Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hope and Defeat

Today my therapist used the words "acute" and "complex" and "PTSD" together, and if it makes any sense my heart sank and soared simultaneously. In fact, my therapist is the first "professional" to use such serious words in reference to me or my experience, even though a few years ago my hair was falling out in large clumps, and I was two degrees above a corpse on the couch. Even though I was telling everyone in my life I WAS NOT OK. Repeatedly. 

Her speaking the words terrified me, and made me want to kiss her sweet pink cheeks. She IS sweet looking, cherubish, creamy and pink with soft dark curls.

But when I left her office today I was internally battling between hope and doom. I felt a little better and that gave me hope, but then I began to worry about my ex and how he's exhibiting all the signs of someone about to crash. And that led to panic and terror that my kids can't take it, especially Kyd, and I envisioned a future full of jails and violent deaths. 

That's the "acute and complex PTSD" talking, I told myself. Then I thought, "but it's true, it's TRUE!". I know where severe drug addiction leads. I know the wasteland it leaves behind for children. 

Then I thought how loving and resilient I would be for my children because I'm getting better. 

And then I cried inside that it's "not enough, NOT ENOUGH" for Kyd who will turn his rage and grief on himself and travel the same path as his father and WE'LL NEVER BE OK, and it's all too much, too much and I will never be able to stand alone against the huge tides of addiction and loss and anger and grief and hold the flood walls from drowning my son, and then my daughter, and then me. 

So it went all the rest of the day. I was somehow ok. I went swimming with Roi and he was kind and told me he knows that him going to the beach is triggering so we would go to a little private town pond where there would probably be no one but us. And that was true. I put on a one-piece so I could feel safe in my own skin. I waded into the water, walked up to the edge of the underwater mosses, and lapped peacefully across the pond sweeping my arms and kick-frogging. I wondered at a small army of bugs on the dock who had somehow died mid-stride and were now frozen pale shells. I drew a picture in the sand with my fingers of myself as a little girl, gave her a pink stone heart and then swept my four fingers through the sand in a circle around her to create a force-field. 

I talk to Roi at dinner and later in the evening in ways I haven't talked and he hasn't listened before. I don't do this to repair anything. I am only being where I am and unafraid, or perhaps unwilling, or perhaps unable to be anywhere or anything else. He grows concerned or tired and begins to tell me what I am doing wrong but we are interrupted by my children who want to show us the fireflies in the back field and they are spectacular. The whole deep dark sparkling.


  1. There is nothing we can do about who our children's fathers are. All we can do is improve the emotional atmosphere of our homes by working on ourselves. I, too, know that there is a chance my son will take after either one of us (terrifying!), but there is a chance he will be his own person, too.

    About the PTSD, I *kind of* get where you're coming from. Funny you mention it, too, because it was just brought up by another blogger yesterday, as well. And a while ago, when reading some of my anxieties regarding Jermaine, she commented that what I was going through sounded like PTSD and when she did that it was such a relief. Of course, I haven't delved into the severity or frequency of the abuse with a therapist- yet- it was kind of glossed over with this last guy.

    Anyway, I just meant to say that I can see how it could have given you hope. You're being heard. The pain you've been through is being acknowledged- in all it's damaging severity.

  2. Kelley, you should look up Complex-PTSD, and read my latest post. From what I know of your life, you've been consistently denied support and been given emotional abuse instead. The survival response to all of that is what you're experiencing. IMHO. I hope your new therapist is able to offer you more of what you need, and deserve.

  3. P.S. What you said in the last paragraph. In that moment, yes, I not only felt validated, I felt I was worthy of the care, that I was not crazy, that of course, of COURSE I feel the ways I do. I also want to say that I like my therapist, and part of that is because I feel that she actually likes me. Yes, she's paid, yes she has to keep some distance, yes she probably cares about her other clients, but feeling liked by my therapist is instantly helpful. Keep looking until you find the right support. It matters, and you matter.

  4. Briar,

    I can relate!!! It was such a relief to hear that I'd been traumatized by my husband's actions and his deceit from our marriage counselor. He never said PTSD, it wasn't until I read "Your Sexually Addicted Spouse" when it all came together for me. I'm glad you've been validated, I'm just saddened that you're going through it too.