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

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I don’t remember what I was going to write about when I began this post on February 22nd, and wrote the subject line only. It probably had to do with what’s been going on in my head and how I’ve been struggling lately. I have a second post in drafts that I began last Thursday, and I even made a graphic for it. It was, and is, supposed to be an upbeat, positive post.

Only when I went to write anything –  all energy and motivation left me. Which is what I think happened with this post, too.

It’s almost as if I deflate like a balloon when it’s time to get the words out. Words I need to get out to help myself heal.

I’m having a difficult time. I haven’t been sleeping. Not since somewhere mid-January. I’m currently off work for a week or so. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back next week if I am still not sleeping. The increased medication, and the anti-anxiety pills I was given aren’t helping – yet.

In short: PTSD sucks. It sucks big time.

I can’t control reactions. I try, but it doesn’t always work. I work so hard at being OK. I work so hard at being healthy and on top of anything that might seem to be a trigger or a downward spiral. I work at it. I get help. I don’t like asking for help. I don’t like that I can’t control this and just BE BETTER. But I do ask for help. I pick up that phone when I know it’s gotten to a point where I can’t do this on my own. I have health professionals helping me, I have family helping me, I have friends helping me.

I feel like a failure most of the time, and I feel like a failure for having to accept the help of others, but I know – deep down – that I am not. I do know that it’s a brave thing to ask for help. It’s a good thing that I know my limits (although, I admit to letting things get a little too out of control before I do pick up that phone. I am stubborn and determined to beat this on my own.)

An extremely awful, random, terrifying thing happened to me almost 2 years ago and I am so sick and tired of it affecting my life. I am tired of things being triggers that I don’t even know are triggers. Or things that I know would be triggers to other things that have decided to latch on to this thing.

And you can’t really explain this to people. It’s up there with depression and other mental illness – it’s not a tangible thing to point at and say, “This. This is what’s happening.” Yes, I know I should get out of the house and do things, but sometimes I can’t. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I physically can’t at the time, and sometimes I just need to be quiet. Alone with my head. I need to be… in my cone of silence? I guess that’s the best way to put it. I’m working on making a craft room, I’m clearing out clutter and organizing things in the house. I’m getting out of bed early (it helps that I’m not sleeping) and just doing quiet things around the house. In between panic attacks. I’m safe and content in my own head, I’m not listening to bad thoughts, I’m just… calm.

Because most of the time my head is full of static and white noise. Like when you accidentally turn your TV to the non-cable station. Loud. Black and white static. Static, static, loud and bright.

And so I am not sleeping. And I am sad. So very sad. And then, suddenly, so very very angry. And then scared. And sad. And utterly exhausted. Emotion is exhausting. Being in state of high anxiety is exhausting. Trying to be OK is, well, exhausting.

I am tired of fighting to be ok. I am tired of treading water, frantically, trying to keep my head above the waves so I can breathe. Fighting to breathe. It’s exhausting. And I’m so over this. And I just want to be able to function normally again. I want my colours back. My colours are gone. Even my hair is almost my natural colour – first time in 10 years. I don’t read. I don’t sing. I don’t create. I feel washed out and bland.

And I wish I could go back in time and not take the street to work I took that morning in March. I wish that the man who jumped could have taken his life some other way. Some other way that didn’t involve anyone else. I am thankful I stopped when I did, or I wouldn’t be here today. I should be happy that I am still here, and I am, but I am so sick and tired of the random panic and sadness and anger that keep coming back since that day. He ruined so much of me and I’m worried I’ll never get me back.

PTSD sucks. And I know I’m not alone. And not everyone gets it. But then again, not everyone suffers a trauma. I just want it to go away. I just want it to leave me alone. I want to be in control of my emotional state again and not have to worry about what may or may not trigger a downward spiral. I’m so tired of this. Frustrated. Annoyed. Over it.

1027

The number of songs currently on my iPhone, and I don’t want to listen to any of them.

They are all annoying me. I just skip, skip, skip, past each one. I stop, thinking I’ve found a song I want to listen to, but then skip it half-way through. I hate this feeling. I hate days like this. Well, more like weeks. I had over 2000 songs on here until recently, but got rid of most of them, keeping only those I was more inclined to let play.  Alas, not so much any more.

music

 

So, I can’t read, and now I can’t listen to music. My two main outlets are currently out of service. I keep rustling my feathers, unable to sit still. I could really use a break from all of this.

i’m not ready yet

It was cold and grey
the day
the sky came crashing down
without warning
the sky is falling
And I will never forget that sound
And you came running
And everyone was running
And I waited for screams that
never came

Is it the end of the world?
Is this the end of the world?
Cause if this is the end of the world,

              I’m not ready yet

Through chilled air there were sirens
muted by silence; muffled by fear
And I stood frozen in time
your hand was in mine
Disbelieving everything

Is it the end of the world?
Is this the end of the world?
Cause if this is the end of the world,

              I’m not ready yet

Through all the chaos
and everything we have lost
like dominos it all fell
one by one
It pulled the trigger, making the worst get bigger
and we’ve fallen in the rabbit hole
down and down
But we will climb back up with time

Now a year has past
since the sky fell
We’re rebuilding our walls
and our foundations
Because it all was shattered
it’s slow piecing it back together
And if it’s the end of world
I don’t want to know

              I’m not ready yet

© cjh
november 2, 2014

sometimes, you just need to be your parents’ little girl again, even if you’re all grown-up

I am still dealing with my PTSD. I am still not quite ok. I am much better than I was 3 months ago, but I am still unable to work a full 5-day work week. I just want to get through March.

Today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (March 27) is the one-year mark for my trauma and the jumper. I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere near downtown this week, I didn’t want to be anywhere near work. So I did something that seems to be quite helpful: I escaped my home and city and came to visit my parents in a completely different Province.

I’m currently blogging from the bottom bed of a bunk bed (I am sadly above the weight limit for the top bunk) in my parents’ house. I have come alone, letting my husband have a much needed vacation from me. 😉 I have been driven around, and fed, and entertained by my parents for the last 2 days and they have made me all of my favourite foods, and even altered some to make them gluten free for me.

I took a train. One-way, since my parents are driving me back home since they were coming back to Montreal this weekend anyhow. I spoiled myself and nabbed a discounted business class train ticket for the trip here. I was served a wonderfully delicious gluten free meal on the train.

(Seriously, Via Rail has managed to impress me three times so far with the quality of their gluten free meals!) (And wine!)

My Mum met me at the train station, since my father was in a course (painting!) and then we hit up the outlet mall so I could look for some new running shoes.  I was in town for less than 20 minutes and I’d already bought shoes. It was a good afternoon.

My parents used to live about 7 minutes away by car. Almost 2 years ago, they moved 3 hours away – from Quebec to Ontario. I have always been a Mommy’s Girl, and when I was sick or scared, or even happy – I’d want my Mummy. When what happened last March happened, I could only call my Mum. This is also the sort of thing you kind of want to protect your parents from anyhow. It’s a rather horrifying event to have happen to you and you know your parents can’t fix what happened. But sometimes, when you’re scared and sad, you just want to be that little girl. The little girl whose parents take care of her and tell her everything will be ok and they will slay your demons for you.

Neither my parents nor my husband could change what happened. They could just stand by me and offer me support and love when I needed it. But my parents live so far away and I went back to work (yes, pretty fast). I thought I was going to be ok. It was rough, I was in shock, I had anxiety and nightmares, but I was working through it.

But then I didn’t want to be around anyone. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to see anyone. My parents visited for dinner one day after Christmas, but I didn’t spend much time with them after that.

But this week, this week I wanted to be with them. And so I am. I am being spoiled. I am being cared for. I am currently sitting in a kid’s bunk bed for crying out loud. 😉

My fort.

I might be 38, but the kid in me is happily being taken care of by her parents. Her parents are protecting her and they also have the added bonus of living a heck of a long way away from downtown Montreal and all of its tall buildings where people can jump to their doom.

There’s no stress. No anxiety. I am happier and calmer than I have been in months. Tomorrow’s anniversary (I need another word for this… anniversary is too HAPPY) will be spent here, with my parents. Possibly playing cards or Scrabble. Eating pineapple upside down cake. Cuddling with cats that I shouldn’t be cuddling with because I’m allergic to them. (Sorry, not sorry!)

I miss my husband and I miss my dogs. They are my everything. They have been such a huge part of my healing process. But sometimes… sometimes you just need your parents. There’s a certain kind of comfort that you can only get from your parents. It’s all part of the healing process and right now my healing process is calling for roast beef and pineapple upside down cake. 😉

I love my parents and I am so happy that I have been able to spend this week with them. Friday I go home to my husband and the dogs. Hopefully they have been surviving ok without me. My guess is that all three are just living off of pizza and fries. 😉

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.