BroKen, Not Shattered!

Living a life with PTSD

How do I continue?

Im not sure where I go from here. (concerning this blog)

I no longer have my ‘episodes’ as I used to call them. The dark depressive mood swings of anger and depression.

I knew there would come a time that this would happen.

I’ve had PTSD for as long as I can remember (or with hindsight as long as I remember) and I’ve also known that those episodes come every ten, fifteen years or so. Then they go away and I’m fine.

(I’m one of the extremely lucky ones)

Right now….I’m fine. I’ve been fine/great even, for a few months now.

so….I’m thinking it’s probably time to move on from this blog, and maybe do a more ‘me everyday’ blog…….I’ll keep you posted!

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It’s been a while, pt2

It dawned on me today that it’s been three months since my last therapy session.

I hadn’t realized it had been so long.

I even had to dig out the appointment card to check the date.

I have to admit it’s been a good three months.

Not perfect, but pretty darn good.

No major crisis’s, no emotional breakdowns and less and less anger.

I’d say things are looking up 🙂

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It’s been a while…

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last posted.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun.

Those of you that follow the blog may have noticed all previous posts are no longer visible.

A little oooops on my part. I was trying to make a few private and somehow I hid them all.

You know I’m really not that computer illiterate, it just seems that Im a little wordpressly challenged.

So, I will try and get them back, or at least some of them, when I have more time to mess with the settings.

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April 12th 2013

9.25 am

Today’s not a good day so far and the rain isn’t helping any.

Not that I had plans to go anywhere, but it just adds a touch of gloominess to an already dreary mood.

I feel so tired and frustrated.

So much is going round in my mind I just want to take a nap and forget it all for a little while, but I can’t.

Even calling in a prescription to the pharmacy seems like a big deal right now.

~*~

I stood up for myself yesterday.

Maybe for the first time in forever.

It felt good. It was long overdue and it needed to be said.  Although now I can’t shake the feeling that I will be made to pay dearly for that one little moment of assertiveness.

I know it’s not just a feeling, not really. It’s going to happen, it always does. It’ll come in an unexpected way and I’ll be caught off guard, as I always am.

Then I’ll be weak and back down, I’ll feel the need to apologize and explain myself, just to keep the non existent, but ever hoped for, peace.

Because that’s what I always do.

Then I’ll get angry with myself.

And so I should.

It’s pathetic that I can’t just say something and stick to it, no if’s or but’s and no debating.

It wasn’t like I was being mean or hurtful.

I just clearly pointed out that I will no longer be made to suffer, or pay, for other peoples bad choices, for their insecurities or for things that have happened to them that were out of my control.

There is nothing wrong with that.

Those things aren’t my fault.

So why do I feel so damn responsible!! 😦

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Move to Trash…it’s a suggestion not an order!

I did it again.

I wrote a whole long post, got triggered, got (by my definitions) whiney and so in anger I deleted it.

I hate when that happens, and it happens way too often.

Would you believe I actually write here daily, sometimes twice daily.

How do I ever expect to give people an insight into how much of a struggle this is for me if the only place it ever gets posted to is the trash!

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Comfortably Numb

Nearly every article, webpage, blog etc. I have read on the symptoms of PTSD all agreed on one thing, that being emotionally numb is not a good thing, it’s bad, it’s unhealthy.

(or words to that effect)

For me numb is comfortable.

That’s because I don’t handle emotions very well.

Most of the time I can’t get a grip on them, they are just too intense and too uncontrollable.

Yesterday was a prime example.

Most people would probably have felt a little upset, but more disappointed in the same situation.
Not me. No, I literally felt like a piece of my soul had been ripped out.

Which resulted in many, way too many fits of tears.

I couldn’t even have a normal conversation without breaking down at some point.

Today however, I’m over it. I don’t particularly feel disappointed, or upset. In fact today I don’t particularly feel anything about it.

I’m back to being (as Pink Floyd adequately put it) Comfortably Numb.

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So many tears to go :'(

Have you ever mourned the loss of something or someone you never had/knew?

Me either, until now.

Last night I discovered something that left me feeling a huge loss.

It hit me so hard, that I’m talking major tearfest here, even as I write this.

~*~

When I was a teenager a discovered a secret that only a few people knew.

I’ve always kept that secret, and now it seems I’ll live to regret it.

At the time my parents had been divorced for quite some years and I was now living with my biological father.

This particular day, bio dad and I was visiting a close family friend.

At some point during the visit I needed to use the bathroom.

For some reason, maybe I couldn’t find the bathroom, I was about to walk back into the room when I overheard talking, more whispering than talking.

It peaked my curiosity and I found myself eavesdropping.

The family friend was informing my father that he had another daughter.

By all accounts,  he’d had either an extra marital affair with a woman they both grew up with, (or maybe it was just before he’d married my mother and still lived in the village, I can’t recall the exact details)

well, after they ended the relationship she found out she was pregnant but never told him. She had the baby, and the only person she ever divulged the real father’s identity to was our family friend and swore him to secrecy, which he was now breaking.

I remember bio dad asking if he was sure it was his and he said there was absolutely no doubt about it.

That’s when I found out I had a sister.

Of course the conversation stopped as soon as I entered the room and the subject never came up again, ever.

I never mentioned overhearing them. So that was the end of it.

I’ve often though about her over the years. I wondered if she ever found out the truth. If she ever found out she had a sister and brothers, did she ever wonder about us, that sort of thing.

I’d been thinking about her quite a lot lately and have wanted to try and find out who she is.

I’ve spent hours looking up photos posted by villagers in that area to see if maybe someone has a family resemblance to us.

(long shot I know)

It’s been almost 20 years since bio dad became dead to me, and a court order brought out against him (which ends the day one of us dies) means I will never find out from him who she is)

I’ve wanted to try and contact the family friend but I could never quite remember his name, (it was an extremely unusual name) .

Then last night I glanced at a post on Facebook,  one of those typical *A sister is the first friend you have…….etc* kind of posts.

When suddenly, after  years of trying to remember it, out of the blue, his name just popped into my head.

He’s the only person in this world who can tell me who she is, so I decided while I have the chance, not to put it off to just bite the bullet and contact him.

I immediately brought up google and entered his name and the name of the village he had lived in.

With such an unusual name it found him straight away,

I got a result………it was his obituary 😦

He died October 2012.

And any hopes of ever finding my half sister died along with him.

Six months too late…..just six months.

I couldn’t believe it.

So now here I am, mourning over the loss of someone I never knew and as fate will have it, will never know.

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Therapy or Positive Attitude?

I keep thinking in advance and wondering if I’m ever going to get anything out of therapy, other than someone to talk to.

I like my therapist, don’t get me wrong, she’s easy to talk to and she has a plan set in place, I think it’s more me that’s the problem.

Some of the things that she has suggested so far I’ve just not gotten on board with.

Role playing for example….totally not my thing. I find it a waste of time and pretty ridiculous actually, not to mention embarassing.

I’m all in for discussing her suggestions on things, I just don’t want to act them out.

So I flat out refuse to participate.

Then there are the workbooks she wanted me to do. Again I refused.

These would make me bring up things I prefer stay buried. Things that if I were to finally acknowledge I really don’t think I could cope with.

‘Let sleeping dogs lie’ is my thoughts on that one.

Medication…another refusal.

You know, I’m not sure what I expected when I walked into her office 5 months ago, I knew she wasn’t going to wave a magic wand and everything would be OK.

I knew it was going to be hard work. I’m prepared for that and quite willing to put the effort in.

(just not with some of her suggestions)

But so far, I feel I am getting more from a positive attitude and research online, than I am from therapy itself. Not to mention its a LOT cheaper.

I realized this week that I haven’t been to therapy in over a month. It started off with me being sick and not being able to go, then I just got caught up in things that I just never got around to making another appointment.

But that’s good right? It means I’m not reliant on therapy. Not like I was in the beginning.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, it’s been a good month, even with the sickness, only had a few little hiccups here and there, but nothing major, and nothing I didn’t have control of.

I’m still retardedly on edge, I don’t think that will ever change. I don’t remember ever not being.

I literally jump at the slightest thing.

But that’s not surprising, I swear people float around on air and just appear behind me.

I’m managing to keep a handle on my emotions pretty well these days.

I did have a bit (a lot) of a teary breakdown last night, but thats a whole story of it’s own.

I’m also learning to identify some triggers. This is a hugey for me. Probably for a lot of people who have the same problem.

When we can’t identify them, it makes it so much harder to avoid them, especially when we are feeling vulnerable and easily triggered.

So back to the original subject.

I’m wondering which brings the better and fast results.

Does therapy really work as more than just outlet for pent up thoughts and feelings, or does a positive attitude yield better results. Or maybe a mixture of both?

I know most of the websites I’ve read on dealing with PTSD, the sufferer hasn’t really seemed to benefit from psychotherapy. Unfortunately some are still struggling badly with their symptoms many years later.

At this point in time, I feel somewhat in control.

I think for now (before talking with my therapist) I feel pretty confident that I can move on without help. But we’ll see.

Maybe this is something that most people go through, a lull in symptoms and then they come back with full force.

I don’t know, I certainly hope not, but I really don’t know.

For now, I’m staying positive, and staying strong.

(wish me luck)

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Why I feel I can’t write what I want to write!

Today, in response to a question, I admitted that I hold back when writing these posts, or at least most of them.

When the original purpose of this blog was to ‘get it all out, to say the things no one else wanted to hear’ why do I find myself playing the role of censor?

So I got to thinking about it.

The only word that can sum it up is fear!

But fear of what?

I’m not physically scared of those who are mentioned in it, they no longer have the power to hurt me, unless of course I allow it.

Fear of offending them maybe?

No, it’s not that either.

So what exactly am I afraid of?

Well, I can’t say exactly. But what I really, truly think I’m afraid of is what those people, and others, will think of me for writing it.

So I try to write as other’s would prefer me to write, even though I get annoyed with myself for doing so.

You know, I have said before that I don’t do pity parties, and I don’t.

That in itself could sum up why I don’t write everything I want to.

Maybe it’s because I fear people will see my blog as one huge pity party.

My therapist told me during our last session that I minimize the things that have happened to me.

That I talk about them matter of fact and do not acknowledge the seriousness of each action.

(Oh but I did that once. About six months or so ago. I opened that Pandora’s box and faced all those evils inside, and almost lost the plot in the process. I think that lid needs to stay firmly closed.)

When I walked into my first therapy session back in November 2012, I handed her a sheet of paper.

On it was a list of a few of the things that had happened to me in the past.

I figured she would need to know a little of what had maybe contributed to my recent breakdown and why I felt I needed therapy and so I made a list rather than actually voice my ‘problem areas’.

I listed them in chronological order.

Childhood molestations, beatings, rapes, etc.

I felt so self conscious handing over that list.

Why I thought she would glance at the list and think they were all a part of a ‘normal’ life and think of me as an over reacting whiney ass is still beyond me.

I knew everything I had listed was not normal, I knew everything was sick, twisted and wrong.

But yet, even now, I look back at those things that happened and  I honestly, truly cannot grasp the severity of them.

There are even times when I mention PTSD in relation to myself, and I feel like a fraud.

I feel like I really am an overreacting whiney ass.

Not that I don’t have it….PTSD that is…..I’m painfully aware that I do.

I just feel that I shouldn’t have it. Somehow I don’t deserve it.

Not because it’s a weakness, but because I’m weak. I should cope with what happened, not break like a ‘made in Hong Kong 50cent toy’.

That diagnosis is reserved for those who have suffered so much more that I have, those who have always felt the pain.

It doesn’t help that even some people close to me (including some of my own children) think the diagnosis is incorrect.

After all they know me. They know I get a little angry at times, but that I can handle pretty much anything life throws at me.

They know that I don’t stay down for long.

(They’ve never heard my story though, at least not all of it. There are some things you just don’t discuss with your children)

So I guess they (and me too) can’t understand that if my past was really that bad, then why I didn’t break forever ago, when the things were actually happening. Not years later when it was apparently all behind me.

So I guess, in a nutshell, the reason I don’t write what I want to write, is because I fear that people will think I do overact, that I really am that  little pity party throwing whiney ass.

And of course I’m well aware that is the PTSD talking!

The guilt, the shame, the numbness, the dissociation.

I can’t write about my PTSD because of PTSD

Sometimes you just can’t win for losing.

But you know me….(or you don’t) …..I’m not one for giving up!

Maybe next time, I’ll try one (another) of those uncensored (aka whiney ass) posts 😉

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Today is a good day :)

For quite some time now, I have looked forward each night to being able to say to myself, ‘today has been a good day’.

A good day has meant no major triggering events, no uncontrollable emotions, no feelings of worthlessness.

I’ve been taking it one day at a time, trying to wake each morning with a positive attitude and trying even harder not to let things get to me.

It’s been a struggle, believe me.

Even so……

Today I am happy (although that’s the understatement of the century) to announce, this whole past month has been filled with good days.

A whole month!  That’s awesome! That’s HUGE!

In fact, if my arms were long enough, or I was a contortionist, I would pat myself on the back for that one….cos I know how much I really do deserve it.

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