142 Days

How do people who have suffered trauma cope with lockdown, with every day a Groundhog Day of pain? I can only speak for myself, but I’ve been on my own lockdown for the last 142 days. Yes, I’m counting.

Each day presents new or repetitive challenges but the basis is the same. Dealing with the effects of trauma present a number of different symptoms. I feel anger, blame, loathing, panic, loss, deep sadness, dark depression & emotional mood swings. I am not in control of when these symptoms present, or how long they stay.

Trying to focus on the therapy, and implementing what I’ve learned, all feels for nothing, now that I’m not able to see or attend 121 / group therapy. Schema should have started on 1st April for 10wks, obviously and rightly cancelled. But where does that leave me? It feels like I’ve gone back to square one, reliving the trauma.

The nights are the worst. Extreme and vivid nightmares, of both the assault and Mark dying. I’m scared of being in the house on my own, scared of the dark and I don’t want to close my eyes. It’s a never ending cycle of distress.

What about meds? Lamotrigine, Lorazepam Quetiapine, Zopiclone. I’m not sure what impact they’re having but I don’t feel much better for them yet. Fortnightly reviews with my Psych typically result in increasing dosage, and the cycle begins again. I have pushed almost everyone away, total isolation except for truly essential outings. Even then it can be days or weeks before I can be ready to go out.

I’m thankful for the people who persevere with trying to contact me, but there are times I just don’t have the energy for conversation. Christ, I barely have the energy or desire to get up and get dressed. My life now is completely overwhelming, a far cry from the person I was before.

It’s amazing how quick everything can change. Everyone has always said I’m strong, unbelievabley resilient and I overcome the most trying of hurdles. I don’t recognise this in me at all. I’m grateful and so very thankful I have my cats. They force me to get up, they’re dependent on me. If not for them would I still be here? I doubt it. I took my previous life for granted; it was solid, my calling to help others realised, living my best life, staying true to me.

A big chunk of that was smashed on March 15th 2019. It changed how I saw people, how and who I trusted, it created a monster, a monster I’m still not able to stop. I tried to push it away but it is far bigger and stronger than I am. Add to that the crisis I had been dealing with since December 2018, it became too much.

The last threadbare string that was keeping me together snapped on 13th December 2019. There is no repairing the trauma I have faced. I have to accept that I am broken, maybe beyond repair, only time will tell. I have to accept that I have been let down, and I have failed.

It’s difficult to reflect positively when too many horrific & shit things have happened. I struggle to remember, everything has to be documented to aid recall, and that in itself is difficult to read, but also highlights how much I’ve been abandoned and treated so very poorly.

There are relationships I now don’t have because of this, and I make no apology for that. Do I miss them? Of course, but it’s vital to my recovery that I only keep those I trust with my life, and that is unbelievabley fragile, in my world.

There is nothing I can offer now, very few things I’m competent at, my capacity for supporting others is zero, my desire to get up every day and just be is non-existent, but it won’t always be this way. I cling to that. I have to believe in that. If I don’t, well, I’m not going there.

At some point in the months and years ahead, I’ll look back at this time with pride, admiration and inspiration that I overcame the most horrific things any human should experience. I could say it’s not fair, and justifiably so, but what will that achieve? Absolutely nothing.

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