movies, this one should have trigger warnings all over. It is about a pair of grown up twins left with the request from their dying mother, to find her story, their father, and their brother. She was once an immigrant from the Middle East, and a victim of rape.

She never told her story to anyone. But as she is dying, she needs for them to know. The movie takes you through some really rough patches, and the truth is nothing but gruesome.

This is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. There are so much I can relate to, though I never grew up in Lebanon or experienced war. But all those other things, her feelings, the flashbacks, her life as a victim, the secrets. ‘Incendies‘ is a reward winning movie, and I thought about it this morning, since it seems most of my readers are English speaking, you might not have heard of this one. It’s in French, but a Canadian movie.

I can’t say “enjoy”, because the story is so strong. But I can say “have a cry, and be touched”, and “learn more about abuse, PTSD, life, choices”.

I love this movie. It gives me hope. I guess it is partly the reason for this blog. If I should die, my story is in here. I dared to tell someone, and I have shared this blog with my youngest daughter. They will never have to dig so deep for family history and all the reasons why, as I have.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

We cannot let go of the pain, we have to carry it with us forever. That is what it means to live.

Cover of "Triage"

Cover of Triage

I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie. It’s called Triage, and is about a photojournalist going to Kurdistan, to work. He and his best friend go together, on a quite horrible trip to the war zone. When he gets back, something is not quite right, and eventually, he meets the grandfather of his wife, who has dealt with this kind of trouble before.

‘We cannot let go of the pain, we have to carry it with us forever. That is what it means to live’, he says. ‘Now, I can help you to live with this pain’.

And he does. It is a very tough and touching movie. Recommend it!

Listening to that wise old man saying this, made me think. I actually wanted to play back to find the correct words, but found it on the web instead.

What is done, is done. We always carry our experiences with us somehow. Sometimes we expect too much of friends and others we are around every day. We expect understanding, forgiveness maybe, compassion, but so many times, we find ourselves alone with our feelings and hurt.

What you can change is the way to cope with those feelings. It happened. How many more years is going to be spent inside those feelings, so alone?

I have written before about flashbacks and PTSD, and all the other dreadful things that follow. I’m not sure if I can ever live (happily ever after) without expecting flashbacks to reappear. If what it takes is ‘to live with this pain’, it’s ok. I’ll be fine. I’ve found a way to make it less painful.

I cannot make it undone, however hard I should try.

Me Me Me!

Mind the gap...

Thin line between hopelessness and ability to heal! (Photo credit: asparagus_hunter)

So many years spent without the ability to think outside the ME-mind! Well, I did take care of my family, I did get an education, I got a job, I have friends. But the egocentric mind, dominated for so many years. And by all means; “ME” is the mind that must heal.

Realizing last post was a genuine recipe for depression (which I definitely had) I need to make a follow up.

So I got to think… I am no longer only inside the “ME”-thing, which I described earlier. As a child, I didn’t know anything else.  Trying to cope with depression, there was never room for anyone else, really.

Like so many others with backgrounds similar to mine, you don’t just have PTSD or c-PTSD. You get depressed, you stop sleeping or sleep too much, you might have anxiety issues, eating disorders, dissociative disorder, OCDs, phobias or other stuff. None of it is very nice… Most need treatment. How hard it must be to point out THIS ONE THING as the reason for all your trouble. Like I have my PTSD. (At least that the way I see it, don’t know if my therapist agrees).

If you get a physical decease, you still have a life to live. It doesn’t have to consume all your thoughts and high wire your brain for years. If you have a mental illness, it IS who and what you are. Sometimes for most of the hours of the day. And night.

For me, realizing this, happened in retrospect. I think at one point, I decided to define myself outside of it. (I probably have decided that several times, like if you decide to diet or stop smoking again and again…) But now I feel rather successful at it.

I think all the time of how I feel, and evaluate my feelings. How do I cope with feeling sad, why am I sad, does it have to be like this? And how can I use the mindful approach and be here right now, and let it go? So many times, I find that after meditating I feel so much better. More focused, positive and with a calm here-and-now feeling. This enables see others, feel beauty, enjoy life, concentrate…

I want to focus on the good feelings (still having some bad ones from time to time), and I want to choose to feel good about me (though sometimes I don’t). It means experiencing all feelings and regard them in a state of not judging them either way. I kind of set myself outside the feeling.

I could go on for some time on this… Probably get back to it!

The depressed universe doesn’t have any room at all for any other than ME. The million-dollar question is how to get inside that ME and make it help itself, instead of forever lingering in the deep hurt and pain issues.

Have you been trough the same? How did you start to heal?

I am sure I don’t miss him

He died, I was 25, had just had my second child, and had this strange feeling all evening. It was a Thursday night. I checked on the baby all the time, just waiting for something to happen to her. Then, at 11PM my brother called. My father had had a heart attack at an airport in London. I was thinking; Oh, the reason for my anxiousness! My worry for the baby totally disappeared. I felt absolutely calm.

The only scary feeling I had was realizing that my generation is the oldest. We are the next to die. Most people are not faced with that until they are grown up. Or old, even.

He married again when I turned 18, though he moved in with his future wife when I was 16. My brother and I lived alone in the old house with the large garden.

I was always trying to impress him. To be good enough. However none of my future plans were acknowledged. I was never encouraged to go for any of my ideas, and even when I suggested following his career, I was told I could never do it. I really never wanted to. I just wanted some encouragement. And I never understood why I never got it.

I started remembering things after he died. I think (no, I know) I got depressed. I stopped sleeping. And again there was no story, no timeline to follow. Fragments, flashbacks, bits and pieces, that I couldn’t get to fit together with the life I had created after finishing my chaos at 16. I met a man I married, at 18. I had the first of three lovely daughters at 23, the second at 25. I had a job, a life. It was ok, sort of.

Until I started to remember.

I don’t miss him at all. Remembering has almost destroyed me.