I have battled basically two years of yo-yo emotions learning the names of my emotions in not one but two languages and discovering that I spent most of my life at a 50+ % stress level.
You see I hardly know my life without some form of trauma or another- I don’t go seeking it just seemed to find me and I didn’t have the tools to tell it to stop until recently (meaning about a year and a half ago). When I put two and two together and I really needed to start standing up for myself - before one can do that, one needs to define the problem- I originally thought my problem at the time was that was burnt out from a baby that screamed and vomited for year and a husband who wasn’t much help. Well half of that was true.
If I were to stay in that relationship I would be stuck on strong medications and I couldn’t be the mother I wanted to be. Because with burnout my body couldn’t handle the stress anymore and I was totally confused with who I was angry at or feeling not good enough. In addition I started to dissociate again. I say again because apparently I did it often as a child. But now as an adult it was scary to say the least and I learned that self-injury eased that tension level. But it took months for me to figure it out and learn the words in German for how I was feeling. (Can you imagine how refugees feel when trying to deal with all their post trauma issues and still ask for help in a language not their own? I truly have empathy for them.
But back to me - my mother tongue is English as I am Canadian born, but have Swiss citizenship since I had stayed married for over 6 years and truly merged into Swiss society as best as I could.
And I have truly been blessed with a wonderful team who I consider a family. Especially the team at the clinic who stood by me when I got abusive phone calls from my ex in china, who knew how I was and stayed up with me until one am playing cards to keep me calm after a really hard day of dissociating
Like I said dissociation is a bit different than a psychosis though there were times I couldn’t differentiate the time span I was in, or I couldn’t get up to dress myself on my own because my left side wanted to behave like I had a stroke, or even sometimes I could see everybody around me and nothing would come out of me and I would be stuck- falls anyone would touch me I would fall deeper into a state I couldn’t get out of on my own requiring someone to come by with a rather strong dose of menthol smelling oil- yuck. And sometimes I would be so desperate I would self-injure. It took me months before I felt worthy enough to ask for the help because I never felt people would understand.
But I learned a precious few did understand and did know there was a fire in me. That I didn’t think the worst, and I was going to fight for what I needed once I learned to trust a few people. Then I went to a day clinic once released from the main clinic and we knew I was going to take longer than most to get to where I needed and again I got a team I learned to trust again, I learned that self-injury was an addiction and it would be treated that way. But I learned a few things about developing more courage and being able to ask for help, and ways to deal with the rage and yet still more dissociative states- door slams or sudden loud noises not started by me would literally have. I cowered in a corner in tears with my hands over my head. By the end of the six months we had developed my tolerance for a couple medications changed the dose and I can be happy to say that I have to this day four calm months that I could truly enjoy my time with my children by me in my home (with the help of some wonderful people organized by the church and my visiting care nurse) and I even could have an overnight for the first time with children, with support.
But last not least my first book will be published on November 8. A collection of poems, some dealing with coming back from the illness. The illness hasn’t left and I still manage a level of anxiety with music and chewing gum and when I don’t have my children I could be found writing or painting.