i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

broken

I’m supposed to write about this. Write it down and get it out of my head. Write it down and change the memory. Make the memory more safe and less jarring, sharp edges that slice me open every time I close my eyes.

I’m supposed to feel safe, and comforted as I re-live an event that I thought I had managed to overcome but is apparently still with me and is trying to claw its way out.

Turns out delayed onset of PTSD is a thing. Who knew? I didn’t. I thought everything I did to help myself get over the shock and horror of the jumper guy back in March was enough. I thought I was ok. I thought I had dealt with it and moved on.

But I’m not ok.

At least, not right now. Right now I am a broken mess. I am pieces of a person I don’t even recognize anymore. Nothing I see has colour or sparkle – even the glitter ornaments I just made this weekend. I am a shadow of myself. I am grey and bland.

I wasn’t just not dealing with November for any old reason though. That’s sort of nice to know. By the end of the month I was so broken I didn’t think I could be repaired. I couldn’t cope with anything – I still can’t, although I think I am very slowly on the mend. I had a breakdown in my boss’s office and I knew, just knew, that I couldn’t come into work the next week. I needed to be away.

Away. Away. Away.

From everything.

Because even though work isn’t really the happy, mirth-filled land that it used to be, I didn’t really hate everyone and everything as much as I did right then. As much as I do right now. I could survive. I could talk to people. I am not really the bitter, rage-filled, weeping mess that I am these days. That is not who I am.

I don’t normally forget so many words or lose chunks of time.

I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know how to react to things like a normal person.

I have lost the ability to care about anything. Everything. I hate everything so, so much. I hate people. I hate life. I hate books. I hate music.

So. Much. Anger.

I can’t be out in public with people around. I can’t. Extreme anxiety, panic, rage. Tears.

But I called employee assistance and I spoke to someone and after hearing my story and hearing my words, this wonderfully comforting woman told me I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t broken. I was suffering from a major trauma and shock to my system that my body is trying to make sense of and heal from. Although I did so many wonderfully proactive and healthy things to try to make sure I could heal from the trauma, I needed to do more. I needed to be quiet and take a break from things while my body dealt with the absolutely unrealistic thing that happened. It needed to heal, like a wound. My brain is still processing the event and although I did good things to help myself heal, it wasn’t enough and really, it hasn’t even been a year since it happened.

November is similar to March in the terms of weather and the coat I am wearing, the coat I was wearing when it happened. Who knows what other triggers there are right now. Ones that subconsciously I remember but might not be aware of. Sure I know that sounds set my body off, but that’s something that I remember. Other factors – temperature, lighting, smells, are more subtle and not ones you really think about all that obviously.

I am not sleeping. I am not eating. I am not coping with anything. Nothing I like to do has flavour or colour. Nothing. I have zero interest in anything. I can’t think. I can’t speak. I can’t cope. I can’t make a decision. Everything – every single thing – overwhelms me.

I can’t even go back and read the post I wrote after it happened. I can’t.

But I need to. I need to write out what happened. I have been asked to do a writing exercise where I spend 5 or 10 minutes writing about exactly what happened. Write about it when I am feeling calm and safe  – even if I have to take half an ativan to get there – and I have to write about it and then rip up the paper and think, “I’m letting this go.”

And you know what? I think this is a brilliant idea that will work well for me. I really do. But I can’t actually get to the point where I am able to write this down. I can’t. The thought of it fills me with shards of ice and glass. The breath leaves my lungs. I can’t breathe.

I thought I was ok. I really did. I did so much stuff to help myself and I thought I had managed this trauma effectively. Turns out I need to do more.

I’m useless at work so I am on leave. I see my family doctor tomorrow to hopefully be able to stay home until the new year. I’m not looking for time off, I just can’t be at work right now. I can’t. I can’t handle anything there. I can’t deal with the people (I hate them all so much right now. But I don’t hate them! But I do.). I can’t deal with the work (I hate it so much right now. But I don’t hate it. I might be unhappy with work, but I don’t hate it. But I do.). It makes me angry and anxious and that added stress is making the PTSD worse. The final straw was something that happened financially to us and I just broke. Broken. Shattered. Crumpled.

There is so much negative in our lives right now, very little happy and it’s getting so, so hard to keep myself from drowning. I thought I was just falling back into depression, but it didn’t feel right. It’s not the same as when I was manic depressive and medicated. It was different. A different flavour. Something was off. I wasn’t ME.

This isn’t who I am right now. I am some strange, disassociated person right now. I don’t know who I am. I am a shell.

That stupid jumper guy has ruined so much for me. He’s broken me, even though I was lucky enough to have had the universe stop me from walking forward so he didn’t land ON me. I’m alive, but I feel just as broken as his splattered body right now. My brain, my soul, and my heart aren’t working the way they should.

I feel like I won’t ever be right. I won’t ever be me again. I have been robbed of something so dear and precious that I don’t think I’ll ever get it back. I refuse to let myself live like this though, I will fight with every single breath in my body to put my pieces back together. I can’t hide from the world. I don’t want to hide from the world. I just need a little vacation from it all to help put myself back together and build up my strength so I can face everything again.

I want to read and enjoy the worlds in my head.

I want to listen to music and feel my soul rejoice with emotion.

I want to be able to speak with people and not want to kick them.

I want to be able to smile again without it feeling like I am trying to lift a 75-tonne weight.

I want to be able to breathe. To eat. To sleep.

To live life.

I want to be ME.

So, I’m working on it. Please be patient with me.

3 comments to broken

  • Back in late October 2002, a really horrible traumatic thing happened to me that I’m still not really willing to talk about. I spent the next 5-6 months throwing myself into a major project at work that took every ounce of my energy and time. I thought I was holding myself together well. Then the project was over, I spent a week where my stomach was in so much pain that I ended up in the ER, thought they couldn’t find anything, and I gained 20 lbs in that week despite barely eating because my stomach hurt so much. Then, my brain shut off. From about May 2003 to late August 2003, there was only fog. I lost the ability to form memories, and to concentrate. I once drove through a red light because I didn’t know I was driving at all. During those months of fog, I literally have two memories. I remember driving through the red light, because of the surprise of it after it penetrated my brain what I’d just done, and I remember one week in June when I went on a business trip for a week and got away from my normal, everyday life.

    Right about the beginning of that fog, my cousin’s wife got pregnant. I remembered that this was true. But when my mom announced to me on August 20th that her twins had been born, I had a panic attack – how much time had I lost to this fog??? (and oh gosh, even just typing this has brought tears to my eyes, and this was a decade ago!) It turned out I hadn’t missed as much as I’d thought, because the twins were born right around 25 weeks, and one of them didn’t live through the day (the other just turned 10). I don’t know why this particular fact – that Laura had had her twins early – penetrated me like nothing else had, but the fog lifted. I flew down from Wisconsin to Houston to help out, because my cousin and his wife were having to spend hours in the hospital every day. I won’t say that things got better then. I got pregnant sometime during the fog, and when I woke up I was three months along and so depressed that I was worried the baby would hate me when he/she was born. It was a really horrible time of my life.

    I’m not saying all this to depress you. I dont’ talk about this a whole lot, honestly. I’m just saying that I completely understand delayed PTSD and what it can do to you. I don’t think I ever properly coped or dealt with my situation. If I had, I wouldn’t be bawling my eyes out at present. I’m glad you’re working with people to help heal, because these aren’t wounds you want to keep reopening years down the road. I don’t know how to help, I only know how to sympathize. *hugs*

  • Jenny/Wondrous Reads

    We love you Cat xoxo

  • Marilyn Healy

    I wish I could do something to help! I am praying for you and sending you lots of love.

    Mummy
    XO