Sleepless Sunday night

The same every week! My husband leaves on an early plane, I am taking him to the airport. Should have been sleeping at least two hours ago… Already begun the stupid: If i don’t get to sleep now, tomorrow will be ruined-thing… Mondays also the busiest days at work, and next weekend is tha whole family (20?) coming for summerparty. House is a mess… I got thousands of things to do, and wont get over half of them. Must make a list…

And so on…Sleeplessness sucks. Brings out the worst in me!

Breathe… Listen to the owl outside, he must be hungry. I’ll make another go at it… Or start cleaning the house!

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.

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!

How are things at home?

I really liked that teacher. He started at my school when I started fourth grade. He would ask me when I didn’t turn up for school. When I got into fights with the sixth grade boys, that’s something you don’t have to do very often. He would ask me when I fell asleep during class.

That feeling, when you have to stay behind after all the others go for a break and some fresh air. It doesn’t take more than that to feel different. I already knew that I was very different, and usually thought that I didn’t care. But it hurt when the others in my class wondered about what was going on. I didn’t want to be that different.

He’d never yell at me or anything, he would start by saying: “You know it’s not ok to beat up anybody, I wish you wouldn’t do that.” And then he would use about three minutes convincing me that I should tell this boy that I was sorry. Which of course I never did.

I need to say that this boy, was kind of like the cutest one in school. And he was a bully, going after everyone smaller, weaker, with glasses… He had this fan gang gathering around him all the time.

At one time, it just happened. As everybody was in the hallway, he passed me, I put my foot out, and he fell. They were laughing, most of them thinking he got what was coming to him, some thinking of what on earth I was getting at. As he tried to get up, I kicked him real hard in the stomach.

I have no idea why I did it. I was a short girl at ten, he was two years older and quite big for his age. Maybe I was angry about something, or maybe I saw an opportunity to give him a few scratches when everybody would look. Maybe I needed to let everybody else know not to touch me?

The day after, he and two others were waiting for me as I walked home from school. My lessons in pain must have scared them. I didn’t cry, I didn’t scream, it hurt like hell, I asked them if they were done yet. I got a black eye.

My teacher wanted to see me the day after. He asked me what happened to my eye. I said “Nothing”. He would be daft not to get the picture, but he didn’t ask anymore. Instead he told me that he understood that something was going on.
“How are things at home?”
I couldn’t answer.
“How come you fall asleep in class?”
“I’m tired”
“Don’t you get to sleep at night?”
No answer.
“Do you feel safe at home?”
Definitely no answer!

He talked about bad things sometimes happening in families, and that it must be hard not to have my mother around. He said that he was worried that I spent so much time away from school, but very happy that I did so well with all the subjects. He asked me what he could do to help.

He asked me if he should talk to him.

That must have been the closest I ever got to getting help. I walked out of the classroom, out of the school and once more to my favourite place by the sea. It rained slightly. I cried, I cried myself into a terrible headache, and then I fell asleep.
He tried again and again, that teacher. For years. It must have been the first time someone saw me, and it didn’t feel like a threat.

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.

Writing

I write for myself… The idea that writing is going to help me is what makes me do it. And I write in English, it’s my work language, so no issue really. Maybe it is easier to keep a distance when I write in a different language than what I speak and think, most of the time anyway? But I also write in English to have more readers, and to have some comments and make some as well. Now I have done a few very hard posts to write, and feel absolutely exhausted.

So tired… A bit confused about my feelings. Very scared of feedbacks and comments, although that was the idea in the first place, to dare to share.

I don’t know… Does this help or not?
I must get some sleep tonight.

To the other side and back

My first grade teacher was pregnant all the time, at least that’s how I remember it. I think I might have tried to make a connection somehow. It failed as she went away on leave. We had a substitute teacher when the first Mother’s day came. Cardboard paper cuttings, making silly looking cards for Mother. I could hardly remember her face, all the pictures we had, photo albums, wedding pictures, it was all gone.

I sat there doing nothing.

The teacher would say; “I can help you, what colour would you like it to be?”
“I don’t have a mother”, I’d say. Being rather cheeky about it, knowing that I couldn’t let anyone inside my lack of feelings.
She asked: “Why, everybody’s got a mother?”
“She died”, I said.
The first year I ended up doing something silly for my grandmother, his mother. The second year I made a drawing of “there must be something you would like to draw”. The third year I didn’t show up for school before Mother’s day.

All other occasions were difficult too, like making presents for birthdays and Christmases, I hated making things for him.

Other children would ask me why I didn’t have a mother. I said she died. It must have been scary for them. I learnt how not to feel anything. Once I almost started to cry, as one of my friends cried, I am not sure why. I hope I was sad, I hope I felt something, but I am not sure. And I learnt to see those situations coming, new teachers, parents day at school, Christmas plays, concerts… those were days of special alert. No-feeling-days.
I had few friends, but they were quite close, three, I think, but rarely more than one at the time. They knew what to avoid. The only way I could be together with other girls was to be a bit tougher, a bit rougher around the edges; always being the one who stuck my head out. I had a quick answer to anything, and nobody would know that this was the wrong way of coping. Least of all me.

I survived.

I loved to swim. Once I swam from our beach over to the other side. I guess it’s almost three kilometres each way. When I got close to shore on the other side, I waited for a huge ship to pass. Then I swam back. I was 11 I think. Big enough to not tell any friends that I was going to run away, they would tell… big enough to stop hiding in the garden, where he would find me… big enough to get out of the house from my tiny veranda on the second floor. I climbed down a pillar, and made sure that there was something to thread on in the shingle I had to pass to get to the lawn. Without making noises. I use to remember to always have some sneakers in my room, and threw them out on the lawn. Big enough to get out of the way when things got dangerous, without making a sound.

In the summer I had friends staying over. We put up a tent in the garden, and read comics till late with flashlights. We made breakfast and ate outside. We went swimming together in the sea. It was fun. Safe.

I sometimes slept in my brothers’ room at weekends, but he never liked it. We didn’t have much in common. Or maybe, we could never speak of what we might have had in common. Still can’t.

I never had my own room till after my mother died. He rebuilt some of the second floor after that. I got a small room, with a veranda, and a way of getting out. As I’ve written earlier, the house was old and worn, and there was not a floorboard that didn’t have its own sound. Sometimes I knew he was coming and I was too late. I couldn’t get out. I HATED the colour of that room. It was like mint green-ish… like hospitals…

Other nights I went out anyway. Just in case. I went down to the sea, sat there looking and listening to the waves, thinking.
Sometimes I cried, I think mostly because I was so tired. And I thought of swimming. Then I would think that it was so cold, and that I WOULD make both over to the other side and back, anyway.

Green is for hope, isn’t it?

20120519-200842.jpg
Always liked green… Today it made me think of a large cypress we had in the garden, I used to hide inside it.
It must have been five metres tall, the branches were enourmous. Though I do remember bringing a doll out, and some ropes to make a harness in one of the branches, pretending it was a pony, iI went there to hide.
After I started school, and had friends coming over (hardly ever happened), I never showed anyone the tree. It was mine… My hidingplace…
He must have known I was there, but I can’t recall he disturbed me there. I stayed for hours.
Safe.
I was never safe in the cellar, or under the veranda…

Not very good day this, we are still on the road, going home tomorrow. Usually I love to travel… Regret not bringing my bicycle this time… Look forward to straigth work days again from Monday:)

How memory works

We are visiting the small town where my husband grew up. As we walked through the streets, passed the school, he told me the stories. ‘When I started school, we were 24 in my class, we had the classroom right there, the third window from the left. The house we lived in are not here anymore, but this was the view I had from my bedroom. We used to go to to the store here on the corner for ice cream every summer.’

Things like that. I realize (again) that I don’t have those stories, things went very wrong before I can remember, and I have used most of my life trying to keep everything away, only to find that it does come back, uncontrollable, horrifying.

Boats are still looking for the missing 19-year old, we are watching them from where we sit right now.
I don’t like this place. Had a really bad night last night, and feel some desperation over bad sleep creeping up on me. Feel a bit blue today.

We are leaving now.

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Energy?

An orange cloth umbrella. Français : Une ombre...

An orange cloth umbrella. Français : Une ombrelle en tissu orange. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I need some sparkling energy, I think the colour for that must be orange! Actually wearing some orange clothes today, but the effect of the colour doesn’t seem to have reached my brain!

All the cycling has made me get up at 6 AM, and even if I don’t have to, I still wake up that early. Today I feel like yawning all the time, and even more out of focus at work then I have been these last few days. I didn’t sleep that well last night either.

Concentration, please come my way:) I have some important (but boring) stuff that need a conclusion!

Those who follow my blog will know, it has taken some effort to start this. The writing, the thought of sharing, therapy, my worries and well… Just a bit crazy days. No negative experiences though,  quite the opposite from those of you who have read and commented:) I am so happy about that!

But a bit worn out. We are going away for a few days, no work, no cycling, rest, some wine. Looking forward to spending some time with my husband, and talk about things completely different! Take some photos (another one of my passions), look at the sea and the mountains. Think that’s going to be great!

And hopefully, Monday will appear with fast fingers on the keyboard, fast thinking turning into good ideas for my work projects, so that the feeling of being behind on all this will disappear.

But now, more coffee! 🙂

Choices

Last two weeks has been a bit crazy. I cried a lot after what happened, I usually don’t cry. I felt as if all my efforts towards healing was in vain, as if I was set back years in time, so I cried some for that too. Sorrow is sometimes good. (Read last post if you don’t know what I am talking about).

But I did not start endless walking in the middle of the night because I couldn’t rest. I did not call trying to get drugs, though I admit having looked in all my secret spots… I told my therapist what happened, instead of keeping it to myself. I decided to do anything I could to get really tired (followed by good sleep), resulting in very long bicycle rides (which is my Passion) :).

I changed a pattern of wrong choices, and after a few days, it felt better. Those good choices made me make some more. It felt good to meditate, even if I need some help from time to time to concentrate. I used guided meditation from one of my apps. I decided to write, and made this blog. Writing about what happened to me has always been something I have wished to do, having an idea that it will help. However trying to do it, has caused me lots of headaches. So many of my memories and flashbacks don’t have words. Sounds, feelings, pictures that I haven’t been able to describe. As a writer, that is quite annoying. But now I have chosen to write.

This horrible flashback/self harm incident happened after a long period where I’d had a feeling that everything was going so much better. I was able to sleep almost without medication, which felt like a real victory. I’ve had sleep disorders for as long as I can remember. However; I cut back on clonazepam, (over a long period of time, so it should have been ok) but now I realize that this was a mistake. This medicine is what makes me stay asleep through the night, it sort of replaces my REM sleep with calm and quiet resting sleep, and keeps my nightmares away. Wishing to be normal, I hate taking it… Now I have increased the dosage a bit again, and haven’t had any serious flashbacks since that serious one.

I think mindfulness has made a difference for me. Maybe the most significant difference. And I am really reluctant to try anything “strange”, being hopeless skeptic to any not mainstream solutions. Actually skeptic to mainstream solutions too:) But this has given me more peace, and a very important way of having more (or some) control over my life.  I am not saying that it will be like this always, because I don’t know.

I went to see my therapist again yesterday. She was so worried after the last session, I remember saying I’m ok, nothings going to happen… Today she told me that my kind of dissociative behavior should not be treated outside of hospital. So I can understand that she was worried and wanted someone to look after me! And I was like “I HAVE to be alone, I won’t talk to anyone, I need to find some peace at home, by myself…”
I admit that I haven’t been focused at work these days, and I feel worn out and tired. I should probably had taken some time off… Whatever… 🙂 It was a good session, I was calm, managed to talk, felt good. Even if she doesn’t give me much hope of ever getting over my sleep disorder or my PTSD. It’s ok. Being able to live with it in a better way than what life’s been like till now, is a huge step forward.

This was long! Sorry:) And to all my followers in just a few day, THANKS:)

What would you do? How would it make you feel?

As I have written earlier, something recently happened. It made me re-think, make some new choices, take some decisions. It was what made me make this blog, in a kind of “I am that strong”-way. I dare to share what happens to me. Writing it down can’t hurt me.

This one is not easy though. But here I go:

It was Thursday, week before last one. It was an ordinary day, maybe I was a bit more tired or worn out then I usually am, I had been working for 60 hours that week.

I went to bed, as usual, listened to my Deep Sleep app and fell asleep. It must have been just over two hours. I woke up, terrified, thinking there was someone in the house. If I hadn’t been alone, I would have woken my husband and told him, I’m sure.

It was like in those British crime series, old house, squeaking stairs, murder in the library-kind of thing. I heard that kind of squeaking noise.

I didn’t get out of the room, but I did get out of bed, really terrified. I shook off the feeling, remembering that the alarm was on, and that particular squeaking noise does not happen in our relatively new house. So I knew…
This is not happening now, it’s a memory from many many years ago, in my childhood home. It is stored some strange place in my brain, wanting to leap out and hurt me from time to time. And with that rather sensible thought I went to bed again, feeling ok with that, (sometimes things like that can make me stay awake for the rest of the night, or several hours at least).

I have no idea if I fell asleep again, and I have no idea of time or place for the next hours. I got lost.
What I do remember is pain, my whole body is just pain, blood red pain, so strong that I can’t move. I have “lost” my arms, they don’t rise up to defend me. I don’t see anything, it is dark. I sense the smell of tobacco.  I can’t breathe, there’s this vague feeling that a knee is over my throat and neck, and also a short instant where all the pain is just leaving my body, just to come back again. It hurts. And it never stops. I think that I MUST breathe. And I feel so scared I just loose any other feelings.
Next thing I remember is that I am in the bathroom with a pair of scissors. Sitting on the floor bleeding. The two first cuts are not in my memory, the third I remember, (and that one is not that deep). Feeling the warm blood, feeling the pain released from “everywhere” to three cuts on my thigh, just makes me feel good, right there and then. It’s 5:30 in the morning, I start to cry.

I don’t know how old I was when this memory was created. I think I remember cutting myself as a child, but haven’t for like 30 years.

I am still scared about what happened.

How would you handle something like this?

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?

PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, what is this, really?

PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after one or more events that result in a psychological trauma. Re-experience of the original traumas is one of the most common symptoms.

There is lots of information on this out there in cyberspace, not all of it good. My symptoms are quite awful. I have trouble falling asleep, almost every night, no matter how tired I am. I wake up with a feeling of terror in the middle of the night, not being able to dissociate from what I am feeling, from who and where I am at the instant that this is happening.
Many years this made me rush out of the house in the middle of the night, not being myself again until I had walked for at least 20 minutes. I used to have special places to “hide”. By the rocky seaside, where nobody could see me, I regained my breath and found my heart beating at a not so panicked pace.

The horrible memories coming up are not always the same. They change, and as there still are lots of stuff I really don’t remember, it is really scary. Many times I find it hard to relate to the things that happens “in my head” as I don’t remember. But I have learnt that the bad re-living of all these things have a reason. It is not something I make up. I can go on for days with only minimal sleep, 3-4 hours a night. After periods like these, I used to do drugs, desperate to get to sleep again. That’s a stupid thing to do… Turning life into even more chaos, and not being able to stop using again for maybe months. So then you have a circle going round and round with hardly any possibility to change or stop it. Now I haven’t used since October. Quite happy about that!

Another symptom is that I get really tired, worn out, maybe a bit indifferent or even moody. Being so on edge, scared and sleepless does that to people… But it is as if there is something more to it, the tiredness I mean. I am not just tired, I’m so fatigued that I think I can sleep for a week. If only I could fall asleep… I argue from time to time with my lovely therapist whether I am depressed or not. She thinks I am… I disagree:)

Sometimes I get terrified during daytime to. I haven’t identified all the triggers. It can be a smell, a noise, a very special pair of shoes, a feeling of not being able to get out. I am not afraid of flying, but whenever the plane door closes, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. Neither am I afraid of dentists, but the idea of lying in his chair not being able to get out, scares me. Kind of claustrophobic…

My PTSD is not related to one particular incident, as you can see. It is because of long-term abuse, and a childhood where there are few things I can really remember. Of my biggest problems are that some of these memories have no language. I have some images that is hard to describe, I have some smells, some feelings, strongest one is that I am dying. Being so terrified and not having the language to describe these non-verbal things going on inside me is tough! Specially because I work with language and words, as a journalist!

If PTSD has a colour, for me that is red. As in blood, dark red.