The Joys of Living with PTSD

learning how to cope

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

The Other Side of the Looking Glass

Days like today, I feel like my profile picture on Facebook, fits me a little too well.

Behind the paper smile, am I smiling? Or is the paper smile up for everyone to see, because I’m not, and I can’t find it in me to force a smile any other way? Days like today, it’s the latter. Days like today, that paper smile is the best I can do. I’m not the world’s greatest actress, so I rely on the prop. Something you’re not supposed to do- rely on the prop, but it’s all I have. In real life, I have my version of the paper smile, and I plaster it across my face when I need to.

Right now I have no shame in admitting that I’m sitting on my bathroom floor with the door closed while typing this. I have cakes cooling in my kitchen that I have to go decorate soon for a reception for two friends who just got married last weekend, and I still have to get dressed, but I can’t find the energy to care right now. I look in the mirror and I see… I see me. I see a woman who’s hair looks pretty today (for once); a woman with uneven skin tone, tired eyes, and the formation of wrinkles on her brow. I see someone who is overweight, and who has scars and stretch marks in places that make her uncomfortable in anything that shows a lot of skin between the chest and her knees. A woman who has been struggling with insomnia again so has been too tired to tweeze her eyebrows or even get her hair trimmed. A woman who has been sick for so long, she has stopped caring if she gets better.

I want to be someone else. Just for a day. I want to have someone else’s problems and their joys. I don’t want to be me right now. I’m normally fairly content with being myself, but not right now. I desperately wish someone would trade places with me, but no one ever wants to. There are, unfortunately, no vacations from yourself. You can’t divorce yourself, leave yourself, or get a new self. You just are. I don’t want to be. I know I’ve talked to others about this, about these times, and I do ask myself the same questions I tell you to ask yourself: Have I done everything I set out to do? Have I fulfilled my purpose? The problem is, while there are things I’d still like to do, their importance to me is getting buried under this desire of fading away. I do feel like I have done my purpose, and while I could do more, the question for me becomes, am I necessary anymore? I don’t think I am. I think there enough people in this world who have the same intentions as I do, that my presence here is no longer necessary. My thoughts keep returning to two memories and sensations… the first is of the peace and serenity I felt under the water in the ocean. It was so quiet and peaceful. The second is that feeling of release when I stepped off the cliff. That feeling of freedom.

I’m not suicidal. I’m not planning my death, and I’m not saying goodbye. I’m saying what I want, what I miss. This body and I- this existence and I- have had a love/hate relationship for a very long time. I guess I’m just tired. I feel like I’m stuck. If I could do anything in the world right now, it would be to just get away. I’d like to go back to where I walked into the ocean and stepped off the cliff, and just stay for a while. Remind myself why those things were not to be. Rediscover my passion for life by reliving the memories tied to that place that are so strong they permeate through everything I am and do, even now. I’d want my best friend Bonnie to be there with me, because out of everyone I’ve loved, she’s the only one who refused to leave me when I shoved. That bond is incredible special to me, and days like today I want to be in her presence more than anything.

Waiting for the Rain

October 28, 2007

Flames licking every nerve

Engulfing my mind in pain

This is only what I deserve

As I wait here for the rain.

-DeAnne Evans

“All These Little Rejections, How They Add Up Quickly”

Sometimes it’s an Alanis Morissette day, as she puts into song exactly how I’m feeling. This is one of those days. I’m just incredibly insecure today, and I don’t know why, or what set it off. I wonder, are there always reasons for everything, or do we just sometimes wake up feeling the way we do?

It’s really bad today. The things I used to be able to do or use to help stymie this overwhelming feeling of not being enough to get anyone’s attention, or not even deserving it on multiple levels, aren’t working. Instead, they’re having the reverse effect and making it worse. I’m avoiding several people, websites, things, music, books, and other forms of media. They’re all making it worse. I feel like the people I used to be able to run to, are snubbing me, or verbally backhanding me and affirming this message of “You’re ugly. You’re fat. You’re stupid. You’re worthless. Why do we ever bother with you?”

I feel like when I was 13 again. Having just moved, and not just to another side of town, or another city, or even another state… no, a whole different country. I had to relearn a culture, and it was hard. I was the new girl, but I didn’t dress like them, talk like them, or do a lot of the same things as them. I was different and so was ignored a great deal. Rejected. I know I’m fine. I’m not that different from everyone else, but I still feel that way. I still feel rejected. Not always, but definitely right now.

I don’t even think most of these people know that their behaviors toward me are being taken as rejections. Oh, but they are… I feel so tiny and unimportant, like if I just vanished no one would notice or care. Which is a lie, and I know it. There are some very good, very close and dear to my heart people who would both notice AND care. Head knowledge and heart knowledge are two different things though, and sometimes they contradict each other. I wish sometimes that the people around me could tell when I was feeling like this, and that there was a magic button that I could push that would make it go away. Instead, I just want to curl up into a ball and disappear. I’d say turn invisible, but I fear I’ve already done that. I feel like no one sees me. No one wants to see me.

This whole thing is compounded by another level of insecurity that I CAN name. The one brought on by painful reminders of IK and that night. And maybe both feelings of insecurity are actually one and the same, and the only reason I feel so hurt and wounded is because of the pain and wounds re-opened by the reminders of IK. I feel like I’m constantly in fight or flight mode, and every little slight, imagined or real, is making me flinch when it hasn’t even happened yet. I feel like I did right after the assault, when I’d have to constantly remind myself to brace myself for impact when I’d walk anywhere because I knew I was going to pass by a group of people and they were either going to look at me like I was a whore, or actually say it. Those non-imagined rejections are now fueling my imagined ones and I don’t know how to make it stop. I just want them to stop.

So Unsexy
Alanis Morissette

Oh these little rejections, how they add up quickly
One small sideways look and I feel so ungood
Somewhere along the way, I think I gave you the power to make
Me feel the way I thought only my father could

Oh these little rejections, how they seem so real to me 
One forgotten birthday, I’m all but cooked
How these little abandonments, seem to sting so easily
I’m thirteen again, am I thirteen for good?

I can feel so unsexy, for someone so beautiful
So unloved for someone so fine
I can feel so boring, for someone so interesting
So ignorant for someone of sound mind

Oh, these little protections, how they fail to serve me
One forgotten phone call, and I’m deflated
Oh, these little defenses, how they fail to comfort me
Your hand pulling away, and I’m devastated

I can feel so unsexy, for someone so beautiful
So unloved for someone so fine
I can feel so boring, for someone so interesting
So ignorant for someone of sound mind

When will you stop leaving, baby?
When will I stop deserting, baby?
 When will I start staying with myself?

Oh, these little projections, how they keep springing from me
I jump ship as I take it personally
Oh, these little rejections, how they disappear quickly
The moment I decide not to abandon me

I can feel so unsexy, for someone so beautiful
So unloved for someone so fine
I can feel so boring, for someone so interesting
So ignorant for someone of sound mind. 

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