Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Going to War

There is a memory.  A memory that holds more power over me than anything else ever has.  A memory that has been there for as long as I can remember.  And beyond.  A memory that taunts me.  A memory that hides.  A memory that I sense but don't see.

It is strong.  It is elusive.  It is haunting.

And I am going to battle against it.

Most of the time, it lies hidden.  Tightly protected in its cage.  Just out of my reach.

But right now it is exposed.  And right now I am strong.  And right now I have an army behind me.

I am frightened.  But I am going to war.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rerun: Energy Vampires and Soul Suckers

It's time for a new post, but I'm just not up to it.  Still hurting a lot.  Still finding my way.

So here's another rerun.  It's from January 2010.  I hope you like it.


Energy Vampires and Soul Suckers

Have you ever noticed that there are some people in life who are just draining?  Any interaction with them will leave you feeling depleted.  With some people it takes a long conversation full of their needs and ignoring yours before it hits.  With others, it's as soon as they enter the room.  As soon as you see them -- whoosh!  Energy drain.  It's almost like you can feel the life leaving your body.

Sometimes a person is truly in crisis.  They need to talk and if you can listen and give of yourself, they will get better.  It's a momentary crisis.  And they give back when it's you who are struggling.  They listen.  They give.  This doesn't seem to be so draining.  Partly because they refill you when you need it and partly because you are giving willingly.

But other people just take.  They corner you and utilize you.  They barrage you and then leave you in a crumpled heap.  You are glad it's over, but you know they'll be back.

Giving of yourself is charitable.  It's the Christlike thing to do.  I can hear the arguments.  And you're right; it is.  But what about the cost to you?

I think of Little Shop of Horrors.  Seymour tries to appease Audrey II with his own blood.  He soon discovers that he can't satisfy Audrey II's appetite.  And think of the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal.  They drain the Gelflings to fill themselves.  In both cases, it is all about meeting their needs and they are indifferent to their food source.

Some people are like this.  They have a hunger that cannot be satiated.  You can give and give, and when you are lying dead on the floor they will move on to someone else because they are still hungry.

I don't know about you, but I am still trying to figure out how to protect myself from energy vampires and soul suckers.  I believe that it is an important skill to learn.  As sovereign beings, we are responsible to set our boundaries to protect ourselves.

And luckily, not everyone we interact with is a soul sucker.

There are others, people who give.  Sometimes it's a two-hour conversation with both of you crying.  Other times it's a smile from across the room when you really need it.  These people are soul healers.  These people are well fillers.

I want to be like them.  But I'm a beginner.  I still vacillate between the two.  Sometimes I drain.  Sometimes I give.

But someday I want to be like those rare gems who are true healers.  These people can fill you up even when they are in crisis.  They receive more by giving.  Somehow, they have learned to protect themselves and still give away as much as is needed.

These people are the angels who walk among us.  And most of them don't even realize it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Keep a Happy Thought for Me?

I am still hurting.  A lot.  The depression and anxiety are still bad.  My patience is almost non-existent.

I am going to the doctor on Monday and the therapist on Thursday.  I'm really hoping for some relief and/or direction by the end of the week.  I'm kind of at the edge of what I can take.

Keep a happy thought for me?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

An Interesting Blessing

I have been fiercely independent for as long as I can remember.  To the point of shunning chivalry and sometimes hurting myself because I was too stubborn to let anyone lighten my load, figuratively or literally.

Over the years I've learned to accept help a little more and even sometimes request it.  I've learned that I'm not enough to take on the world all by myself.  This used to scare me.  Now that I've grown a bit and found some people I can trust, it is a bit of a relief.  Because now I understand that I'm not meant to take the world on alone.

But one area I didn't seem to learn this was in my marriage.  Oh, I did become interdependent with my husband.  Especially financially when my health no longer allowed me to work outside the home.  But there was still this I-could-get-by-without-you-I-don't-really-need-you thing left over from all those years of my independence and our struggles.

For so many years I have been his strength, his buffer.  We both knew that if our marriage ended, as it looked like it would more than once, I would struggle financially but be okay otherwise; he would be a basket case and be lost without me.

But recently that's changed.  We tend to pull together in crisis (thank heavens).  So his job loss, while incredibly stressful in other ways, has been good for our relationship.  We've become closer.

That's not the part that surprised me.  The thing that surprised me is what happened during my last PTSD episode (which still isn't completely over, by the way, but is improving).

This last PTSD episode has included so much fear (it always does).  It's tough for me to leave the house.  It's hard to be around people.  I'm claustrophobic.  I don't want anyone to touch me or talk to me too much.  I try not to visibly cringe when others come near me, but I definitely cringe inside.  The nerves in my skin feel like they are all hyper-stimulated at once.  My skin hurts.  And the thought of someone touching me scares me like when someone comes up to slap your back when you have a bad sunburn.

None of that is new.  I get that way every time my PTSD is triggered.

The interesting part is this.  My husband has become my buffer.  He gets between me and what scares me.  Quite often.  He'll take the conversation for me.  He'll sit between me and others.  He'll field phone calls and visits at the door when I just can't face them.  I feel safer when he's with me.  He's become my protector in a very real way.

For many of you, this may sound like a condition you've always had with your spouse.  Why am I making a big deal of it?  Because it's not something I've ever had with my husband.  It's not something I've ever allowed.  It's not something he's ever seen me need.  Being protective isn't his natural response when I'm in trouble.  He's seen me fight my own demons too many times to think I need him.

But this time I've needed him.  And he's come through for me.  As horrible as this episode has been, and continues to be, it's been worth it.  Because it's allowed a new type of intimacy between me and my husband.  I am so grateful for that.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Little Lighter

My world is a little lighter today.

I finally got to a place that I was able to practice some self-care.  It was like trying to walk while dragging heavy weights with each leg, but I did it.  And I feel a little better.

I scheduled some appointments with my therapist.  I spoke with him on the phone.  We are okay.  The relief I felt after scheduling and speaking with him for just a couple of minutes was amazing.  It matters that I have him in my corner.

I've been able to avoid most of my unhealthy coping mechanisms throughout the PTSD event and the depression.  I'm proud of myself for that.

I'm finding peace within myself.  A little at a time.

The storm isn't over, but the winds have died down for now.  I'll take it.