Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. The painful reminder of what happened. Birth stories happening. Fond memories of tiny newborns smelling so sweet with their scent. Children saying they love their mums. Families showing their affection for the woman at the centre of the family.

Meanwhile I’m over here anxious and sad. Wishing the memories would go away or change magically to something else. Make her first day the wonderful memory it should be, instead of the terrifying mess it was.

Also weighing on my mind is International Midwives Day. I’m irrationally so angry that any of them are celebrating when I was treated so badly. The posters on the wall at work showing smiling mums holding their fresh babies alongside their midwives make me want to vomit. I was left to languish in my room with a screaming baby. Lectured that I was breastfeeding wrong. Not to use baby wipes to clean the spew off her face. My hand smacked away when I went to put some corn flour powder on her bottom to prevent nappy rash. Terrible bloody experience.

PTSD is an arsehole.

PTSD is defining my life and I don’t want it to.

PTSD is ruining what should be the best day of my life.

Why can’t I change my thoughts? I try so hard, but instead I feel like I’m taking three steps backward with every two steps forward.

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(If you know the source please contact me)

The Weight

I’ve been having a brief but interesting chat with one of my twitter mates tonight about chronic/severe illness (cancer) and it eventually led to a chat about the person with the illness keeping the real severity to themselves to try to remove the burden from loved ones.

I’ve never had cancer but I can in a way, relate with my PTSD. I also have a friend who died from cancer last year. We knew she was sick, but her severity was very much kept to herself. When she died, the shock and grief were so raw. She was a young woman leaving behind young children. However that was her, she was the stitching that kept the fabric of her family together.

We live in a world where people lose interest if the storyline isn’t kept fresh. Where we have an acronym for internet speak, TL:DR (Too Long: Don’t Read) for when messages are longer than a Tweet. Where we are often so busy we can’t stop to look out of the window let alone go outside to stand in the fresh air. As it is, it’s nearly 11pm and I’m still trying to finish cleaning the kitchen because tomorrow is the start of another working week.

I shamefully don’t have time to listen to the needs of others. I’m so flat stick keeping up with myself and my family. Worrying about my friends was at times making me unwell. Care fatigue. Burn out. Frustration. I have had to make decisions to benefit me over the needs of the people around me.

Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny, and, and, and you put the load right on me

Is this the society that I want to live in? Absolutely not. I want to coexist in a world with my fellow humans that feel comfortable enough to talk. To take the load off by sharing their troubles. To know that we all have a safety net to rely upon when we fall and can’t get up.

Interestingly I don’t tell people how I really feel anymore. Mostly for all of the reasons I’ve written about here.

Recurring Dream

Beauty awakens the soul to act.
Dante Alighieri

That photo, was taken either by myself or my husband, I can’t remember, on a beach in Hokitika on New Zealand’s South Island on April 13, 2008. The last night of our honeymoon. We had been married just shy of two weeks and were preparing to drive across the island to Christchurch the following day to go home.

It’s been a mixed bag the last few weeks. Lowlights and highlights, all mixed together in one frantic month where I have been so busy I didn’t even know where to begin some days. That awful dream I had the other week is still playing on my mind and I’m still to a degree, fearful of sleeping.

Life plays on my mind. The anxiety of the unknown future. The memory of the known past. The failure of the Stop! technique on most occasions. Being so busy I had to cancel my most recent psychologists appointment. Yes health is meant to be a priority, but realistically how can it be when I’m meant to be in a few places at once?

Massive highlight: seeing Neil Finn (oh he of Crowded House and Split Enz fame) at the Sydney Opera House again. I saw him in concert there this time last year too and blogged about it here.

Last year I felt a mix of sadness while listening to the music, as I paused to reflect on the year that was. This year I was jubilant.

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Sitting on the third row allowed me to take some amazing photographs

He sang songs off his new album and also crowd favourites. I sat back and allowed myself to get lost in the music. Closing my eyes, I heard the lyrics with my soul, not just my ears. It felt good to just live. Putting my recent relapse of PTSD on ice for a couple of hours.

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There’s a line in the movie Almost Famous and it fairly much sums up Neil’s music for me.

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Source

Massive highlight was when Jimmy Barnes (oh he of Cold Chisel fame) appeared on stage to sing I’m A Little Teapot and stayed on stage and sang backing vocals to Better Be Home Soon.

Instead of feeling like I had been missing out on the best things life had to offer, I felt as though I was grabbing life by the horns and loving every moment. I allowed myself to enjoy it, instead of feeling so sad as I have in the past, when given the opportunity to let my hair down. The guilt I experienced at last years concert was absolutely non-existent this year.

Afterward, my dear friend and I strolled along the Harbour at Circular Quay. I took the obligatory black and white photos of the Bridge, Opera House and skyline. We walked along George St back to our hotel, soaking it all in. Drunken people partying. Homeless people sleeping. Hospitality people working. City of Sydney workers keeping the streets clean and safe. Police cars with sirens on screaming as they try to manouver their way through traffic jams of hotted up cars and taxis. People alive with life. The atmosphere electric.

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If this is what it means to find beauty in life, then I will keep doing it whenever I can.

I hope you’re having a great week.

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Recurring Dream, Crowded House

Even When I’m Sleeping

Documenting another shitty night. I had a really graphic dream. Really graphic. Then I couldn’t sleep properly afterward. Then my daughter climbed into bed with me and I couldn’t physically sleep properly because she was keeping me on the edge of the mattress.

Blogging isn’t helping anymore, it’s why I haven’t been around. I’m not finding it therapeutic and I don’t even want to write about it anymore. The same words ending up on the screen. It’s repetitious and boring. I don’t even want to talk about it to my friends or my family. I’m so bored with myself, surely they must be too.

The sheer exposure. I feel so naked and vulnerable. So I’ve hidden my older posts away from the big bad world. Yet here I am still in the grip of flashbacks and triggers.

I had to cancel my psych appointment for this Tuesday because of work, which I know was a mistake, but what am I supposed to do? I can’t be so unreliable to my manager. So my next appointment is now April 24. That is over a month away. The truth is, I don’t feel the same positivity at the end of the session anymore. It’s not a bad thing, just what is happening. Do I get to the point where even my psych isn’t helping anymore? Is this normal? Am I destined to suffer permanently from the scars of the past? I try so hard to move forward but when my thoughts invade my sleep I can’t escape. I can’t Stop! while I’m sleeping. Only beg my subconscious to wake me up.

I’m tired. I need to sleep. Hopefully tonight.

Rough Day

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Rough day. However it’s all been written about before, word for word. Stop! Flashbacks. Panic! Anxiety. Stop! Flashback.

Even I am bored with it. Need new subject matter, one which doesn’t involve that day.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

So wine. I take comfort in.

Comfortably numb.