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My 8 Months Being Here

Discussion in 'Accomplishments' started by Midnite, May 16, 2007.

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  1. Midnite

    Midnite Well-Known Member

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    Some how I I do relate to CQ's post, I used to take down registration plate and taxi driver’s name too (as they are clearly shown on the front screen and sides screen of each taxi here) and send a sms to my hubby whenever I had to board one home late at night after work. Usually I’ll prefer the MRT or the bus than a taxi when it’s dark.

    I can see this relative to my security level. I do feel safe enough to board a taxi during the day, when there are many activities in the streets and many cars around. But then it is a very different situation after sunset, my body is more alarm and sensitive towards the quiet and dim streets. Even if it is a brightly lit up street, I am still pretty insecure if I am alone and worst if there is another one or two strangers nearby. My secure system is much depleted and shattered.

    I have had always feeling insecure traveling alone at night be it walking on a street or in a taxi. Being with a stranger at night (eg the taxi driver) is a very worrying thing to me. But I could comprehend it pretty well before my ptsd became full bloom. For years, though I was feeling insecure, and alert but was feeling ok to board one. I truly understand then that it’s a part of my life that I have to get use to, to my new redefined boundaries after my trauma. And I have to learn and accept that not every stranger is a bad guy. It was hard but some how I managed to scrap through many years.

    I didn't know that being constantly subconsciouly insecure could cause me this, which happen gradually over 2 years, I began to react much differently and my secure system was going down side pretty fast than I realized. It’s also eating up my confident. It all happened without me truly aware of it. I took up more and more precaution whenever I was feeling more insecure. I wanted more locks on the doors and was constantly checking on them before going to bed. And I had crazy idea of jumping out of the taxi in case of emergency and I started to take down their registration plate and driver’s name, also getting hold onto my handphone all the time, in case I needed to call for help. Then at its peak,I found leaving the house a difficult task to do and whenever I came home, I searched the entire house for any break-in, or anyone still hiding inside my home. I dreaded going to bed and became very restless towards bed time. I did light up the whole house, etc… I will do whatever to make myself feeling more secure and comfortable. But each nightmare and flashbacks continued to deplete my secure system more, and I was feeling like back to the trauma day again.

    At that moment, I was totally lost; I was pretty confused and couldn’t understand my own behavior. Why am I such a coward and where have all my confident gone? I was behaving very differently from the old me. Hubby was unhappy with the change in me, seeing the lazy and irresponsible me. I was not lazy and I did not want to explain to hubby that I couldn’t handle much of the old tasks anymore. I fear to even make a phone call or to talk to any strangers. I just fear. There is so much fear in me. And at the same time, I was angry at myself being such a useless person and not functioning and living life like the old me anymore. I lost interest and avoided my friends and ex-colleagues. I prefered to stay in bed doing nothing most of the time then or maybe I was truly lost in life at that time.

    Not until I found this forum, and realized that I am not alone. And it was here where I starting to understand what is this thing called ptsd, myself and trauma better. Sorry that I have been hiding a lot in my private diary, and communicating only with Anthony. I am very new to this ptsd and pretty afraid to comment on other postings. Even writing in my private diary, is a huge step for me to be able to trust and be comfortable in writing about my feelings and thoughts. Sincerely thanks to Anthony again that I have achieved quite a lot within this forum (even without any counselor in my life) instead just a very sincere friend I have found in Anthony, I am able to open up and deal with my trauma, stop blaming myself and learning to live life again. Each time, I have doubts in myself, I'll just read Anthony's comments again and again until I could accept the truth and reality once again. Frankly speaking, I had read my trauma again and again more than 1000x now. I still remembered that I used to sit in front of my pc and read that particular post for a continuous 8 -10 hours again and again,that day and the following days.I did not know why I do it repeatedly but I continued to read it everyday until I was bored about it.

    I truly become much better after pulling apart my trauma and as a result, I have months of sleep without nightmares and am feeling much secure to sleep alone while my partner away for business trip. It was not an easy path, in fact I became so worst and there were many times I wanted to quit even though I am a pretty stubborn person with strong determination and never like to leave task unfinished, still I wanted to quit, not once but many time as I couldn’t really bear with the raw pain all over me again. I had my days of crying and sitting in the pity hole, self-pitying and etc. But each time of enough crying, I just pushed myself back on track to continue. I wanted to heal and I have strong believe in what I was doing, pulling my trauma apart with Anthony’s help. At times, he was triggering me so much; I hated him a lot for causing me tremendous pain. Still after each hurdle, I felt great for every little achievement and deep down I thanked him for pushing me hard.

    My progress; I was busy pulling apart my trauma in the first 5 months, then following 3 months of trying here and there on how to getting back to normal daily life, relearning every little task. And slowly, I could feel that I am returning to the stronger me, gaining some of my confident and faith, to venture back into real life again, feeling much secure again. Basically, I have to re-learn a lot of things in life, I learned how to push myself out of the bed, out of the house and onto some little routine. I still have a long way to go, and am still learning like all of you. It’s just that I have more of my days me controlling life than ptsd controlling me now or the self-pity thing.

    AS I went along, there are still many confusion and thoughts that I couldn’t understand. The worst part is that I do not know what is making me so confused at time. Then somehow, I started to read this book 2 weeks ago, "I can’t get over it", a handbook for Trauma Survivors by Aphrodite Mataskis. Basically it clears a lot of my doubts and confusion and I have a clearer picture of myself, my reactions and my triggers now. And it helps me putting my pieces of puzzle together for a better and clearer understanding. For me, I truly need to understand my new self in order to proceed with this continuous healing.

    I still have many hiccups but am much ready to deal with them. I just need to overcome them to be a better me. I just have to accept this is the new me now, and many hiccups awaiting me along the way. IT's not an impossible path but not an easy one either. Just be prepared and well equipped with extra knowledge. Also one gets smarter along the way. It all depends on how much one wants to get better. I truly want to get my life back and I absolutely believe that "If there is a will, there is a way."
     
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  3. Monarch

    Monarch I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    great positive energy, I envy that.
     
  4. Midnite

    Midnite Well-Known Member

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    more about me

    My parents wanted a boy very much but they have me instead. They were pretty disappointed, kept telling others how badly they wanted a boy but got another girl. Maybe this is the reason; they brought me up the tough way, no crying, no complaint, no sadness, no worries and no anger at home. I ended up swallowing every negative emotion inside me and I just do not know how to express them anymore. They just lost inside me. Each time, I’ll be very emotionless whenever I am supposed to be having these feelings. Friends see me as tough, strong and a very calm person but in reality, I just do not know how to express them like most people do. It ended up, only me alone who can truly understand the real situation or pain inside me at any moment. Nobody could see through me.

    My trauma only worsens my situation. After the incident, my initial view of the whole world completely collapsed. For me to truly trust again after I was betrayed, hurt and violated by a close relative, someone I trusted and known for years, someone who was supposed to protect me but ended up stripping my dignity and pride away from me and also humiliating me was a tremendous hard thing to do. I couldn’t even trust myself. I some how accepted the hurt in my own ways, moved on after a year or two of crying and grieving and suppressing every little detail of the incident.

    Before my ptsd flared up, I was not that badly affected by these negative emotions as they were not common in my life. But when things got worst, with ptsd getting into my life, I couldn’t swallow, contain or tolerate these huge negative emotion inside me anymore like the old me. There were times; I wanted to cut my chest open to let these trapped feelings out or banging my head against the wall. I just wanted them out of me badly. I find it extremely hard, even to share any sadness, fear, etc with my partner. I just fear to share now, still have this fear and insecure feelings in me that I’ll be punished like I used to be when I was a kid. I know hubby will not punish me but still the fear is tremendous in me. The fear is holding me back though I am trying to learn how to share again. It’s very hard; I still write letters or emails to hubby whenever I failed to face him even though we share the same bed every night. I am trying to talk things out face to face whenever I can. Even a very little feedback on my dislike is a huge obstacle for me. Can you believe, we have been together for 12years (marriage 6 years) and I still fear to share my fears?

    After being frank with my partner about this, glad that hubby is learning to be extremely patient and feeding me questions to make my way easier. We are both learning and have been trying to make me express myself more since January 2007, and I have only progress a little on this, still finding it hard to talk but at least I am trying. This positive support has given me new strength, and I am feeling much secure and confident in facing this healing process.

    Lesson learned: I must talk and communicate my true emotions and not hiding them like the old me because by hiding or suppressing them, they will only make me more sick and depressed. I have to be more assertive.
     
  5. Midnite

    Midnite Well-Known Member

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    My battle against my inner-self

    Initially my mask was meant only to hide my pain and trauma from the world, so that I could move along with my life. Making it so strong and perfect that it has now divided myself into two extreme different me, so strong on the outside opposing the extreme lost soul beneath. I thought I could move on living and building the strong me while ignoring and suppressing the real me beneath. I was wrong.

    I realized that this is not healthy in fact it causes me tremendous pain, even almost cost me my life. Then I tried to tend to the other half of me lying beneath my mask, but then again, it was causing me more pain than I could imagine. Emotion that I worked hard to tame in the past had all become raw and uncontrollable again. I disliked being weak and not in controlled of myself. I believed this has to do with my trauma, me losing control of the situation then. I hate losing control of myself so I wanted to go back to the stronger me, to be in controlled and to bury the trauma once again. Damn! At that time, both ways were equally painful for me. Left me wondering whether to continue or to withdraw and turn back???

    Then I remembered what Anthony had said earlier, "I have chosen not to remember the trauma at a sub-conscious level, but unfortunately, the memory is still stored, I just actively attempting to block it. We can choose all we want to try and suppress our traumas, but the problem is, is that our mind makes the overall decision for us, and trauma can only sustain suppressed for so long, then whether I want the memories or not, they come back larger than life, haunt me through flashbacks, haunt me when I sleep, because my brain knows I’m going to sleep sooner or later..... You are trying to suppress it, trying to avoid it, but you are also feeling it creeping through more and more, slowly consuming you day by day. How much longer do you think you can function without facing it is the question? "

    After the past months, now I can truly said that what he had said earlier is so true, the more you fear it , the worst it will come back to you.

    Before this, I used to hide it so well and knock-off every single emerging thoughts of the incident. Trying to avoid them not wanted to be annoyed or irritated by them. More correctly said, I was afraid of them because thinking of them freaked me away. I had been running past 1 decade and running away had not done me any good; that’s when I started to realize that I have to face this reality and to lift this denial inside me, so that I can truly let the past go after coming to term with it.

    Unfortunately, trying to bring back those memories hurt, writing them out had me lived the whole incident again. But I really wanted them out of me no matter how raw or hurt or shaken I was. To face them now as I was tired of suppressing them inside me for the past decade and I didn’t think I could carry it hidden inside me the remainder of my life. I longed to be free. That's why I continued writing.Though it was very stressful and hard on me, but I was still emotionally very strong as I could handle myself just as usual most of the days except I did find myself being divided into two; keeping my strong character during the day(attending my classes) and seeking solace with the weaker side of me at night; Looking through my past and keeping in touch with my deep feelings. And yes, there were also unavoided days where the whole process knocked me off, leaving me so sick staying in bed.

    For me, reading it was more difficult than in writing it earlier, left me with many delayed triggers. Still I read my written trauma repeatedly over the past months. Initially, I used to be so annoyed and angry just by reading my own trauma. Usually it made me sick and I felt horrible the next few days after reading it. But repeatedly doing so has not only helped burnt all the anger and hatred inside me; now I do not feel distress reading it anymore, which is a good sign. The pain, hatred, guilt and blamed that I used to put onto myself subsided. I don’t fear them anymore as now I have accepted and I truly understand that they are merely some memories of mine and there is nothing much I can do to change the history. In fact, I read it to analyze in details what had happenned that day, to help me understand my triggers and responses in aiding my healing journey.

    How I wish I could have done this earlier and not only after a decade now that I am seeing the trauma as a whole picture and not random partial memories as before. Anyway I am truly happy that I went through this battle against my inner-self. With this I am sleeping well and feeling much better now.
     
  6. Midnite

    Midnite Well-Known Member

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    Sleeping alone

    Sleeping alone while my partner is away for business trips used to be my greatest fear.

    I used to get so anxious, terrified as the nights draw nearer and very distressing and restless towards bedtime. I used to repeatedly check on the doors and windows throughout the night (every an hour or so), also lighting up the entire house were common to me. Sometimes, I fell asleep due to exhaustion but only find myself awaken by nightmares, followed by flashbacks, then losing myself again until sunrise. It never failed to repeat itself when the sun starting to set the following day. All this resulted to a panic me whenever hubby has to leave me alone again. I became depressed days or even weeks prior to his trips. I just got worst and worst towards the approaching days.

    I am doing fairly well for the past 3 months, as I am able to adapt and feeling secure while hubby away for his recent business trips. I find myself improving as I do not have nightmares like I used to anymore for his past 3 trips. My anxiety has also dropped tremendously reacting to news of his coming trips. Also I do not stress myself up prior to it anymore.

    How do I overcome them? I duplicate my approach and keep improving on them. I keep doing things that keep me positive and calm while removing activities that will only worsen my situation while alone.
    1. Prior to his trips, I keep repeating to myself that nothing bad had happen and I survive sleeping alone, so it will be as safe this time round.
    2. I try to be away from home, at least for the evening. I meet up friends for dinner or just spend my time out, to avoid myself indulging in negative thoughts that definitely threaten my own confident and secure system.
    3. I keep a relaxing and calm atmosphere towards bedtime. I keep myself the same way too.
    4. I still check the windows and doors but only once before bedtime.
    5. I do not light up the entire house anymore, leaving only a dim light in the hallway and I am able to sleep in a dark bedroom.
    6. I prefer having some soothing music of my likings playing while I sleep. It is good at masking background noises that may make me jumpy.
    7. I praise myself the next morning for every little success. I re-emphasis to myself after every success, that my current home and neighbourhood is safe, that I have been able to sleep soundly and safely the night before. Trying to enhance my belief and to raise my confident and secure level after each successful attempt.
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    You have done tremendous work midnite, and you are always welcome.
     
  8. Midnite

    Midnite Well-Known Member

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    Anthony,

    Honestly, without your help, I couldn’t have made so much improvement myself. You are good at building the trust (with your sincere but no nonsense attitude and you truly mean what you said) and in no times, I find myself pretty comfortable at expressing my feelings and thoughts here because I know you will never betray me and my secrets will be safe with you. Neither had I wanted others to pity me nor think that I am a weird person. I hate that and fortunately you have never done so. The magic is you know PTSD inside out. You know how to encourage and built the trust, when to push (triggering me to think) and when to let loose, for me to grieve and breathe. You have the right essence to it.
     
  9. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Thank you, much appreciated. I am honestly just happy for you, in that you now are finding what I found already, that life can be lived once again with PTSD managed and kept in check for majority of the time. Well done and again thank you for your kind words.
     
  10. Hallelujah

    Hallelujah Member

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    This whole thing got me analyzing myself a bit too much. I'm going through a difficult time (triggered last night) and I can't tell if this is healthy to do or not. I'm quite confused about all of this now. I feel like an emotional yo-yo. I see my own growth and yet feel like such a freak. I can relate to most everything Midnite has said (and other posts I've read). I'm feeling quite confused. The more I read the more confused, frustrated and out of control I feel. I feel very disturbed.
     
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