In yesterday’s morning check in at 7:30am, I felt okay. I’d slept unusually well and long and felt pretty good. Strangely, the night before I’d went to bed by 7pm because I was exhausted and felt like I had a winter bug working on me. My check in was so positive, I was feeling pretty settled and happy, so how come 2.5 hours later I woke up from a horrendous nightmare?
I’ve had check-ins at various points this week, Wednesday, I think? And some text communication… it’s hard for me to remember. Over the past few weeks, Sienna has supported me amazingly through the CSA stuff, been very available to me and I’ve even had an extra session this month.
I have a family member who is toxic and narcissistic and rarely even bothers with me unless it serves their need, pop up and send me messages. The messages are friendly enough, and on the outside it doesn’t look like they’re doing anything wrong, but it’s very triggering to me partly because I just don’t have the capacity to rise above their games and selfishness or to cope with whatever their need is that’s making them act all “ happy families” with me. And also triggering because it’s all about their needs as per usual, and the sheer selfishness of them and audacity and blind-sightedness enrages me.
I’m already dealing with so much right now and I am really getting in touch with anger and rage about what’s happened to me and how it’s affected my body and my life and general mental health.
In Monday’s session, I think I was dissociated quite a lot because I don’t remember it. It’s all very misty and I just have certain moments that I remember. But something new-ish happened. I went to the restroom halfway through the session. I think I was feeling unwell.
In the restroom, I just got this feeling… something like fear and panic and anger too and the energy of it coursed down my arms. On reflection it felt like a fight or flight response.
I had to get back to Sienna, to our room, to safety. I felt young and vulnerable – one of the teens maybe?
I walked fast back to the room, tears in my eyes, feeling desperate.
Sienna comforted me. I cried hard.
But the feelings in my arms was still there and so many feeling of anguish and anger, just rose out of me. I felt like a shaken Coca-cola bottle and someone had just let off the lid and twisted it back on before anything spewed over.
I felt like all my emotions got stuck inside of me. They bottle-necked. And I was struggling to cope with the discomfort of it but in the moment I couldn’t even explain to Sienna what was happening. It was just a hugely somatic experience.
But it did remind me of when I began really processing my grief, 2.5 years ago. I remember the same feeling as I sat on the floor crying and shaking so hard because it felt like my body was literally breaking open and I couldn’t contain that amount of energy. I remember sobbing hard and saying “ I can’t contain it!!!! I can’t contain it!!!”
It was terrifying. I couldn’t contain the emotion, it was rising up in vicious torrents trying to find the outlet, yet it was so BIG that it couldn’t all get out at once and so all this traumatic energy bottlenecked inside of me and I didn’t know how to get it out, or what to do with that level of energy coursing through every part of my body though mostly down my arms. I never know what to do with my arms and I end up holding them out from my body feeling helpless.
And this was what happened on Monday, except it was fear and rage me/my body was starting to release.
Rage is terrifying for me. I’ve known for a long time I hold rage and why. But knowing it’s there and actually processing it, working with it, allowing it, and releasing it are two very different things.
My rage has been something Sienna and I have been talking about over the past few weeks, in relation to the abuse stuff that’s coming up. The more bits and pieces that are coming back to me, the more acceptance I find for the very real possibility that this abuse really did happen, I start feeling rage. How dare someone do this to me. How dare they allow me to suffer for decades thinking I was mad and defective and born wrong and just a miserable dark soul. How fucking dare they!!!!!
I am scared of the rage I feel. What do I do with it? How will I contain it? What If I act out my rage? Because if I could get my memories back, I feel like I might cause serious harm to the perpetrator/s.
I’ve had a lot of feelings of “ It’s not fair” (victim) and “ I am gonna fucking kill these motherfuckers”. (Protector/persecutor)
The teens have definitely been around more. The child parts seem to have gone into hiding. I don’t know it they have rage, I’ve never felt their rage. The teens seem to hold a lot of it though.
Sienna has said to me that whilst she acknowledges how awful all this feel for me, she is delighted that I am now feeling it, and directing that rage at the right people and the right situation. She sees this as another great leap of progress. She says our work now is to give me tools to contain the rage, to bring it to therapy where it can be looked at, felt, and ways to dispel it healthily and in a safe manner that doesn’t hurt me or others.
I think I am going to need to learn tools to cope with the rage soon because when it rises, I don’t feel in control.
The other day, I had a meltdown because due to my Fibromylagia I couldn’t tidy my art studio. I kept feeling nauseous and sick and pressure in my head would build and I’d have to go sit down and rest for 20 mins or more, before I felt ready to go back through and continue. I was frustrated as hell that something as normal as housework was kicking my ass.
As a new wave of pressure and nausea appeared, I just broke. In a temper I threw the papers I was sorting down, stormed out the room, hit a door in the hall several times on the way past, flounced onto the sofa in a fitful rage of tears and started hitting myself in the head and screaming. Like a proper mental patient!
I felt SO much rage and I was feeling all that energy in my body and I had nowhere to put it, and that’s why I started hitting myself. All that rage and it had nowhere to go! Awful.
For the longest time, therapists have suggested getting a punchbag, but even imagining using one, the energy of the rage would immediately leave my arms and they’d become limp and weak and I couldn’t hit anything if I tried. It was SO strange. Even in moments of rage, I’ve thought that I should go punch a pillow… yet the same thing would happen, all the energy in my body just left and I’d feel physically weak. The anger and rage would still be there but the ability to do anything about it wasn’t there.
I think this must have something to do with my nervous systems response to trauma. My automatic response to rage or fear is to freeze. To curl up inside myself or to cut myself.
But I am entering this new phase, I can feel it. My body wants to move now. With all these flashbacks and memories rising, my body now is craving to feel its own power. It needs to feel its power and its own ability to move and support itself. Playing dead in moments of stress isn’t gonna cut it anymore.
And as much as it’s a great sign, my physical ability to exercise is hugely diminished. I have 3 auto-immune diseases each of which produce severe fatigue.
I wanted to go out running last week. Which is pretty fucking laughable considering I couldn’t even run to the end of my house! Slight exaggeration… but honestly, if you knew me, you’d know there’s little chance of me being able to run.
But that’s what my body wants.
I feel like I’ve been in-cased in stone, like a big grey statue and after centuries of being in the one position, I am now awakening. I am gaining some vague consciousness and whilst still largely frozen, I am beginning to move and shift in tiny imperceptible ways. I am breaking out this stone cast of mine, little by little. With every flashback, I remember something else. Or get a new knowing.
It’s a tiny droplet of water than will eventually turn into a flood. The damn will break. And I think I will get my truth.
But that’s a terrifying prospect. How do I cope with a flood? How do I cope with my rage?
As I feel how much energy is stored in my rage and in my grief and when I feel how trapped it is in every muscle and every part of my body, no wonder it’s been eating me from the inside out! No wonder my body finally collapsed with an auto-immune response. No wonder I got sick!
All my energy that I should have to live a normal life has been captured by trauma and stuffed into every nook, every muscle, every connective tissue, every joint, in my body. Literally stuffed in there, weighted down and just left to rot. My trauma has killed my health, killed my ability to go out and live normally.
I have been so busy holding onto all the trauma, all the pain, torment, rage, grief, loneliness, heartbreak…. All of it. So busy stuffing it down, that my body broke under the pressure. My poor body.
My immune diseases aren’t considered curable. But I have hope that once I release my trauma, that once all that dark energy is freed, externalised and somewhat healed, that I will find my energy once more. I don’t know if that’s even possible. Maybe I am stuck with physical disability forever. But I can’t even think like that. I have to have hope that my energy could return to the point that I can live life on my terms!
I wanted to write about my check in and I realise I’ve gone off topic a bit so I am going to write another post just based on what happened.