Something horrific happened to me this week. Something I can't talk about. I don't know if I can write this week's post. My mind wants to take out the threat in self-defence. Eliminate it before it hurts me again.
Trauma is deafening.
This is how I have been coping.
I eat rye bread with jam. Reluctantly made instant mashed potato for dinner, even though I have raw potatoes on hand. I rounded it up with fried bacon, onions and boiled broccoli. I have plain biscuits, too many. Hot dogs with ketchup, mustard and remoulade. That was dinner. Warmed up frozen æbleskiver, had them with jam and powdered sugar. Those budget æbleskiver tasted like cardboard. That was breakfast.
Safe to conclude that frozen and instant food are made for traumatised people. We just don't care.
The thoughts are too dark. I distract myself by watching Disney films and YouTube videos. A fun Disney classic keeps me out of pain for an hour and a half. But I can only watch so much TV. I get sick of it. Once I do, the torment returns with a vengeance.
Sitting around intensifies my dread. I like to be driven somewhere, so I don't sit at home with my morbid thoughts. I use my mild craving for KFC as an excuse to plan a trip. But I don't really care for fried chicken. I hardly have an appetite for anything.
My thoughts drift to memories rooted in safety and comfort. How we used to eat KFC after my sister's ballet lessons. How we had McDonald's hotcakes and hash browns on special weekends. How I sat with my pain alongside a MOS burger, complete with butterfly prawns and a cup of corn soup. I patronised these safehouses countless times.
I thought that I have outgrown the need for them.
I just want to get out. But of where? The trauma lives in my head. I stay at home, where I feel both safe and exposed. Home, where I have nightmares of my husband yelling, his teeth clenched.
Now on to what brings me incredible joy.
If this post is to help someone else battling trauma, it has to embrace joy and pleasure.
For one, the female orgasm is pleasurable. Thank God for my Satisfyer Pro 2 clitoral stimulator. Pleasure between the sheets before sleep: a pretty cherry on top of my mountain of depression.
Second: my daughter's smile brings me so much joy. You have no idea. Something small and unexpected happens and it delights her. I smile when she smiles. Each time we show our front teeth, I hold onto the hope that this darkness will pass me by.
Thirdly, I got this piece of wisdom from Andy on my Headspace meditation app today. I transcribed it, word for word. (I hope that he doesn't sue me.) For anyone else who needs to hear this:
"Whether we are thinking about what will happen at the end of this day, this year or even this lifetime, it's all a movement away from this moment. This moment being the only certainty that we know. (....)
The story is so believable that we forget the none of these things have happened yet. And in truth, we don't know the outcome. We assume that we know the outcome, but we don't know the outcome."
Andy is right. I do not know the outcome.
As my mind circles around the things that 'I have gotten myself into', that 'I have to get myself out of', that 'I would waste decades of my life on, if I don't...', I am moving away from this present moment.
Sitting with the mind while it is bombarded with traumatic thoughts, may sound insane. It is the last thing I want to do. But it is the only thing that is giving me the healing that I desperately need.
Each time I sit to meditate, my mind runs wild and I try to bring the focus back to my breath. I get distracted by a noise or a thought and I come back to my breath. Keep returning, again and again.
I promise myself that I will remain seated for 20 minutes. Just 20 minutes and I am free to do whatever I want. However much I don't feel like sitting still, I always feel better afterwards.
On a scale of 1 to 10, if I had to rate the intensity of my depression yesterday, it was eight, maybe nine. Today, I woke up feeling like two. The worst I felt today was a three.
My depression has been hovering around an eight or nine all week. Only today, on Saturday, do I start seeing the light. I cannot imagine how people with severe depression go about their lives... They must be so... strong.
I am grateful for my meditation and writing practice in periods of darkness like this. I have been meditating daily for a while, so it is just something that I do. I have always known it, but what a lifeline it is.
As for writing. I have to admit, I was going to back out on this week's post, on the grounds of my depression. I thought that there was no way I could write about it. Maybe later. Maybe I will write about it in my book, I tell myself. Excuses. I want to be the writer that writes.
Two other people know the cause of my misery. One knows what happened. I don't need more people to know. I will write a book about it, eventually. The feminist novel will be about my lived experience with the cruel patriarchy. I will paint with my pain.
Leaving you with one last thought. Men, will you learn to love yourselves more? Please learn to be more gentle with yourself, so you can be gentle with the people around you. Otherwise, you make our lives a living hell.
That is all. See you again next week.
|Yeah, just take my head off and put it on again when it stops hurting.|