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.