Tag Archives: holidays

Maybe Tomorrow, I’m Triggered Today

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*this post is gently re-blogged from Jennifer Kindera*, Trauma Recovery Coach

I can’t look in the mirror today. I’ve done it before, looked at me when I’m triggered and I know what I will see. Vacant eyes telling a thousand stories that I can’t face yet again. I don’t want to face it yet again. When I’m like this, it’s all I can do to get out of bed. Function normally? Yeah, not so much. My brain knows that it’s because of the PTSD, the funk of being triggered, marinating in the past, reliving pain that I put to bed over and over again, through therapy, EMDR and mindfulness. I recognize the signs, my signs. I’ve been doing this thing for a while, walking through triggered, the chaos of heart rate, the anxiety anvil which sits on my chest, over-reacting to the little things, bottling up, stuffing down all the emotional warfare going on inside me, the chaos waiting to swallow me whole.

My Littles have been tearful and enraged by turns for a few days. It’s not my new normal, just my normal. Holidays, I trantrum. We put the Christmas tree up yesterday and that always seems to send me into the darkness. The abyss that is so real, where other people have twinkly lights and nice families and happily-ever-afters and I just blindly can’t see in the pitch-black pit of silent gore. But it’s not the tree or the holidays or <fill in the blank.> It’s my trauma rearing it’s head again. It’s wading in the desolate mire that says, oh you didn’t think I wouldn’t visit again, did you? My Inner Critic delights in the coming, it’s like a four year old the day before their birthday party, jumping up and down telling me everything I’ve done to heal isn’t enough, I better get busier, be better, let go more, or my old frenimie Shame will come a-knocking.

 

How long does it last? The awful apathy, nothing is good enough, leave me the fuck alone backasswards like I’m Sissypus and just one more time I’m gonna push that boulder up the mountain and it’s going to slide right back down.

Maybe tomorrow it will fade. I took my herbs today, made sure I ate, tried to work, used my tools. The lethargy is all-consuming though. I do know that once what took me three weeks to work through now might take three days. That’s great, wait what day am I on? How many layers are there anyway to this trauma recovery?

A friend said today, don’t give up. Don’t give in, whatever that looks like. If it means my socks don’t match and I stay in my pajamas all day, then that’s a win because I’m upright. If I hold my tongue when the nasty words want to spill out and rip across another person to project my pain, then that’s a win. The broken pieces of me are like shards of glass and as I keep on keeping on, shining light into the dark places it feels like infection spreading. There was a time when I thought I was the infection. I know in my head, if not in my heart that if I am struggling it’s okay.

It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s my mantra today. It’s.Okay.

It’s okay if you are struggling too. It’s okay because our healing isn’t linear or logical, it’s messy and ugly sometimes. It’s okay because some days it’s all we can do to breathe in and breathe out. It’s okay because no matter how dark it gets, the dawn will come. It’s okay because I may not be able to see the dawn for a few days, but at some point this panic weight will lift and I will settle again. It’s okay because I get to lean into the feelings, and peel back another layer of my painful past. It’s okay when it sucks and I don’t want to do just one more thing. Longer perhaps in between now and the next time, maybe. The Roman philosipher Seneca said, “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” I agree.

And, it’s okay.

 

 

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it was the boy at Jack in the Box…

The holidays, starting with Thanksgiving and ending after New Years, is a time I could do without.  This year I’ve obliterated them completely.  No Christmas tree, not one gift will be purchased, the house is cluttered and what christmas cookies I made plus the ones given to me have long been consumed, mostly as an entire meal. Yes, I ate them as a meal.

Trust me, you don’t want to depend on me for providing any type of holiday spirit.  I don’t decorate and I’m not perky.  If you want to come by and drink spiked eggnog and talk about books, that would be great.  Its not that I’m a scrooge, its just the rampant commercialism and stressed out people trying to find money they don’t have to buy presents they don’t need doesn’t inspire me. Combine that with how I’ve nearly been killed twice this week alone from accelerating careening SUV’s with blonde ladies at the wheel screaming into a cell phone with her 2.2 kids strapped in the back watching a video, makes me want to hide until spring.

Now, if you scrape and scrape the layers of all this crap out of the way, behind all the glitz and glitter and marketing ploys, you will find some of the most precious and caring stories of love and generosity that seem to come out only at this time of year.  That part I love, the true magic of the human spirit.  That inspires me.  But I also don’t feel that it should be limited to one part of the year.  Part of the reason that my husband and I don’t exchange gifts is that we strive to feel the essence of Christmas and the spirit of giving throughout the entire year.  Well, that and the fact that he has horrible gift anxiety that isn’t worth provoking.

So I find that if I go somewhere in nature or a place with books or something similar, I can escape the holidays.  Its difficult but do-able.  I’m lost in my thoughts as I run through my options of the day of where to hide and write and read.  My stomach beckons me into the fast food drive through as “Bill” welcomes me to Jack in the Box, where they serve breakfast the whole live-long day….I sit stunned at his authentic, hysterical greeting and then lose it.  His comment strikes me as the funniest thing I’ve heard in days and I proceed to laugh right into his loudspeaker.  “Bill” caught me by surprise with his audition-ready rehearsed ,Waiting for Guffman phrase.  He seriously cracked me up breaking the spell of sadness I’ve been sitting with. I’m struck with the wonderful, recently unfamiliar feeling of joy.  Its been days and I’ve been the walking dead. I’m wondering if “Bill” was the catalyst to me finding my moment of bliss or if I have just finally crossed over into insanity.  I order my food and wait excitedly to chat with him more at the pick up window.

I’m bummed that he is busy and can’t chat when I arrive realizing that his humor wasn’t specifically meant for me but for all who drive through.  He’s completely unaware of the gift he’s given me.  Its okay, I’ll take the joy anyway.  I’m so happily munching away on my breakfast sandwich that I’ve almost finished it before I realize that they forgot to put the bacon on it.  And yes, I eat bacon too.


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