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Posted (edited)

Someone is working in the distance with heavy machinery that's making those noises.

Along the waterfront, the mills and the sound of men working. The hotels along the way. Praying that someone on the other end of the security camera would see me and know. "It's okay, Juniper. Come this way, and everything will be okay." That was the hardest part. Knowing how close help was. Or could have been. But it wasn't. Not when I didn't have a voice.

If I think too long about it, I ask myself what stench was being covered by the scent of pulp. What noises were being masked by the activity of the mill. They're not really questions, because I don't really want the answers. 

Edited by moodyjuniper

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Thank you. 🙂 They are scary, yes. I'm sorry you've had to deal with them, too. The damage doesn't stop when the event is over, does it?

I wonder if anyone has ever described how our reactions to triggers change over time as we heal from them or gain distance from them. I used to panic, and my brain turned off completely except to find a way out. Now, something triggers me, and I sink into vivid memories, and the overpowering sense of evil that lives there takes over. I think that's why I so often can't get out of bed.

And I wonder if he will ever be held accountable. I'm accountable for fixing my PTSD, making sure this is contained, and ensuring that it doesn't happen again. Why can't he be accountable? If not for this, then for anything he does to hurt anyone. It seems like the bad guys have the good guys outnumbered, and we don't support the good guys enough. That's too much to chew on, though. For now, I'll settle for an easy shift tonight in spite of my pain. 

Thank you again. 🙂 

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Posted (edited)

The damage does not stop but I will say from my experience, it is possible to learn to recognise your triggers and manage it. But it is a process that takes a lot of courage and perseverance.

I have not gotten to the point of being willing to be near an ambulance as it is one of the main triggers and while I still unconsciously become more anxious and irritable when I have to visit the A&E where the assault took place, I am able to enter the hospital premises without being "activated". And while I sometimes still feel like I am transported back to that day when i am at that particular hospital, I don't freeze or become hyper-vigilant. It took me a year to get here and also because there is no way for me to avoid the hospital as there are not many in my area. Nevertheless, I no longer have random panic attacks or racing hearts. Although I still have nightmares (which I am not sure if it is due to the trauma or possibly compounded by burnout)

I was never really on any medications although I was assessed to have Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms. I chose not to be on any meds but agreed to follow up with an art therapist who helped started the healing process for me (although I am unfortunately no longer following up with her due to some changes). I learnt regulation and grounding through various art medium although, I don't think I have reached the stage of fully processing or integrating the trauma into my own narrative.

Triggers don't change (because I am still triggered by the same things), but the intensity of my triggers diminished over time as I learned to recognise them and to find strategies to manage them. As I type this, I wonder if it is ever possible to move on from a traumatic incident without ever talking about the details of the incident. I am not a verbal person (i.e. through verbally spoken words) and so chancing upon an art therapist was truly god sent that made my healing journey possible. 

Edited by sirenZ

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6 hours ago, sirenZ said:

The damage does not stop but I will say from my experience, it is possible to learn to recognise your triggers and manage it. But it is a process that takes a lot of courage and perseverance.

I have not gotten to the point of being willing to be near an ambulance as it is one of the main triggers and while I still unconsciously become more anxious and irritable when I have to visit the A&E where the assault took place, I am able to enter the hospital premises without being "activated". And while I sometimes still feel like I am transported back to that day when i am at that particular hospital, I don't freeze or become hyper-vigilant. It took me a year to get here and also because there is no way for me to avoid the hospital as there are not many in my area. Nevertheless, I no longer have random panic attacks or racing hearts. Although I still have nightmares (which I am not sure if it is due to the trauma or possibly compounded by burnout)

I was never really on any medications although I was assessed to have Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms. I chose not to be on any meds but agreed to follow up with an art therapist who helped started the healing process for me (although I am unfortunately no longer following up with her due to some changes). I learnt regulation and grounding through various art medium although, I don't think I have reached the stage of fully processing or integrating the trauma into my own narrative.

Triggers don't change (because I am still triggered by the same things), but the intensity of my triggers diminished over time as I learned to recognise them and to find strategies to manage them. As I type this, I wonder if it is ever possible to move on from a traumatic incident without ever talking about the details of the incident. I am not a verbal person (i.e. through verbally spoken words) and so chancing upon an art therapist was truly god sent that made my healing journey possible. 

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. There's something particularly ugly about trauma that's associated with people or places that are meant to be safe, like a hospital. A police officer. A church. A teacher. It's great that art therapy helped you. It's helping me, as well. There are certain things that are better left under the rocks, so those come out privately for me.

The triggers that are the worst for me are the ones that come from people around me. They unwittingly do something, wear something, or say something that either reminds me of events or makes me wonder, "Are they talking to him?" The latter is especially damaging, because it colors my view of them for a long time, and I may or may not make decisions based on something that isn't real. 

However, in my experience, I don't think I will recover without sharing details. My experience was so surreal and thrashed me so deeply inside that I need for someone to hear it and stay. To show me that I'm not doomed and wasting space. My therapist is great. Other health providers have been great. Other than that, two people have been great, one in particular. Others... I have to hide how much they've broken my heart. In spite of my circumstances over the years and when my brain chemicals cooperate, I'm happy. I'm a happy person. This shook me to my core, but talking about it - really talking about it - catapulted my mood and sense of hope and belief that I'll be the person I was before. I'm too happy a person to **** myself. Two people in my life ask me how I'm doing. Two. The others don't ask, because it doesn't occur to them. Why doesn't it occur to them? It doesn't matter. If they're not asking, they don't care about the answer. There's nothing more to say here. Their silence is measurable evidence. It's real.

 

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1 hour ago, moodyjuniper said:

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. There's something particularly ugly about trauma that's associated with people or places that are meant to be safe, like a hospital. A police officer. A church. A teacher. It's great that art therapy helped you. It's helping me, as well. There are certain things that are better left under the rocks, so those come out privately for me.

The triggers that are the worst for me are the ones that come from people around me. They unwittingly do something, wear something, or say something that either reminds me of events or makes me wonder, "Are they talking to him?" The latter is especially damaging, because it colors my view of them for a long time, and I may or may not make decisions based on something that isn't real. 

However, in my experience, I don't think I will recover without sharing details. My experience was so surreal and thrashed me so deeply inside that I need for someone to hear it and stay. To show me that I'm not doomed and wasting space. My therapist is great. Other health providers have been great. Other than that, two people have been great, one in particular. Others... I have to hide how much they've broken my heart. In spite of my circumstances over the years and when my brain chemicals cooperate, I'm happy. I'm a happy person. This shook me to my core, but talking about it - really talking about it - catapulted my mood and sense of hope and belief that I'll be the person I was before. I'm too happy a person to **** myself. Two people in my life ask me how I'm doing. Two. The others don't ask, because it doesn't occur to them. Why doesn't it occur to them? It doesn't matter. If they're not asking, they don't care about the answer. There's nothing more to say here. Their silence is measurable evidence. It's real.

 

My mood tanked, and I lost my dinner within an hour of thinking about this and writing this. Are people really this cold and callus? 

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unfortunately, not all people we meet are compassionate and understanding. I learned in my workplace what it means to feel unsafe and exploited. And we have our ups and downs. It doesn't mean that just because I am not triggered to the same intensity means that I don't continue to struggle or have bad days. I still do and i have days that I want to give up. I will just say that the journey towards healing is a slow journey where it is common to take two steps forward, one step back. So hang in there!

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5 hours ago, sirenZ said:

unfortunately, not all people we meet are compassionate and understanding. I learned in my workplace what it means to feel unsafe and exploited. And we have our ups and downs. It doesn't mean that just because I am not triggered to the same intensity means that I don't continue to struggle or have bad days. I still do and i have days that I want to give up. I will just say that the journey towards healing is a slow journey where it is common to take two steps forward, one step back. So hang in there!

🙂 Thank you for being so encouraging. An assault at work? Ugh. It sounds like you still work there? There's something to be said for exposure therapy, in small sips, but that sounds like the whole bottle at once. 

I had a tight group of support before he came along, and I suppose I've compared my peeps here with them. I'm mostly keeping doors open, but I don't expect much from them, at least not right now. I understand that my situation is difficult at best for others to address, and none of them have experience with suicide attempts.

So, I go elsewhere. I know enough to walk the line between depression support groups and lighter groups. One for empathy, one for drawing out better health. I don't want to drop anchor here, no offense to anyone. Being at the gym today helped a lot. All good vibes, and I'm sure I'll make at least have a few "talk about the weather and our big butts awesome abs and glutes" friends. 😉 I was so intimidated by gyms and wouldn't set foot in one when I was younger, but once I started going, I saw that it was actually comfortable.

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The neighbor's heat pump sounds like the industrial fans...

Where someone did a kindness for me after someone did an unkindness to me. If one believes the rumors. He never stopped doing kindnesses. Out of context, we wouldn't be friends, I'm sure.

I miss my boys and girls. I wonder how they are. I can get well for them and pray for them. And love them.

 

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Posted (edited)

Last night...

One of my presentations runs around 15 minutes long, partly due to a video that I want to show. A very, very helpful video. 

"It's too long," said my professor, even after I explained my reasoning for the video, which is quite helpful for this particular subject and line of work.

I took this to heights it didn't need to reach. My conclusion, which upset me, was that no one will be able to function well in this role, and I and my family and loved ones will suffer as a result. So will the community, the country... All because of low standards and underestimation of students. Really, those of us who are left in this class know what we're doing. This, along with one other one I'm taking, is a weeder course.

My roommate said, "You're studying too hard and need to take breaks." Easy for someone who's comfortable and settled to say. I feel like i'm fighting for my life with every assignment I submit, so I'm putting quite a bit into my classwork. I don't want to look like Vanna White, pointing at regurgitated facts on the slide show. I want to stand above Vanna White so that I'll get into the program. We're all fighting for spots, and it's quite competitive: 50% acceptance rate, I think. I'll find another way to look like I have a brain, but I was triggered on so many levels last night by one decision/one email.

I ended up being afraid of my own opinions because women aren't allowed to have them. I was afraid of my own anger, because it's been so, so very destructive in my life over the last two years. Justified and understandable, but destructive nonetheless. All the grace I give myself over it won't bring my friends and my sanity and reputation back.

Then I saw @JD4010's name, and both the JD portion and his (your) profile image remind me of protective men who were once in my life. The image looks like James Dean (it might be James Dean,) and my dad and I used to watch James Dean movies together because we both liked him. I started crying over the fact that my dad isn't here, but then it morphed into being grateful that he isn't here. I wouldn't want him to know what happened to me. He would have either drank himself to death over it or gone out and gotten into trouble, ending up in prison or at the morgue. 

Gran Torino. I need to watch Gran Torino. I like Clint Eastwood, too. I'm going to celebrate father's day this year by watching a James Dean movie and eating anything that doesn't have garlic on it. (You're welcome, dad. I love you and miss you.) 🙂 

Edited by moodyjuniper

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@moodyjuniperWow, my image does look a little like James Dean. It's actually Duane Eddy, the "master of twang" guitar player. He was best known for "Rebel Rouser", a big hit in 1958.

Gran Torino is a fantastic movie. I initially watched it because I'm a fan of old cars. But I wound up enjoying the story and acting. It's a favorite of mine.

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12 hours ago, JD4010 said:

@moodyjuniperWow, my image does look a little like James Dean. It's actually Duane Eddy, the "master of twang" guitar player. He was best known for "Rebel Rouser", a big hit in 1958.

Gran Torino is a fantastic movie. I initially watched it because I'm a fan of old cars. But I wound up enjoying the story and acting. It's a favorite of mine.

It's one of my favorite movies, too. 🙂 

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I don't like myself right now. I feel like a caricature of who I really am. A circus girl. PTSD has smeared my makeup and ruffled my clothing, and I'm not the peaceful person I used to be. I'm sitting in a chair similar to the one I used to sit in before this mess started, but everything around it and the way I feel about myself is different. 

I feel like I'm blindfolded and untouchable by the things that I want. It scares me when people are nice to me. It hurts me immensely when people are not, but that's what I grew accustomed to. Acts of kindness seem disingenuous - "what do they want from me?" It doesn't help that I'm living in a bit of a political sphere here. I want to be on the periphery. I don't want to be someone's showgirl. Unless he's handsome and sweet and at home, I can be real. 😉

Something so simple as being told to put a blanket over me and having someone ask me to move in perhaps a bit prematurely is tossing me around and making me feel like I have to run. At home, I feel like I don't measure up. My room is a bit of a mess. I'm working on it, but it's largely stacks of papers that need to be filed or shredded. Medical bills, mostly. I feel pressured to experience God and make sense of my existence based on someone's else's point of view. I need to compromise here, but I'm scared that I'll compromise myself into oblivion like I did with my ex-ex. (Not the mean one.) I just became a piece of furniture to him. I couldn't reach his heart with mine, and I thought that doing everything he wanted and giving up my needs would change that. It didn't. It just made me a sucker.

I keep saying that I need to do the things I did before all this happened. The things that made me happy. But things keep coming up. We have company coming tomorrow, so I've had to clean a lot more. I'm sure I'll be expected to eat with them tomorrow night. No problem. I have to go to a funeral on Saturday. Once this semester is over, I can adjust my schedule. I've allowed these things to occupy too much of my mind. These headaches and indigestion have to go. 

At least when my ex made me do all that walking, I was alone and could look at the flowers and trees along the way. I need to sit on the porch. Cardinals love this yard.

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I'm like you I've been so damaged by people that I think when people act nice to me they are trying to trick me in some way.  There's no such thing as wow that was very nice and move on.  I instantly think what are they up to.  Trusting people has become impossible.

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@sober4life I'm sorry you deal with this, too. It's frustrating. I grew up with a sibling who did this... kind and sweet to lure me in, and then... not kind and sweet. When I got older, I associated negative attitudes and less-than-friendly behaviour with sincerity, so... Balance. Balance is good. And patience and allowing people to have needs AND want to be around us. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

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I know how you feel.  There are times where I would feel safer in jail than in random society because there you at least know who the people are.  Nobody ever wants to be around me.  If someone shows up they want something and I'll see them the next time they need something.  I need my own private island somewhere where I don't have to worry about this anymore.

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@sober4life I know what you mean, although I wouldn't go so far as to wish myself to live with criminals. 😉 

Because my sibling used kindness as a tool for abuse, when I was older, it seemed like men with negative attitudes were more genuine. When I met my ex-ex (not the mean one) I was having problems with my mom and her boyfriend, and he had experience with depression and abuse. We both felt alienated, and for the first time, I felt understood by a man who was actually nice to me! True enough. However, what I didn't know at the time is that he was in love with his misery. I wasn't. I wanted to be happy. I made gallons of effort to be so. He didn't. I could never break through his crusty attitude. And I couldn't live with it, either. I left that relationship on the best possible terms I could intentionally, but I do regret all that wasted time and feel that he used me to make himself look good to his friends and family.

I just can't stand the thought of being miserable forever, and I'm angry that I have so much garbage still to work through. I put it on the back burner so that I can function, but by the end of the day, my stomach is boiling with indigestion and my muscles ache from being so tense. I wake up with a headache every morning. I filled out schedule change forms for the rest of the year, but... I'm living a ****ing lie. I'm up here crying because I was essentially ******** for months on end, and I have to ****ing go downstairs and eat garbage food because I can't afford to buy healthy food for myself which I know would make me feel better and pretend that everything's fine and my roommate is amazing and I'm so happy to see these strangers and can't wait to tiptoe around them for the next four days.

I hate run-on sentences.

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