Or at least I have to keep telling myself that. Sometimes it feels like the walls are pressing in and I am trapped in my own body. Sometimes I wish I could just escape. Escape this overwhelm. I tried reading this book that my therapist gave me and I had to stop reading. It wasn’t because the content was overwhelming, it was because my brain wasn’t able to process it properly and I started feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes I feel like my brain doesn’t work properly. And then I get overwhelmed and I can’t seem to get myself out of that feeling. I know I must go easy on myself, and intellectually I know I should, but sometimes I don’t know what to do to help myself feel better. The overwhelm seems to overtake me and I become its victim. I wanted to get a lot done today, but perhaps I need to let that go. Maybe I should just watch tv and try to distract myself from it. I don’t know. Everything just feels overwhelming at the moment.
Tag Archives: triggered
Yesterday was, what should I say… intense? I was tired, I was moody, the heat wasn’t helping. Also what didn’t help was going clothes shopping. Some people might enjoy clothes shopping. I enjoy the end result, but the whole process to me is just awful. Having to browse through the racks, all the people also browsing through the racks, trying to avoid eye contact, waiting for the dressing room, the dressing room itself, having to assess whether an item of clothing looks good on oneself… I was already in a triggered state when we left to go shopping, and the shopping only made it worse. By the time I got home, I was tired and hot and extremely moody.
The party was fine, although when we left I could tell something was wrong with myself/inner world, I just couldn’t figure out what. Anger was pushing up from inside but I couldn’t tell what was prompting it or where it was coming from. Screaming voices inside… Once home, I then got triggered when my partner turned off the fan and I asked her to please turn it back on. She said, “well, why don’t you take your long-sleeve shirt off first. Maybe you wouldn’t feel so warm then.” This triggered off inside the equivalent to world war III. Intense switching, then everything being stuck inside and body is paralyzed, then fuming anger, and then finally falling asleep in the living room on the couch. My parter came out and woke me up, at which point (and this is where things feel foggy and uncertain), I cried and sobbed for what felt like a long time. It was a bizarre experience though, because “I” didn’t feel sad, yet I was watching myself crying and sobbing. I also heard myself say, “My body was never mine,” and “I don’t even know what it’s like to have my own body.” Quite honestly, I’m not exactly sure why I was saying that or what I was referring to, although I imagine something related to the abuse. I know that I was in an extremely dissociated state. Not really sure if it was “me” talking or another part of me.
And then quite suddenly, almost like a genie being sucked back into a bottle, all the sadness and grief (?) got sucked back inside my body, I felt like I was back to myself (rather than watching myself), and I could quite literally feel the physical weight and pressure of the sadness and grief pushing up inside my body. I no longer felt the sadness as sadness (even though I’m inclined to say I never “felt” the sadness at all), I felt it only as an intense anxiety. The sadness and grief that had been pouring out of me with tears and sobs virtually disappeared in the matter of a few seconds, and I was back to being my typical numb and shut down self.
By this time, it must have been well past 2am, although I don’t remember looking at a clock through any of this, and finally we came back to bed and I fell asleep in my partners arms. Upon waking this morning, screaming, angry voices in my head. A typical start to a typical day I suppose.
I just wonder, if I could feel all those feelings of grief and sadness, without feeling the need to shove it all back inside like what happened last night (even though it felt like an unconscious process much more than a conscious process), I’m wondering if I would then heal? That the key to my healing is feeling the pain and sadness and grief from the betrayals of my childhood, both physical and emotional? Do I actually have to “remember the trauma” in order to heal? Or perhaps simply feeling the feelings and releasing them will release their hold on me? I really don’t know. What I do know is that I feel no better as a result of my hours of crying last night. In fact, it didn’t even feel like “me” who was crying, and perhaps it wasn’t. Where does that leave me then…?
I guess I am left with myself. The numb, emotionally shut down self. The functional yet dead-inside self. The fake, the phony, the fraud, the lie. The mask, the pacifier, the pleaser, the chameleon. The empty, hollow shell with nothing inside. That is me. Whoopee.
Partner comes home. I am still awake, not being able to sleep while she was out. In fact, rarely can I sleep when she is not here. (I can rarely sleep with her here, but that’s another story.) I had walked the dog, fed the animals, cleaned the cat’s wound (don’t ask)… When she sees me sitting in the living room, surprise and disappointment register on her face.
She says, “What are you doing up? You shouldn’t still be awake.”
I don’t answer. She doesn’t expect one and walks into the back of the apartment. I follow her.
“You didn’t put the fan in the window to cool the bedroom off.” Her annoyance and irritation are palpable. I didn’t realize she had wanted me to do that.
“Sorry,” I reply. “You need to tell me these things. I didn’t know. And anyways, it’s nice and cool in here now.”
“Ok good,” she says, but her tone betrays her words. As I’m attending to the animals, she calls out in frustration.
“Someone threw up on the rug. Ugh. Over here. And… over here!”
I remain silent. I hadn’t seen it. I hadn’t even been in the bedroom since I had come home. But somehow I felt like it was my fault. I should have gotten the bedroom ready for her. Wait. No. That’s not my job. My job isn’t to caretake her.
She comes into the kitchen.
“You seem mad…” I say. I was about to say, “at me” but she answers before I can finish.
“It’s just… I was expecting to come home and just roll into bed. But I can’t. There are all these… obstacles.”
Am I an obstacle?
“But you seem frustrated with me,” I manage to say, despite the pain that arises within me.
“No… It’s not you. I’m just tired. I just really need to get to sleep at a decent time.” I wonder how she expects to do that when she’s out late at a concert on a weeknight, but I remain silent.
She sees my face change – this is where the trigger has just occurred – and her tone changes to an apologetic one.
“I’m sorry babe. I’m just tired. It’s not you, I’m just annoyed at the situation. I thought I’d be able to come home and get right in bed. I’m sorry. It’s not you, I promise.”
I say “okay” and leave the room. But the damage has already been done.
As she’s about to climb into bed, I go into the bedroom to say my obligatory “good-nights.” She notices that something’s wrong, and keeps asking me if I’m sure I’m not upset. I tell her that I’m not, and not to worry.
“Get some sleep,” I tell her, and leave the room.
What I don’t tell her is how I had been waiting all night for her to come home. How I had planned on going straight to bed as soon as she did. That the real reason I wasn’t asleep yet is because she had been out and it’s hard for me to get myself to sleep without her there.
I didn’t tell her that all I had wanted was for her to act just the slightest bit happy to see me. To show genuine appreciation for the things I had done tonight so that she could enjoy her night out. For my presence, upon her arrival home, to bring her just the smallest amount of joy.
Instead I was unwanted.
What I didn’t tell her is that my heart feels like it’s being ripped out of my chest, even though I know I’m overreacting. That my stomach feels twisted up into knots, even through my brain is telling me that her responses had nothing to do with me. She even told me as much.
What I didn’t tell her was that I feel utterly unwanted. And not just unwanted; a failure. I failed to make her arrival home as easy for her as possible. And above all, the feeling that I am a disappointment. That despite all my efforts, people will still be disappointed. What I do is never enough. I can never be good enough.
A lot of self criticism there, huh? Yeah, I know. And I know that these feelings stem from past hurts, not current ones, and actually have little to do with my partner. But knowing these things and feeling them are two different things entirely.
So tonight, as my partner sleeps, I sit triggered and knotted up inside and braced against the world, wishing I could just crawl into a hole somewhere and stay there forever.
This… is what triggered looks like.
I’ve had a very difficult and stressful last few weeks, but I am beginning to feel things slowing down. It was almost like my life was a merry-go-round that was spinning way too fast and out of control. Every part of me was stressed out, numbed out, or triggered in some way or another. I actually think this out-of-control-merry-go-round feeling has been going on for some time now. And it feels good to finally feel like things are moving at a slower pace, that things don’t feel so big and so heavy and so overwhelming. I feel more centered and more grounded. I feel like I can finally breathe.
These last few months has kicked up a lot of emotional dust, especially with difficult stuff that happened with a friend, as well as dealing with the aftermath of my partners friend’s suicide. But the dust is now beginning to settle, like snow in a snow globe when you shake it and then set it down, and I’m beginning to see things more clearly.
Of course, the denial of the DID has kicked in big time. Even despite the events of last week (finding out about the real “RAGE”). I’m beginning to think it was all just made-up/imaginary. I also haven’t felt R/Asher’s presence at all, and that is freaking me out a bit. The other night I asked where she was, and this thought came, “I am still here.” But it wasn’t her voice. It sounded like my own voice. Perhaps it’s how she sounds when she’s calm, I don’t know. I told her how much I love and appreciate her. How much I value her in my life. Her response to that was, “okay.” Sometimes I do think, am I just making all this up? Sigh. I have to stop with the non-stop analysis. It’s hard though. How do you stop critiquing it all.
I appreciate all the followers of this blog who have stuck it out with me these last few weeks. I’m sure my posts have been disjointed and all over the place. Thank you for hanging in there and continuing to read. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!!