It’s been a brutal, unforgiving, bitch of a week. As expected, everything has gravitated around the anniversary of my rape, with much of my week spent in a hellish realm of flashback and nightmare; constantly reliving and re-experiencing the torment and pain I was put through eight years ago. Pretty much every waking moment has been spent in the past. I’ve tried to stop myself. I’ve tried to bring myself back to the present. But despite my best efforts to ground myself, nothing has worked. My brain has stubbornly refused to let me have some peace, comfort and happiness.
It’s been exhausting, to be honest. Living in the past when all you want to do is survive the present is a tiring, uncomfortable place to be. I feel disconnected from the world. Unable to latch on to anything, unable to connect to anyone. When I go for a walk to the supermarket I know I’m walking, because I can feel the earth beneath my feet, but my brain is elsewhere, my mind a haze of confusion unable to visualize or smell the world around me. Because my brain is in Adelaide, being ravaged and invaded by an uncompromising stranger. However much I want to participate in the world, I can’t, because my mind steadfastly refuses to allow me the cognitive ability to do so. To say I feel discombobulated (I love this word) would be an understatement.
One thing I am proud of though is that I didn’t turn to alcohol and I didn’t self harm. Usually the 7th July is a day spent in an alcoholic stupor as I hack at myself with knife and blade. It’s what I did last year. It’s what I did every year before that. But this year I worked hard to not turn to such outlets. I blogged my happiness challenge in the morning. I wrote my post about the event in the afternoon. And the evening was spent watching Doctor Who whilst eating chocolate (throw in a beautiful woman to snuggle with and that’s my idea of heaven!) before having an early night with my book. I remember lying in bed, waiting for the nightmares to start, smiling to myself about how awesome I was about not self harming that day. It may not sound like much to some, but it is these small victories I should be celebrating! :)
As for my voices, Meadhbh, as always, was a wonder. She took it upon herself to whisper inspirational sayings to me throughout the day. She told me I was beautiful. She told me I was amazing. She told me I was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. She did everything she could to make my 7th July easier. Audrey, too, was comforting and supportive. She pestered me to play Lego Batman at one point, but I was too disconnected, too removed from reality to focus on the fictional world. So instead I asked her help with editing and writing my post about the rape, something she threw herself into with aplomb, voicing her opinion on what I was writing and offering suggestions on how to improve what I was saying. Even Shay, who is usually a right prick on anniversaries, was strangely supportive. He and Meadhbh wrote a blog post (that has yet to be published, because it’s a bit naughty!) to cheer me up – and cheer me up it did! Vanessa, meanwhile, was the same vicious, abusive c-bomb that she usually is on my nightmare days. Barely a minute went by when she wasn’t telling me that I deserved what happened, that it should happen again, repeatedly, and I deserve nothing in my life bar pain and misery. Meadhbh took umbridge, of course, but didn’t argue. She knew if she did it would make things worse for me, so she just soothed with her inspirational words and kinky sense of humor.
Because my week has been such a cycle of PTSD, anxiety and depression I haven’t been to the gym this week. I’m not beating myself up about it. It’s been a tough week and I’ve had enough to deal with without my self-esteem ganging up on me too. I just decided to focus on my mental well-being this week rather than my physical well-being. It’s true that the gym might have taken my mind off of everything, but being so disconnected, so discombobulated (I really love this word!) it’s possible that throwing body dysmorphic issues into the mix would have broken me. And I feel broken enough already! So my plan is to resume my gym going next week. I may go tomorrow if I’m feeling up to it, if I’m feeling able to deal with it, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t. Hopefully people will understand this and not see me as a failure.
Other than all of this (which, let’s be honest, is pretty heavy stuff) I’ve just allowed my normal boring, monotonous routine to rule this week. It wouldn’t have been a good idea to challenge my normality in a week already fraught with pain and chaos. It’s been nice. Tweeting and blogging in the morning, movie in the afternoon. I’ve watched a few good ones. Teeth, a film about vagina dentata was an excellent coming of age comedy-horror. A Dangerous Method, starring Kiera Knightley, had everything I ask for in a film (as well as the occasional spanking, which is only a good thing!) Whilst Oculus was the best horror film I’ve seen since The Descent. I’m enjoying tweeting again and it’s nice getting the feedback from my Facebook page (which you can join here!) each day. I haven’t acquired many likes yet, but it’s early days, so I’m not allowing it to depress me just yet.
I’m hoping this disconnection doesn’t last too much longer. Usually, around my anniversaries, the disconnection and discombobulation (I really, really love this word!) last a few days before and a few days after. It’s always worse on the actual day but I think it takes time to build up and leave my system. Hopefully by the weekend things will be back to normal in my mind, as it makes everything, including writing, so much more difficult. How can you focus on writing when your brain is eight years in the past? So apologies for the disconnected style of this post. It’s just my stupid brain!
Wishing you and those you love a wonderful, happy, peaceful day. Hopefully it’s more grounded and present than mine!
Meadhbh helped choose the music today. She’s in a Scottish instrumental sort of mood. Hope you enjoy!