Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Threatening to burst

Tonight I am tense. I am barely able to breathe. I am dizzy. I feel like whatever is going on inside of me cannot be contained by the confines of my body. I feel a little like I am going crazy.

Today I had only three flashbacks. I could actually feel what I felt so many years ago. I had nightmares last night and woke disoriented and panicked. I have been paralyzed by my warring thoughts and emotions. Yes, this all happened/No, this couldn't possibly have happened. My dad did things he should not have done/Not my dad! He loved me! My feelings are normal/I'm just trying to get attention.

I think I should call my counselor tomorrow, or maybe even tonight, but I don't know what to say.

It is too much. I want to curl up into myself and escape. I want to not feel for a while. I crave release.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Breakthrough or breakdown? part 2

My counselor took notes on what I was saying and made a copy for me. She says this is what we really need to work on. It is as if the chemical part of the depression and anxiety is more or less stabilized so now the rest of what I keep locked inside can finally come out. (February 22, 2008)
I did not want to deal with this. I have done everything possible to avoid it, and the fantastic reaction I had to the buspirone helped me to keep it away for a bit longer. But even the buspirone cannot keep away what I have kept locked up all these years.

I had to go back through my early posts just to see how much--or how little--I admitted when I started this blog. It wasn't much. In my 'who am I' post, I said I had been diagnosed with PTSD and that The PTSD probably has something to do with being raised in a violent home.

That seems normal, that with all of the raging emotions I had at the time, I could not say any more. But now that medication has stabilized whatever chemical issues my brain has, some wordless intelligence seems to have decided that now is the time to drag out the rest of my issues. I can't even say it now, it is so incredibly hard. But I know that I must. Admitting it is always the first step, is it not?

But I'd rather procrastinate.

Okay, that occupied me for nearly an hour.

The truth is, I am a survivor of child abuse and sexual assault.

My history has been documented going back to my toddler years. Child Protective Services was at my house more than once. My grandmother and a cousin both tried unsuccessfully to gain custody of me when I was about seven, to get me out of that house. There are court and medical records. But until I married and put some distance between my parents and myself, I had little memory of my childhood.
It has been hard for me as welll as for my doctors and psychiatrists and counselors to know what of my depression and anxiety is purely chemical and what is caused by the abuse. I have been reading some studies that show links between child abuse and permanent brain changes, including depression in adulthood.

Both depression and anxiety, as well as repressed memory, dissociation, insomnia, flashbacks, and nightmares (all of which I've had) go hand in hand with post traumatic stress disorder, a common result of trauma. But there is also a history of major depression in my family. My caregivers say it would not be unusual to have both.

Lately I have been having flashbacks and nightmares again, as well as spikes in my anxiety level that aren't controlled by the buspirone. I have been spacey and detached from my body (dissociating). I had to go to an event in public Friday afternoon and I watched myself interact with others, hearing words coming out of my mouth, but I felt I had no control over what I was saying. That was okay. The words coming out of my mouth were far more confident and coherent than anything I could have otherwise thought of.

So I do not know if this is a breakthrough. It feels like a breakdown. Perhaps it is both.