The Irony and sheer need of finally buying the book Boundaries from Barnes and Nobles today, as I sit here utterly exhausted. In my last post I mentioned how I needed to feel and process; well that didn’t work out too well, at least I had a few good moments. Instead I have been high gear all week. Working two jobs, then choir practice, small group, a one year old’s birthday etc…and you better believe I find time to work out or run everyday. Then finally I lay in bed truly exhausted and desperate for sleep, but my sleep is disturbed by awful nightmares. The kind that caused me to be paranoid while awake.
So here I am exhausted , but I never slow down. Once again I have set lofty goals some which are achievable (i.e Christmas door decorating contest, making and decorating a red velvet cake from scratch, making Christmas presents for co-workers), but brain is shutting down one me. At work even if I have time to work on other task my brain can’t focus I’m so tired. The worst part is knowing next week will be much worse. I run the sunshine club at work so I’m facilitating the Christmas Party this week, ensuring the contests functions and there are prizes available. Then there are practices for the candlelight service at my church where I will be singing and playing the flute, and then the day before I fly to NY there are three candlelight services on Sunday Night after I helped with the preschoolers in the morning services. So this is a glimpse of my life, but the sad reality is all this revolves around a day…today to be exact an anniversary of an assault.
The truth in all of this is that business doesn’t make a memory go away. I remember a quote that said ” Denial of trauma does not mean it isn’t affecting you….If unacknowledged, the effects would come out sideways and in a manner that is not easily identifiable.” This has been me all week; although I know the root cause; it is this this reason that I have completely irrational emotional responses to small things, or simply why I have been having nightmares. My brain has wanted to think and process, but I never let it, so my brain did the work while I slept. Unfortunately this begun to heighten all sorts of other PTS symptoms throughout the week.
I did learn something today as I took some me time; I realized the existence of an underlying fear. While I was out I received a text message from a guy whom I believe has an interest in me. He was originally supposed to run in the Jingle Bell run that I participated in today, but he was unable to last minute, so he asked me about the run. A few texts later was the question “What do you have planned for tonight?” Immediately panic arose. This guy seems nice, but I don’t know him that well, and he is someone I met outside of church, and my social circles. I wouldn’t mind getting to know him, so I answered honestly ” Nothing”. Then came a question ” do I watch ufc fights?” I knew my answer was important…because where I would be okay with getting to know each other over coffee or in groups, I’m not okay with hanging out alone in places where I would be isolated. In conclusion there was no hanging out or anything. The sad part was the whole time my brain was panicking “omg if I hang out tonight I’m going to be raped, something horrible is going to happen, and I would fall apart, I will definitely get raped on the night of the anniversary ” These thoughts existed even in the idea of my boundary approved hangouts. It was truly terrifying, and I was thoroughly convinced and in tears. This is truly irrational thinking, aside from creating and keeping healthy boundaries, because the truth is I have a fear of being raped again and I’m afraid of the people who seem nice, because that’s always who they are. I know this fear is unhealthy.
The only the protection I can give myself is to set healthy and firm boundaries, but there are no guarantees, and that is where trust in God lies. All I can do is honor God with my decisions and trust that He will take care of the rest no matter what. “Trust the Lord with all your Heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him…” I will be repeating that verse to myself this week for sure. Oh and possibly delegating some responsibilities and taking a “Me” day, because trauma is coming out sideways and I’m heading for a burn out.
The Thought, The Nightmare
Reality of Fear
Terror of New Men
Foretelling of Rape
Dissolution of Fear