Home again, emotional flashbacks, and holiday withdrawal.

Oh GOD I miss J. Seriously, like a hole inside. If not for my puppy I’d be a lot worse than I am right now- I’d be a crying wreck! He’s so calm and logical- after my last post, I went outside to the pool where J and my mum were. J was already in the pool, cooling off, and mum was enjoying a nice beer.

I had a panic attack trying to get in through the door where my dad had installed a very loud alarm- my brain entered that flight state and I started shaking and crying immediately. All that rage and terror came out in tears, but mum and J were there being awesome immediately. Mum came over took me away from the doors and hugged me til I felt better. J was there, shocked, but calm enough to tell me everything was ok, baby, and to put on my bikini and come in the pool with him to relax. Mum agreed, so I did. It worked. Tears faded, shaking stopped, and within FIFTEEN MINUTES (gotta be a new record there!) I was completely fine again, calm, and making jokes with the family and cuddling J in the cool water.

J can spot my mania immediately, and it’s impressive. Bradley has given me a great tip to manage it now I’m home again (boo, being home is not as nice as being out there with J and my family) and I’m going to start it tomorrow. I’ll set alarms on my phone that will remind me to check in with myself, and to stay calm.

So far, I’ve had a tough ride already. I’m aware that I drank too much whilst I was on holiday, so alcohol consumption has gone down a lot. Tonight, I had a cup of tea (fruit tea, orange smoothie tea!) and a glass of water as my beverages of choice. I’m doing this because when I’m manic, as I suspect I’m heading that way now, I do have poor impulse control and drink is usually the first sign of it. I’ve already had some very depressed moments, but that’s not the bipolar speaking.

That’s something else.

I’m in the midst of a bastard of an emotional flashback right now. For the past few days, I’ve felt unreal and dissociated, and horribly depressed, but the depression waned in the evening. Today it got so bad that I began acting unlike myself- snappy, withdrawn, moody, and exhausted. I even yelled at the puppy- at this point, I’m glad she’s deaf! A long sleep this afternoon fixed a lot of that, and I emerged with a better take on the world. I still didn’t understand why I was feeling like shit, but I was ready to give my day another try.

Dancing was fun and went well, and when I got home, I went upstairs to get changed. Pulling my favourite pyjama/lounge type pants on, something in my head suddenly shifted into place and I got it.

I understood that when I was with my ex, I was used as a fix. Because he was jealous of my family spending an unadulterated two weeks with me, I was often subject to derision and scorn when I got home. He’d cold shoulder me, blank me, and finally fix up a meeting with him sometime or place that was impossible for me. I’d inevitably cancel, he’d throw a fit, and then break up with me. I’d be alone, blaming myself and hating myself for nearly two months, and then he’d need his fix again. He’d pretend to relent, he’d tell me he ‘forgave me’ (er, bullshit sir, I believe you finished with me for no good reason) and we’d be back in the honeymoon phase again. Lovely.

So naturally my poor beleaguered brain still think I’m in for some horrible punishment for having fun. I’m reacting like a beaten puppy and I’m shaking in anticipation of a blow that will never fall.

J’s already been on Skype, commending me for my smarts in realising this. I’m pretty chuffed too… BUT GOD I miss him!!! He knows that, of course.

Another remarkable milestone I’ve achieved whilst away is that I’m better able to do real couple things now. I hold hands with J a lot, I’ll go for a cuddle when I fancy one, and, best of all- I was so tired one night I felt drunk, and slipping off into sleep I told J twice that I loved him. He said it back, and I heard the tenderness in his voice alongside the amused chuckle at how sleepy I was. When I asked him about it the next morning, he said I had indeed said I loved him twice and he hoped I remembered that he said it back to me.

Of course I had.

Stuff will be hard now I’m home. I’m trying to take more responsibilities this year, and I’m hoping I don’t overload myself- apparently, therapy this week with Dr K will be the start of lots of tough things for me. I am very aware there are still big issues I need to face. For instance, whilst I was in America, I had night after night of nightmares and J had to hold me to calm me down one night after I told him I was frightened to sleep. Hopefully, I will get these discussed with Dr K and she will help me become less afraid.

There are bonuses, though. I’m taking on more work so I can fund myself to get to America to see J quicker (I hope), I’m finally meeting a good friend I’ve talked to for a long while, I have a snoring puppy next to me and I’m planning dance numbers for a show. There are definite goals to achieve.

Fingers crossed that this year is the year that I get stuff solved, and not another year where I wrestle incessantly with the contents of my own head.

Admitted Part Ten- more journal.

I felt like my journal was a lifeline in hospital. TRIGGER WARNING- I had a flashback and I write about certain things that might upset fellow PTSD-ers.

 

25th/26th April, 00:34

Updates on life! I haven’t written in a little while.

So last night at 10:00 pm, (meds time), I got restless and upset. The dark passenger was on at me to bash my head against a brick wall until I lost consciousness, and they were angry that I had no blade to hurt myself with. They told me I wasn’t allowed to sleep, and they made me pace up and down until Matron spotted me. Rocker stopped to help first, then Matron came to sort me out along with Sunbeam and Foxglove, two of the other patients. I had to wait for what felt like ages with my brain on fire whilst Matron finished off what she was doing, then took me into the ladies’ lounge.

I felt like I was going crazy again. My head was burning with the weight of the three voices. I was strung-out and exhausted, ready to flip. I did cry, I did shake, but Matron explained she was going to give me some promazine. I freaked a bit, seeing as that stupid psych tried to stick me on it before. Thing is, when you get explained what the drug does, what the rare side effects might be, and you need help, you swallow that shit down and chase it with water, then wait and hope.

Oh god. Best night’s sleep EVER. Like since America sort of good. As if my J was lying beside me. In fact, J called and we had a great chat, and he laughed when I said I felt tipsy! It was great to hear him feeling better. Also, Mr Robot called whilst drunk to tell me I was awesome, and to please survive. I promised him I would. I told R all about my day when she rang, too. R called first, then Mr Robot, then J, then I crashed.

This morning, I felt brave and calm when I woke up and I talked to Rita the Coach Driver about what my ex did to me, but I think I pushed myself a bit too much. I had this terrible, terrible panic attack/flashback in the shower. I felt hands all over me again, was waiting to hear his voice, and the voices told me I would never be clean again after this. I scratched my skin so hard I left marks, and I had to run from the shower room back to mine. I was terrified and sobbing. I didn’t want the men on the ward to come anywhere near me, when usually I’m kind of ok with it.

One of the nurses came doing a check (they do them every hour) and she asked if I was ok. I told her what had happened and she said to get dressed adn come out of my room to try and calm down.

I threw my clothes on super fast and got out, and ended up talking to one of the nurses. She’s so sweet. I think she is either from Botswana or Nigeria, cause her voice reminds me of Ma Ramotswe. I let her know how freaked out and upset I was, and she talked to me until I felt calmer.

The rest of the day was spent with Pixie doing art, my amazing family (still doing art and they joined in) and I saw my friend Sunbeam again. Vincent Van Gogh had a flip-out at midday and it frightened me- we were all in the garden and he got loud and argumentative over Sunbeam’s phone, and I dropped my trowel and ran. PTSD is sometimes useful, it stopped me from being in a bad situation, but I was still frightened. I got better though by doing more art- Pixie came and let me know I could just keep going.

Tonight, I heard the dark passenger again. They’re pissed beyond reason that I asked for help like this. They still want me dead, adn I am still frightened about the future. Thing is, I have a lot of people rooting for me. J called tonight and said he was PROUD of me for being in hospital, because it’s the right place for me to be whilst I’m still struggling with all of this.

I also handed a pin back to its owner- a badge Van Gogh gave me. I gave it to the guy who owned it and he was pleased and surprised to have it back.

I am still worried. The dark passenger is still awake and I am too. I just want to cling to what J said tonight and the way he makes me feel. He filled me with happiness and made all my skin buzz with excitement. He makes me feel human, not like a frightened rabbit.

Ugh. Still not tired. Thanks, dark passenger.

I have a new journal after this dies out- there are so few pages! I can’t get over how much I have written.

OK, I’m going to try to sleep. I need it, but not sure I can. Gonna try and wind down with my other journal.

watch me bleed.

Oh god. It is coming.

May is coming, and I am so frightened that it will happen. On the other hand, it would be a way out of this. This struggle for life, the idea that some magical fabled fucking day I will be better and everything will work out just fine.

Basically that day isn’t coming. May is, however, and I am fucking dreading it.

The voices of the dark passenger have scheduled my death in May. They wrote it in my journal. I’m supposed to die then. I feel like I will be able to do it, too. I am tired and worn out after another panic attack today, in public. My mum was angry with me for ‘letting this rule your life’. It is ruling my life, and it will never leave me. The male voice is angry with me because I am ‘blabbing our secrets’ all over the internet, and he thinks I need to just kill myself. My therapist asked them to consider the fact that if they kill me, they die too. They are still in denial over it, especially the female voice. She is very in denial.

I feel dissociative tonight, and I do not want to sleep. My panic attack was brought on by song lyrics, and I am still upset and flinching. Mum doesn’t seem angry with me right now but she was then, because she wants me to be better so badly and that my ex will stop having an effect on my life, but that is the problem- I have nearly six years of bullshit to go through before I can feel any better.

I am so tired, but I don’t want to sleep. I am frightened of what tomorrow brings- which is basically feeling triggered all the fucking time. The other huge problem is that they want me to cut and I am getting such strong cravings to go and do so.

What the fuck is wrong with me and why the fuck is this happening all over again?

Tomorrow- D Day…

Tomorrow, I go for my Psychiatric assessment. Tomorrow, I could possibly have a diagnosis or two.

Right now, that’s not actually a concern. I’m exhausted and my back injury is causing me a little discomfort, but that’s still not my main concern.

My main concern is this- on my way home on Friday, I saw my ex at my hometown railway station.

I’d had a stressful journey- I had to sit next to a man, my train was overbooked so I was late, and my hypervigilance was through the roof as a result. All I wanted to do when I got to the station was meet my Dad, go home, talk to my sister and J (my Mum is away on business) and sleep. I was exhausted- I hadn’t slept well the night before, and I had been hearing the voices of the dark passenger at moments I least wanted to.

I stumbled off the train and dragged my case to the lift. I was cold, tired, and frightened. I just wanted a hug, I just wanted to get home and safe. Walking out of the lift, I was keen to get to the exit and get in the car. The darkness outside beckoned me to come and feel safe, blanketed and hidden from unfriendly eyes.

I’m trained to search night and day for a particular silhouette. A tall one, one with broad shoulders, one which walks in a certain way and motions with its hands in a manner that sets my teeth on edge. I make a routine scan of the area wherever I am, and note down threats in my head. I did it on Friday- and I saw that silhouette that I had dreaded.

I vanished round the corner as fast as I could, back into the safety of the station. I felt my eyes fill with tears, my chest constricted in panic, my head started to feel light. I had to be hallucinating. I had to be having some sort of flashback. If I just pinched myself or closed my eyes and breathed in and out gently-

I looked round the corner again and he was still standing there. Side on, facing the street and talking on a mobile. I could see the profile I feared. I could feel hands on my body despite the distance. I was sick with fear.

I hid again, trying to tell myself that what I was seeing was a hallucination. I checked again, trembling and terrified, and he was gone.

What I didn’t realise was that he had moved round the opposite end of the station. He was leaning against the clock, in shelter from the rain. I felt this horrible compulsion to go to him, to beg for forgiveness, to tell him I was wrong and he was right. I felt the old net of fear and shame and anxiety closing in, and I shrank back into the shadows round the door of the station.

Thank gods Dad appeared – he was smiling, happy to see me, and I broke down in tears of the relief to see him there. He asked me immediately what was the matter and I told him what I had seen. He said to me I hadn’t got to let him get to me this way. He took me home, sat me down, and I gave my sister a huge hug to let her know how much I was grateful for her just being there.

J was wonderfully pragmatic on the phone. “Seriously, if you do ever see him face to face, just tell him to fuck off, then walk away. That’s all.” I laughed, properly, for the first time that night when I heard those words.

I’m tired today as a result of teaching and this incident- I slept for an hour this afternoon. I don’t really want tomorrow to come if I’m honest, but I also want to know what is wrong with me. I hope that it will be a positive experience and not a negative one. I was sent some forms with the letter to my appointment that are really intrusive and frame me as a potential criminal, so that doesn’t inspire much confidence. So much for the whole ‘mental health is like physical health’ thing.

I suppose what will happen at the end of tomorrow is I will know if there are any decent psychiatrists out there who are willing to help me. If not I suppose I have to go back to fighting to get someone to help me.

Wish me luck everyone, and thank you so so much for sticking by me at the moment. I am so thrilled by your continual support.

Phobia.

Ok. so I have a fucking phobia on top of everything else.

Men terrify me now.

Any man I met before I remembered what happened to me is ok, they are safe from this because I know them. They remain my trusted friends.

But I can’t take having men in my house now.

The gas man came to read the meter- a perfectly nice guy, chatting away, completely normal. He waited for me to let him in, was pleasant, smiled, and left with a cheery goodbye.

The entire time he was in my house, I was on edge. I was jittery as fuck. I stood there, fists clenched, chattering back on autopilot, but I was ready to run.

Where the meter is, there is also a maiden to hang washing on. It’s one on a hoist, lifted above our heads, so the hot air which rises dries the clothes quicker. It was in the way of the door, so I pulled the rope to lift it a little higher- not that it really helped. As he was standing there, I was thinking to myself, “If he comes at me, I can drop this on his head, and run whilst he’s trying to untangle himself.”

Seriously though, the guy was a genuine, pleasant, friendly working man. He was utter professional in every way. I was the one collapsing at the door, shaking and crying, then running to another room to slam the door shut and lean on it.

I am the one with the glitch in my brain.

She is a true friend

I found this waiting for me when I woke up this morning. Sometimes I feel like she is the older sister and I am the younger one.

I had a panic attack and cried myself to sleep last night. My anaesthesia is wearing off- i managed not to self harm again but i think i face a bigger challenge with a shower today. I don’t want to do anything. I just want to get back in bed and die.

I knew this was going to happen. I’ve been dreading today because I’m alone in the house- my mum is taking my gran back to hers down south, dad is at work and my sister is at college. I feel like I’m the weak link here- no job, no house, no car, no prospects and a drain on my parents. Why can i not just be normal? Why is it such an effort to be anything else but down?

I wish I had the answers.

I’ll try and write the rest of my story soon. I know these posts have interrupted it but I needed to vent, and to get up my courage to tell the next part. Thank you for sticking by me, and for following me.