Sleepless

sleep

sleep (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I hate not sleeping well. Some nights, when I go to bed, I just can’t sleep. Other nights I wake up having flashback, or spend time awake, in the middle of the night, having flashbacks. Or more seldom, I wake up at three thirty, and fall asleep again just half an hour before the alarm wakes me. Yippee…

It happens from time to time. Insomnia.

If I can’t get to sleep at night, it is usually because I absolutely cannot miss the alarm next morning. If I have a plane to catch. An important meeting. Or if something terrible has happened, but that is out of the ordinary.

Flashbacks have occurred more seldom during the last months, a year ago, it would happen several times every week. I’d get so tired, after several troublesome nights in a row, that absolutely nothing would make sense. Day or night…

My sleep problems are much better, but so annoying, when it happens. Have you noticed that thoughts during nighttime are so different that the ones you have during the day? I can’t even blame the darkness…

Right now I try to stop taking meds to sleep, I’ve taken pills to go to sleep, and pills to stay asleep, and not have flashbacks.

From time to time, I’ve also taken quite heavy painkillers, also getting me sleepy.

Now I try to control pain in meditation, which doesn’t mean that the pain disappears. It only means that I handle it better, I have a way of coping with pain that doesn’t involve medication.

Quite strange, we seem to have (and think we need) pills for everything. And so easy, when you get into it, to just take that little pill, and know, its ok, I will have a quiet night.

I hope I will make it without any meds. Definitely a goal… so now I have cut the doses to half of what I used to take. Summer is coming up, and that is usually a difficult time for me. Too much free time, not enough routine, some wine from time to time. Not good.

So if I get trough summer, like this, I will be very happy!

It goes in the family…

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

English: Chicken wings being cooked slowly ove...

Burnt emotions? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is a bit difficult for me. I have invited the whole family on a summer party. My oldest girl is 25, her oldest son is four. My family, that’s my brother and his family, my sister couldn’t make it, but her family is coming, one old aunt, and my girls and their boyfriends and families. All in all, about 20…

We are having a barbeque, I think. Maybe the weather will be good too? I will probably have some wine. My brother will definitely get drunk, and so will many of the others too.

Don’t have a problem with that.

My brother and sister had a hard time growing up too. And we never talk about it. At some very late night parties, my brother has asked me stuff, but we don’t talk. I told my sister what had happened, or, I indicated that my childhood was not just cuddly bears and cute pink things. That was last October, on a trip to New York. Of course I had had a glass too much to drink, so had she. Since then, we have not talked. I met her at Christmas, we live in the same town.

Thinking all these hard feelings we have had, has been passed on to the next generation. Eight now grown up kids, some carrying loads of luggage, three small children in the generation after that. None of us ever learned to be parents. We all have scars.

And the old aunt, soon to be 90. She must know, or remember. Or maybe have her own story.

It’s a good thing we are used to keep our feelings to ourselves. Imaging stirring in this?

I think my motto for the day is to share my good things and happiness (I’ll try) and leave all the other items.

Maybe I am a coward. But I can’t deal with everybody else’s trouble as well as my own. I love them all though!

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?

Me and all the others

child abuse

Child abuse (Photo credit: Southworth Sailor)

I am different. Aren’t we all… I thought about that today, that feeling. Nobody can understand me, because I am different from them, the others.
It was something I read about helping young people with addictions, that got the thinking going.
We seem to think that we are unique. And I am, but there are not six billions different personality types. Something must be similar other then the fact that all humans have a mind.
When I was a child, I defined my whole being, on the “different” part. I saw people being happy, but had problems relating it to my existence. Of course I had moments of happiness, breaks, Christmas, my secret places. But I saw families and other children with lives so different from my own.
I guess that was what made the distance so enormous. When others tried to get near me, I’d back off. I was so different that the idea of being like them was a concept impossible to understand. The idea that someone could help, wasn’t there at all. For me as a  child. Guess I am growing up now.
Following this was the understanding that nothing could change. I was stuck (as the only one in the world) in my situation, with negligence and abuse, and a life outside of the ordinary.
I was way out. When I sort of cleaned up, and got my life together, I used patterns and behaviour I had watched and learned. I did what people expected me to. I hid away the abused child, and what had been me. Put it in a huge locked box and threw away the key. And for some years, I was probably nobody… Well, I know that’s not possible.
I guess over the years I have found me again, and started working out how my experience has shaped me, and my life.
Sometimes I am very strong, feel like I know what I am doing, and love my life. Sometimes I feel very scared about what has been, scared of those feelings that sort of can take over my whole being.
Sometimes I am just scared. But I’m not all that different anymore.

Related:
The end of childhood as a Horror movie 

How are things at home

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.

How to communicate the content of feelings that has no language?

English: Band-Aid logo designed by Dresser Joh...

Got one for my flashback anyone?(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I get burnt on the kitchen stove, I’d go “ouch”. Or some four letter word. Some years back, I wouldn’t, I’d just be silent. My husband is always VERY frustrated when I accidently hurt myself, because I go absolutely quiet. I can’t speak. It is as if all the feelings are going inwards. And he stands there looking at me, without knowing what on earth happened. Where does it hurt? What happened? How?
If I cut myself chopping veggies, he’d see me bleeding, those are the easy ones. But if I get my finger in a squeeze or something else that doesn’t show, I can’t speak. When in pain, I go silent. Whatever kind of pain.

In therapy, this is sort of stupid. How many wants to go to therapy, and talk and talk your guts out? Raise hands please…

Me too. But as soon as it starts to hurt, I go silent.

Am I shy?
It’s not like I can’t talk, in any other situation. I know the words. I talk to lots of people all the time, in several languages, and I am never lost for words. Except in therapy.

Am I embarrassed?
After so long trying in therapy, she knows my story. No, I don’t think I am embarrassed. Nothing was my fault. And I don’t think I have a problem with self-esteem either.

Scared?
Maybe. Sometimes, after the worse flashback-situations, I feel like I am floating around, and need to pinch myself to stay afloat, to stay in the room. Not just float away into those strange fragments of memories. Yes… sometimes scared.

Otherwise talkative and blabbering, when in contact with those flashbacks, language disappears. I sometimes think of them as sets of images, passing in 800 km/hour, round and round inside my head. They blend in a mixture of other impressions, sound, pain, smell. They stay for a while. I can’t breathe.

It’s not like I think there are things left to explore. The whole picture is not that difficult to figure out. The flashbacks haven’t changed much this last year (or something). And they don’t appear as frequently as before, which is very good.

I’d like to figure out the lack of language, the feelings that are not verbal. Why is it like that? (And it is NOT that I don’t want to).

I would like the flashbacks to go away and never haunt me again. In a mindful-kind of way, I’d like to breathe through them. I think that will happen sometime. But I don’t think they will ever have a language.

Anyone can help me here?

I dont know if I miss my mother

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember, when other children would ask me, I’d refer to her as ”my mother”. Other children had mums, or mamas, and I talked about her as ”my mother”. When she was alive, I said mum, at least until she went away to hospital, and I didn’t get to see her again. I’d say “my mother” is ill, instead of calling her mum. Something inside me must have known how to keep a distance. Like putting her in a different place, outside and away from me. Maybe I knew she was going to die, even though no one told me. Maybe someone did tell me, and I erased that information from my mind too, didn’t want to know, couldn’t cope with the truth. I was six when she got cancer, seven when she died.

Many mother-daughter things were never done. We never went for a walk in the woods or on the beach. We never went shopping. I can’t remember her buying me things, though she must have. Not sure. I can’t remember staring in a toy store window wanting just THAT doll, and get it.

She never got to help me with homework, or tell me I looked nice before school. Or make my school lunch. All my birthdays before I got to ten, at least, are forgotten. Not one cake, not one present, not one party. I have a recipe for a chocolate cake that taste like something I might remember. Not sure.

I don’t think I miss my mother.

I am not even sure if I miss mother-daughter stuff, my whole childhood got so messed up. I know I miss feeling loved.

I know I miss not having learnt to be a mother myself. Babies don’t come with instructions, and you never get a second chance.

 

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.

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!

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…

The smell of summer

English: Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Blu...

English: Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Bluebell). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We used to have our vacations at the house where my family originated from. My granddad moved to «town». Before that, before WW2 the family lived in a little house in a little place, in a bay, surrounded by high mountains. We had the north winds coming in every afternoon. It could be a bit cold. I remember the smell of all the flowers and the grass in the field. The smell of summer. I picked bluebells. That little house used to give me a break from the terror at home.

We went fishing in the river nearby, for large salmon and trout. My granddad told stories of a bear hunt, from way back. I never believed it was true, imagined it was something he made up just to make a good story. Some years back, I found that it was actually true. There had been a real big bear in the area, and it got shot, not by my granddad, but by someone nearby that he knew. (Probably relatives, it is a VERY little place). It was a good story!

I loved swimming in the river. I put on a diving mask and fins, and snorkel for hours in that ice cold water, snow melting water. I swam up the river, some hundred metres, and drifted down again. Sometimes I saw salmons more than half my size. I wouldn’t move at all, and we were just eyeing each other out, before she would hurry upstream, and I had no chance of following, drifting downstream. My body not shaped for that purpose at all.

We used to have boiled eggs for breakfast.

We went fishing in the sea too. My brother and I went out with the dinghy, it wasn’t that small, we had an outboard on it.  Once we found ourselves in the middle of the boiling sea, I had never seen anything like it. Pollock swim together in large flocks, and then sometimes, something scares them from down under, and they surface. There were thousands. Like the area of a soccer field, boiling with jumping fish. Imagine sitting there on a sunny day, with a lazy fishing rod outside the boat, and suddenly everything was total chaos. We caught about 60 of them, before they went under again.

I remember my mother coming to the house by the seaside. I sensed she was on edge; I couldn’t have been more than five. She wanted me to wear a life vest all the time. Once, she took us out in the boat, not far, and we lowered a little anchor to have the boat stay at one place when fishing. When she started the outboard again, she’d forgotten about it, and the propellers cut the rope.

She started to cry. I imagine she was afraid he would get angry. I cried to, because she was afraid.

When I got older, must have been 12, we had a new and larger boat. My brother and I had an argument on the boat, I have no idea what it was about. But it ended with him saying he was going to kill me.

I didn’t go out fishing with him for a long time after that. Once he asked me why. I told him, and he said he never meant anything by it. He had probably forgotten about it.

I went swimming instead. No one saw me cry.

Mindfullness and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Writing all this terrible stuff makes me feel a bit sick. It’s like I get into a mood where the thoughts get to play on the keyboard, and I  close my eyes and just let it happen. It is certainly easier then talking! And when I am done, that’s it. I just feel tired and a sometimes a bit sad too.

Be Happy

Be Happy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But that’s ok! I can put that into my day, as long as it doesn’t stay there the whole day! (Or night!)

I managed to meditate both yesterday and this morning. For the first time since my last terrible flashback-experience I set the timer on 45 minutes and it felt good. It is really a special experience to do mindful meditation. To see what happens when you choose concentrate on breathing, letting thoughts and stuff that enters the mind just pass again. To be able to decide what I am thinking (or rather not-thinking). To feel that the shoulders are dropping, the mind settles and the body is relaxed.

I am thinking a lot about how Mindfulness can help heal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. I think I’ve got some triggers that can help me find the flashbacks, or some flashbacks, at least. However I am not quite sure what the triggers are. And my flashbacks are so scary that I’m not sure it is a very good idea to explore it. So I haven’t been able to act upon my flashbacks in a mindful way. Quite curious about it though. It would be so good, to keep the calmness of the body and mind, and stay in the flashback until it passes away. Seeing it in an un-judgmental way and being aware of what is happening. Making it less dangerous and also putting more verbal content into it, being able to write it down. I believe it’s possible.

My flashbacks mostly happens during the night. It’s been panic attacks, dissociative behaviour, doing things I don’t remember afterwards. Getting out of my bed, bedroom, some years ago I had to get out of the house, and I couldn’t remember doing it. So I still have a way to go! 🙂

For now; I am very happy that I know how to meditate, that I know how to find that good and relaxed state, and to know that this helps me coping better, every day.

If you never heard of Mindfulness, this must sound a bit weird. Look it up, (for instance “Full Cathastrophe Living”) and tell me what you think!

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.

To talk or to forget?


I wonder from time to time… And we have also discussed it in therapy. I think her approach has been to talk things through, and then it will be easier to handle, so much easier perhaps, that it is not a problem at all.

But when it gets real heavy again, she wants me to try out specialists in trauma psychology or EMDR.

It is really quite typical, when I talk about something very bad, something I can’t cope with, she must feel that my story is too hard to handle, and wishes for me to get help from somewhere else. The idea of even thinking about talking to someone else, when I am in such a bad state (it’s not often) scares me. So sometimes I wish I didn’t tell. That’s not very dynamic…

It’s very hard for me to talk at all. I am still scared that I am going to need somebody. (I know I need her though). I am afraid that someone else might get to know what I am thinking. Stupid after all these years of therapy… The thought that if I try to explain, and she doesn’t understand, also scares me, because then I won’t be able to make it right. She will have an impression or understanding of something I said, and it’s the wrong one. That doesn’t help me. However, she has helped me through so many things, and I am quite sure that if I hadn’t met her, I would have been far out on drugs, or maybe not even alive at all by now.

And then there’s the thing about all those memories that doesn’t have words. How can I tell? I know I have written about this before, sorry for repeating… but it is important to me. When those memories make me a total nutter at night, stealing my desperately needed hours of sleep, it’s only logic to conclude that they need to be explained. It’s like I don’t know the language…

So how about forgetting?

How about concentrating on the moment, on how to live on right now? Right now I am (at work…) writing about this, I am ok with that, it’s no big deal to make words and meaning coming out of my thoughts, and most of the time I am ok with everything I do. I get through the days; I even think most of them are meaningful and good. Nights are a different story. But concealing the memories into somewhere far away, does that make sense?

How about the mindful approach to this? That would be to be in the flashback, and consistently draw attention to breathing. I am not there yet. After the last heavy flashback incident I had, I have had difficulties meditating. I’ve had to take some steps back, starting again, doing shorter sessions, making even surer that I am safe and being a bit more scared that if I let my mind wander off, it will be right back in flashback-hell again.

Still I know that my mindfulness moments give me more control over my days, I have a busy schedule, but I am never stressed out. Sometimes I have to take important decisions fast, I am ok with that. So I am sure about the mindfulness approach. It’s going to make me better.

However, the blog is “my story, shared”. I haven’t touched the issues with no language, perhaps I never can. It feels awful to write, but good too. I cry sometimes, it makes me concentrate, and hopefully finish some issues. Maybe getting those little pieces together, will help me.

Been humming  Paul Simons “I am a rock” all day. Took the picture of a really nice rock (on an island, get it?) this weekend. Here’s the lyrics:

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Don’t talk of love,
Well I’ve heard the word before;
It’s sleeping in my memory.
I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.