Learning to Stand, again.

I feel defeated. I’ve let my cPTSD, and the anxiety and depression that have come from it, take over. It has been so long since I’ve read a book. Which is not me in the slightest.

It’s also taken over my ability to do much more, but to me this is the worst.

This is extremely difficult for me to say. Even as I’m typing this now I’m having heart palpitations and feeling a tightness in my chest. I know that talking about it- letting friends and family know what’s going on will make a huge difference but I’m still scared.

My cPTSD coupled with the high emotions of this pregnancy have increased the depression to the point where I’m not able to do anything at all most days. I can’t work, can’t read, can’t even watch tv. I just want to sleep.

I know I need to reach out, that getting help, both from friends and professionals will help me get through this, but the anxiety is making me feel as though I will be judged or worse yet- a burden to friends and family. Logically I know this isn’t going to happen. I know my friends and family are not like that. Even that knowledge doesn’t stop the fear.

I’m not ready to post this on Facebook. That is way too public for a first step, but most of the people who I know I really need to explain this to will see the links on Twitter and Goodreads.

To those people who I should have told a long time ago- I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t feel like I need to apologize, but I do. Not only have I been hiding the true issues, I’ve been slowly withdrawing myself from everything. It makes me feel like a horrible person. Just another symptom of the anxiety.

Lastly, I just want to make it clear that while I know I’m going to feel relief that I have got this off my chest I also know that I won’t always be up for talking about it. Please don’t feel offended if you bring it up and I shut you down. Once again, after re-reading that I know that these thoughts are most likely yet another symptom of the anxiety.

PTSD, it’s more common than you might think

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I’m not a w  OMG!  I just wrote out the start of that sentence and put w instead of v (I meant to write very) but because I put the w by accident, I had a mini panic attack and just sat there thinking about what word I could write instead that starts with a w.

All of this happened in a notebook, in pen, of course, while I was sitting at my desk, in my house.  Why was the simple act of crossing out a letter so difficult for me?

My anxiety can get so bad, and my annoying OCD tendencies so strong that I couldn’t just cross it out, at least not without an internal fight.

There are the good days, where I manage to fight my anxiety before it consumes me, but more often than not there is always something.  When it comes to my blog– I think about it al the time. I come up with ideas that I want to write out– but then I feel this overwhelming sence of dread towards writing it.

For some reason I get the same feeling when I go to use my credit card when I don’t know if the payment I made has cleared and I worried the payment won’t go through.  Actually, I do know why I feel like that.I’m afraid of being embarrassed.  I don’t like the idea of someone making fun of me, judging me, or even feeling sorry for me.  And if I dig a little deeper, I guess a therapist would tell me it come back to my childhood.

I  used to get in trouble if (insert anything I did that annoyed my mother at any given moment) was to her standards, exactly when she wanted it.

The level of expectation for perfection was also a loose variable–not a constant, but she would never indicate what the level was at any time.  Eventually I just always expected it to be the highest level.

The summers before high school wasn’t spend hanging out with my friends– not at all.  I got the pleasure of baby-sitting, and there was no getting paid, no, this was an expectation. My sisters were ten and four, I was fourteen.  I was excepted to not only watch them ALL THE TIME but make lunches, and often diner, complete a daily list of chores, AND keep the house spotless.  Otherwise I would lose privileges– having to miss an outing with friends, no tv, no computer, or more chores.

At twenty-six with an almost four-year old and a very messy dog, I often have trouble keeping up to my own standards — let alone hers.

And then the self-shame kicks in.  It always happens after I realize I “should have known” something, but kept it buried inside.  Which I know is illogical. I know PTSD, or in this case CPTSD, is not my fault.  If I were listening to anyone else tell this same story I would tell them that, but I have trouble listening to myself.  I also know that I shouldn’t blame, or even hate myself for not noticing earlier, but I do.


Sometimes it feels like the rational me is locked in a cage and a very sadistic me (I just realized how much of this example comes from Inside Out, if you haven’t already, watch it, I think it’s a must see) is dangling the key in my face while letting my anxiety take over completely.

I want to stop listening to that horrible voice in my head when it tells me my fiance doesn’t really love/want/trust/belive me.  I know that he does, but logical me can’t take back control.

Honestly though, I am so tired of being pushed around by my anxiety.  I want to be proud of who I am. I don’t know how long it will take to get there, but that’s the ultimate goal.

Adults I was supposed to trust and look up to (my teachers, my mother), made me feel worthless at times, like I was choosing to complain about a non-existent issue, or purposely failing to meet ridiculous standards.

Now that I’m a parent it is much easier to sympathise a little, and understand that my mother (most likely) did not purposely cause the pain she did, and I am fairly confident that non of my teachers believed that I was in serious pain and purposely ignored me. (Read this post for details) That knowledge eases some of the pain, but dealing with CPTSD is an ongoing battle.

 


Side note.  I spent about two weeks fighting with myself to type something up.  I finally picked up a pen and the words just started flowing out.  The typing up is still a little hard, but much  better than before.  Handwriting rough drafts, it worked for me in school, I guess it will work for me now.

Challenging the Past

I’m honestly not even sure what to think any more. So much of my beliefs have been based on my childhood memories– some of which, as I am now finding out, were wrong.

When I was younger, some physical activities would cause me pain. The biggest trigger was running. It was either in grade three or four that I first remember bringing up my pain with a teacher. I remember so vividly that this teacher would dismiss my concerns and even go as far as (loudly) telling me that I should stop trying to get out of gym, and that everyone has to deal with “pain like that”. I remember some kids teasing me about it, they would say that I was only trying to get out of gym because I wasn’t good at sports and that I wasn’t really in any pain.

I think it may have been the combination of embarrassment and belief that my teacher, someone who is supposed to be a trusted adult, that I have spent my whole life ignoring ‘minor’ pain. I believed that everyone got the same ‘minor’ pains that I do, because up until now, I have never had any reason to believe that what my third or fourth grade teacher said wasn’t true.

On the one hand, even though I understand now that this is not true, I still pass off so many things because I feel like they are nothing to concern a doctor with. I feel that if the pain doesn’t last more than a couple days at a time it is not a problem. I never take into account that the pain, while most times never lasting longer than two or three days at a time, reoccurs five or six times a month.

Is it normal to lose feeling in your hands or feet after as few as five minutes in the same position? Is it normal to have a headache for at least twenty days out of each month? Is it normal to go to bed at 11 PM and wake up at 9AM, and feel like it is physically impossible for you to stay awake? Is it normal to have a couple of days each month in which your hands just feel stiff, all day, with no relief? Is it normal to have a dry mouth all the time, no matter how much water you drink?

The problem is that I don’t know anymore. I feel as if I may fixated on the idea that I may have fibromyalgia because I just want to finally figure out the source of my pain and maybe get some relief. Is is possible that I have fibromyalgia? I do think it is, my sister was just diagnosed with it and many of my physical and mental issues are common symptoms of fibromyalgia.

At the same time, I feel as if I’m jumping to conclusions, and that most of my issues can also be explained by other causes. It is not easy being in my head, and all of my newly founded uncertainty with truths of my childhood is only making it harder.

Love Me Challenge: Day Eight

lovemechallenge

Share a scar

I have a scar on my right knee. I got it on Father’s Day 1998. My Dad and I were riding our bikes across a high school track–one that had that black rock/dirt mix, and I wiped out. My leg was bleeding so bad, there was blood everywhere! But of course, typical me (even at eight years old), I stubbornly refused to let my dad leave our bikes, and carry me home. He had just bought me this bike for Easter.

Side note: Instead of a shit ton of chocolate and candy for Easter, dad always got us some sort of gift, usually something that would get us active. Which, in hindsight is a pretty sneaky alternative for the candy. Good job dad.

So, I rode the whole way home (about a ten minute ride), and ‘saved’ my bike. Boy did I look like a mess when I got home. My dad’s girlfriend freaked out when she saw me and I had a bandage on my leg for weeks. Luckily nothing too deep, so no hospital trip for me.

  

  

Love Me Challenge: Day Six

lovemechallenge

A note to your future You

I guess the most important thing to say to my future self is to always remember that every challenge you faced in the past was one that you thought was going to break you, but you didn’t let it. Every time you fell down you thought you wouldn’t be able to get up, but you did. Every time someone made you feel worthless, you proved them wrong. Every time you made a mistake and thought it was the end of the world, you realised that it wasn’t. Every time you thought you were completely alone, someone stood by you. Every time you felt that there was no way out, you found one.

By reading this, you have proved yourself wrong. You have overcome the impossible obstacles that were in your way. Regardless of how long it has been since that ‘impossible obstacle’, you past it. There will be new challenges that may slow you down, make you feel like life is over, but you are proof, that nothing can stop you.

Love Me Challenge: Day Five

lovemechallenge

A note to your past You

Keep your chin up, nothing is as bad as it seems right now. You will be able to distance yourself from home. Spend more time with the people you do care about, you’ll never regret that. Better days are ahead. You’ll meet a little boy that steals your heart before he even takes his first breath. Once he is in your life everything will make sense, I promise.

Love Me Challenge: Day Three

lovemechallenge

A word that describes You

I have always been emotional. So that would probably describe me best.

In both negative and positive ways.

Yes I can get over emotional about silly little things that lead to me blowing things out of proportion, but I also can connect emotionally with people (and animals) better than some.

I don’t think I would ever want to change that about me, maybe I’ll continue to work on toning down my freak outs from getting emotional, but being emotionally sensitive is a good thing for me.

Can’t Catch a Break.

Between dealing with the ups and downs of new medication, a sinus cold and a sick, cranky three year old I haven’t had much time for myself these past couple of weeks. I’ve got a lot of book reviews to catch up on and quite a few blogs written out in my head. Hopefully I will have the time to catch up this week, and maybe set a few blogs aside for future backup.