Going inside.

To hear my story you would think I’d never actually healed my wounds. I have been healed, maybe not wholly, maybe that’s part of the problem, or maybe this kind of wound heals akin to a broken bone; the wound knits together but there’ll always be a niggle there.

I’m reading a book at the moment that is an accompaniment to my self discovery journey and in it the author says “we have to go within and address the soundings that live inside”. Going within over the last few weeks I have realised that time and feeling safe will help me heal the massive wound. But the wounds I didn’t realise I carried inside of me, the wounds inflicted upon me by other women, well, I have absolutely no idea how to heal these wounds.

Today I’ve made lists, if you know me you know I love my lists. Lists of the people responsible for the wounds and the affliction that caused each wound. I’ve listed how I felt at the time and how I feel now. It’s helped somewhat because I’ve identified hurt I hadn’t realised I was carrying around with me.

My lists and the book have helped me to realise that I’ve skirted around each wound that these women have caused me, making excuses for their behaviour, not acknowledging that they have well and truly screwed me over.

Going inside has allowed me to face these wounds, and yeah, they’re pretty scary to deal with – it’s all a huge mess that really could do with cleaning up – it’s allowed me to see that I am not the braveheart people call me. A braveheart would’ve faced these wounds and dealt with the messy business of the pain and the suffering and the raw emotions that are part and parcel of self discovery.

Delving deep into my inner core is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. It’s a journey I’m thoroughly enjoying.

Defences shattered.

I have lived my life, post attack, in a very defensive mode. My emotions were locked tightly away. I’ve been referred to as cold, this was my choice to be seen this way, I had to be in control of every aspect of my life and I certainly couldn’t afford my emotions to get in the way.

It is very common for a survivor of rape or abuse to need this level of control. The attack that happened left me feeling like he controlled my life. During the months that followed me being attacked I constantly listened to an album by Tears For Fears. The album is The Hurting.

The image of the child, so clearly hurt and in pain, resonated so deeply with me at the time. For all I thought of myself as an adult I was technically still a child when attacked.

One of the songs that really spoke to me at this time, and still evokes those feelings I experienced at the time, is a song from this album called Watch Me Bleed.

Watch Me Bleed

Tears for Fears

Heaven comes to he who waits

But I know I’m getting nowhere

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Though there’s no one near me now

How come everyone can touch me

You see the torture on my brow

Relates to neither here nor now

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Although my face is straight, it lies

My body feels the pain and cries

Here the table is not bare

I am full but feeling empty

For all the warmth it feels so cold

For one so young I feel so old

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

It’s not allowed to be unkind

But still the hate lives in my mind

I’ll make no noise

I’ll hide my pain

I’ll close my eyes

I won’t complain

I’ll lie right back and take the blame

And try to tell myself I’m living

(And when it’s all been said or done)

Where do I go?

Where do I run?

(What’s left of me or anyone)

When we’ve denied the hurting? Oh oh oh oh

Where do I go?

Where do I run?

(What’s left of me or anyone)

When we’ve denied the hurting? Oh oh oh oh

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Songwriters: Roland Orzabal

Watch Me Bleed lyrics © BMG Rights Management

I shared this with a friend once, she said it explained so much about me. With all that had happened, the state of mind I was left in, the emotional pain that I cannot describe because it is a feeling, it was no surprise that I built impenetrable walls around myself. My first boyfriend after the attack was shocked at how broken I was and he admitted he couldn’t breach the walls I had erected.

When I met my Mr. Wonderful I had just broken up with J. Mr. Wonderful was made aware of what had happened to me and I explained to him I never wanted to have an intimate relationship. He understood where I was coming from, a place of pain so great that I would probably never trust a man ever again.

Yet his friendship brought me back to life. His friendship healed me and I started to trust him. The wall was breached enough to let him in. But the rest of the wall remained in place with regards to anyone else new in my life.

Over the years it feels like every now and then a brick will be removed from my wall, but the wall was still fairly solid. The tight control I had on my emotions and not letting anyone in was still fairly intact. And so it was until I shared the deepest part of myself with some people. I felt a strange sense of relief sharing my feelings with regards to how this one incident shaped my life.

I believed the wall was still intact, right up until the PTSD episode struck. That brutal experience last month has demolished every defence I had carefully crafted to protect my shattered innocence. During this time there was also a betrayal. That hurt as much as the trauma being replayed every day in my head.

And so it was a shock to find I had no defences left when it came to doing an exercise of self discovery yesterday evening. The question was to journal about a wounding to your woman-self. Obviously there was the attack, but letting the words flow I wrote about how other women had wounded me by their actions. As I journaled, the tears flowed so freely, I couldn’t stop them. Normally I’d take a breath, pause what I was doing and regain control over my emotions.

But I just couldn’t this time.

My defences are well and truly shattered.

I’m afraid of where this discovery of self will take me. But I’m also excited to greet the new me.

Self discovery.

August was a brutal month for me. It began with an appointment for an MRI scan on August 1st. Only that didn’t happen because the scan was to be of my head and so the equipment had to be really close to my face. Cue the mother fucker of all flashbacks and a massive panic attack.

The staff were excellent with me and fetched my husband. As soon as I saw him I fell apart. The tears flowed and the painful memories scorched my mind, descending me into a pit of fear and paranoia.

The dreaded day is of course in August. August 23rd. August 23rd 1987. So long ago, yet it could have been yesterday, the pain is still just as raw. All things considered the day passed without incidence, but I’d had a torrid time up until that day. Some of my actions during this time have been questionable, but I won’t go into that right now.

Towards the latter part of August the healing finally began. I guess I had to go through all of the pain and suffering once again, there was no other way around it. The healing felt blissful, it still does. Finding joy in simple pleasures. Not taxing my brain with difficult tasks or problems, but being gentle with myself.

I’ve fought the urge to do too much, there have been times when I’ve been asked something and I haven’t been able to get into whatever it is, the magnitude of the situation not being too grand but my ability to deal with it in the here and now certainly reduced.

During August I also started a journey of self-discovery. For me it is a very personal journey, so no, I’m not going to go into too much detail. I will say it’s a path I stumbled upon around 2015 and it involves the divine feminine.

There have been subtle nudges in my life that have made themselves known to me and I have been putting off committing to this journey. But then the PTSD episode struck and was pretty relentless for a while, and I eventually succumbed to trauma that was resurfacing and allowed myself to feel the pain and suffering that 16 year old me felt. And then I just felt ok again. As quickly as it had returned it left me alone again.

I feel tender-hearted at the moment, emotionally unstable, but nevertheless whole. I can’t spend too much time on social media because there is so much suffering being shared. Right now it hurts too much to even look at the words and images that are shared there. So I have limited my use to responding to my kids and one or two other people who have held my hand throughout this reoccurrence.

My self-discovery journey feels like the right tool for me to get back on track with my life. I feel like I have come out of the other side of a particularly nasty PTSD episode. I feel battered and bruised, but I am surviving and that is what I take on this new journey with me.

Tune for Tuesday.

I’ve somehow let someone dull my shine, I’d stopped believing in myself. Then a friend reminded me I’m not the person I’d been left feeling like. The song I’m humming today reflects the sentiment she’s reminded me of.

Review of The Sapphire Widow.

Sue's Reviews.

Louisa Reeve appears to have the perfect life, the daughter of a successful British gem trader and the wife of Elliot, a charming businessman, who she has been married to for twelve years. Appearances can be deceptive though, and Louisa and Elliot’s life is not as perfect as it appears on the surface.

Despite having everything they could possibly want to make a comfortable life for themselves, there is one thing that they do not have, a child. There had been several miscarriages and then the tragic loss of their daughter, stillborn, eight years earlier. Louisa was often lonely.

Elliot was always on business, leaving Louisa to her own thoughts. She never doubted his loyalty to her. He’d had some trouble a year or so ago and this worried Louisa more than anything. Then one day her perfect world came crashing down around her. Elliot was late home, they were…

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Simple Pleasures.

One of the things I have found whilst recovering from a PTSD episode is to make sure self love and self care are high on my agenda.

I have candles lit, incense burning, herbal tea to drink and I’m reading a book. Life in this very moment feels peaceful.

Healing.

I am sat here at a little after 11pm on a Saturday night listening to the rain. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but here goes; I’ve missed the rain, really missed it. I know, I know, I can’t believe I’m saying that either!

I live in a part of the UK that sees a higher percentage of rainfall than most areas and I’m often to be found moaning about the excess precipitation. But we’ve had an actual summer this year, not as hot as the south of the country, but that’s fine because it’s been far too hot for a delicate soul like me!!!

All joking aside we actually need the rain. The ground is so dry. The river outside my house is exceptionally low, well it was, the rain we are forecast may actually change that. Plus, the rain means our reservoirs fill up and this means we are no longer at the mercy of a hosepipe ban. Where I live hadn’t actually enforced the ban, we’d had a few showers over the last couple of weeks and people had been really good about saving water. Hopefully the latest band of rain that is set to sweep across this part of the country will help to prevent any ban coming into force.

I’ve also found I actually miss the sound of rain. Despite moaning about it most of the time I actually find it soothing. OK, yes, there comes a point when this area has too much rain, but too little has an effect on us too.

So, I’m sat here listening to the rain and contemplating life. It’s been rough, really rough for me lately. An old wound got opened up and horrific flashbacks seeped out leaving me crippled with PTSD symptoms. I’d struggled for a while and then finally managed to get a decent night’s sleep a few days ago, which certainly helped me gain some much needed clarity. But yesterday and today have been pretty rough for me and I’ve struggled with the enormity of it all.

Then came the rain. This will sound strange, but for all the rain makes noise as it falls, it also brings a hushed presence with it. People are less inclined to be outside. I’m not such an ogre that I can’t stand people being outside in their own gardens, but when you’re battling demons inside your own head other people’s noise really can agitate your already frayed nerves. The energy around me feels calm now. Clean. How it should be. I feel cleansed, as does the energy around me.