Thursday, December 9, 2010

trauma in list form

I'm starting a group therapy program in February. It's an educational support group for women who have experienced trauma. It lasts 12 weeks, and each week we'll learn about a particular technique or strategy to deal with things like flashbacks and panic attacks. But we're not supposed to talk about what actually happened to us that was traumatic, because it might be triggering to us or someone else in the group, so we're only supposed to talk about what's happening in our lives now. So that might be a challenge, but I guess I'll see. It still feels far away.

I've been on the waiting list for something like 6 months. I had the assessment interview today. Not quite your usual interview. No "congratulations, you've got the job."

Congratulations, you've got trauma?

It wasn't a long interview, but it was surprisingly thorough. I guess she went through some sort of checklist for things that normally crop up after trauma...depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, flashbacks, dissociation, panic attacks, insomnia, headaches, muscle tension and pain, eating disorders, substance addictions, self-injury. It was a bit overwhelming, realizing that I'd experienced everything she asked about except full-fledged substance abuse. But it was a bit reassuring too. Sometimes I worry that there's something fundamentally wrong with me, something that's just not put together right; otherwise why would I have so much that's wrong with me? It seems like I recover from one disorder, have a brief moment where I convince myself I'm okay, only to develop something new and equally destructive. But if it can all be linked back to trauma then at least there's a reason for it, some sort of ugly root that I can take aim at and work on.

It would be so, so amazing to one day look at that list and have none of it apply to me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

drink your coffee

I will. Once I'm done cleaning the bedroom. And the bathroom.

You don't have to do all of that. You just said you were going to vacuum.

I can't clean partly. I can't do anything partly.

I know...but we can do things entirely together. Let me help.

It's okay, it's almost done.

...Okay...Well, take a break, have your coffee at least. You're getting an F for coffee-drinking right now. And a D minus for food intake.

No, that should be the other way around. There's far more coffee in me than food.

This week feels like it's run backwards. I've thrown up twice. He doesn't know that. I have gauge marks on my shoulder blades from my nails. It would have been worse if I still had my old razorblades with me, and if I'd had a moment or two alone. He doesn't know that either. I feel guilty about not telling him. Mostly, I just don't know what to say. I don't know why I did it, why I lost control over those impulses after so many months of being better. I don't understand it to myself; I don't want to try to explain it to someone else.