Saturday 29th of July
The effects of The Incident are going on and on and on.
The event so traumatized me that I find myself in the unpleasant position of having a pile of my anxiety triggers reactivated. The "squirrels" have been released from their cages and they are having a merry time racing around causing havoc. (I call them "squirrels" because my thoughts race around like the squirrel in the movie Over The Hedge once he drank the can of energy drink) All the old, forgotten traumas have resurfaced, bursting out of their places in the past. It is amazing and annoying at what can trigger the release of those squirrels and how I can go from calm and content to shaking and afraid at the drop of the proverbial hat.
Full blown social anxiety problems cause me to be scared to leave my home even to visit with dear friends. The idea of going to a public event leaves me in a panic. The idea of going to a shopping mall has me wanting to hide. I have been struggling with this and some days it is easier than others. Sometimes I can't leave my bedroom without anxiety. Other times I do OK even though I am not comfortable leaving the house even to putter in my garden. Or be in other rooms of the home.
Full blown PTSD moments from sexual abuse and physical abuse of my childhood and youth.
I was enjoying a pleasant meal at a local fish and chip shop with Hubby when a senior fellow at another table decided to target the two young people- young teens by the look of them- at the table beside up for teasing. It was obvious that he did not know the family. The build of the man and his manner reminded me too much of my "Uncle Jack"- the man who sexually abused me between the ages of 3 and 16. The teasing got ugly when he commented that the kids shouldn't use any ketchup because " don't you know that ketchup can make you fat". Those kids were slim. And that kind of rude remark can trigger episodes of food avoidance. I know- it did for me. At least the mom spoke up- "anything can make you fat if you eat too much of it!" But the ugly minded man did not let it lie- he replied. "Not if it is me that you are eating." What an ugly, perverted Uncle Jack type thing to say. The three adults at the table with the kids gave him looks that shut him down and he muttered some inane stuff about the cat on his shirt eating all his food so he didn't get fat- when he was fat. Hearing that exchange took me back to my teens and the hell that I went through then with both body image and sexual abuse. My stomach clenched and I nearly lost my meal. The squirrels were flashing images of the past- my past. It's amazing how much can be relived in a split second. I knew what was happening but I had no control over it. I needed to get home as fast as possible. So much for a lovely Friday evening out with Hubby.
Today there was a social event tied into Hubby's work. A camping weekend at a local provincial park, with a noon picnic- food provided- for those camping or just coming for the picnic. I had thought that Hubby has said the picnic was Sunday so I was totally unprepared for his telling me that he had put camp chairs in the car when I hadn't even gotten up and dressed yet. Let alone eaten anything to stabilize my blood sugar. ~PANIC~ I had asked him to put it on the kitchen wall calendar- because otherwise I forget events and their dates. He didn't- and I not only forgot I got the day wrong. And he did not remind me yesterday. I did get myself dressed and out the door- but once we got there the anxiety had me shaking. I KNEW NO ONE! There was no one to say hello and welcome. Oh, Hubby knows his co-workers and he would do the usual- leave me sitting alone somewhere and go socialize. Meanwhile the squirrels were busy.
Those squirrels were whirling about- "You don't belong here." "Why would anyone want to socialize with you?" "You don't belong here- you aren't part of the group." No one wants you here"..... Thankfully the park is close to home so Hubby took me home and then returned to the event. I just could not do it. Even at home all I could do was shake.
Rejection and isolation, being shunned and attacked as one who does not belong to the group is another part of my childhood. Violence and bullying was a big part of my school life from grades 1-6 that I could not escape. It was a life of terror and trauma that I would wish on no one. The squirrels have piles of pain to work with. It is something that I have worked hard to overcome. Too many bad memories to justify why no one would want to socialize with me. I belong no where, with no one. No one could possibly want to be my friend. I am back there again- thanks to the assault by that woman and being yelled at that I was not one of her people. That she needed to protect her people from the likes of me.
Words are weapons- that do more permanent damage than physical blows. But I have taken enough of those physical blows that they are paired in my mind with the harsh words. "Go away or we will make you go away" with physical violence.
The squirrels are good at spinning anxiety, at digging up those painful nuts that they have buried in my memory, at turning the anxiety into moments of reliving the terrible, traumatic past and triggering all the emotions of the time into life once more. To be dealt with once more. While the calm and logical part of the mind can only look on in dismay as the body reacts to the stress hormones that those memories cause to be released.
I was fragile before The Incident, the attack. I am more fragile now.
It is hard to live this way. Broken of body, broken of spirit. Hanging on by a thread.
Afraid to reach out for help- because I may be rejected, even attacked, if I do. And because just that has happened recently I can't even tell myself that it can't/won't ever happen that way.