Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Wasted appointment

I haven't seen my care co-ordinator for weeks. We made an appointment for 2pm today and I got there nice and early. I waited in the waiting room and different people were coming and going. I am a patient person but by 2.45 I was still waiting and not happy. The waiting room had nothing to read except posters and leaflets and the words self harm, rape, suicide, anxiety, depression, relationship breakdown, drugs, bereavement etc leapt out at me. It's like revisiting the place of your worse nightmare. I felt so triggered. Surely soft furnishings and magazines to read would be much better in the waiting room?
Eventually at 3pm she arrived and didn't even apologise for being late - I've obviously got nothing better to do. I managed to tell her about the therapy sessions and how I was feeling. I explained how frightening night times are and how I wasn't coping very well. She wanted to know what I was saying, as in was I asking for help! Duh! We talked about using the crisis team and an admission to hospital to keep me safe. That sounds completely scary but at the same time reassuring as it would be good to not feel so alone at night. However last time I went into hospital I was there for 2 months!
My care co-ordinator rang me when I got home to say that she is away for a few days and will review the situation on Friday. I can use the crisis team out of hours.
So what do I do between now and Friday? I have trauma therapy tomorrow which I'm not looking forward to. I guess I just have to keep going and use all my distraction techniques.
I still feel very alone with it all and want to hide in a corner until I feel stronger.

Monday, 29 July 2013


Last weeks session of EMDR was a complete disaster and I need to think of a way to re-establish it without being traumatised again.
We are trying to work on the nightmares that I have been having, in order to make them less intrusive and less frequent. My therapist thought that it would be good to work on the image of my attacker in order to diminish the impact he has on me. The aim of the session was for me to make his image get smaller and smaller and either fall over an edge or shatter into pieces that I could stamp on and squash with my foot.
As soon as I brought his image to my mind I could hear his voice piercing through me, threatening me and mocking me. His image was vivid and larger than life and he was getting closer. I could not concentrate on my therapists voice and my skin started crawling. I tried to follow his finger with my eyes but different images kept flashing in. I felt so sick and my heart was racing.
My therapist kept telling me to push the image away and in between sessions of eye movement he kept saying "don't let him win" but it was so overpowering.
I just wanted to run and couldn't cope so I said he was moving away and the session ended. Once in the car park I vomited and felt like I was going to pass out. I felt agitated and unsettled and couldn't get his voice out of my head.
Later that night I was too frightened to sleep, I was pacing and my mind was everywhere. Suicidal thoughts dominated my thinking and I ended up curled up on the bathroom floor as that is my safe place.
So what do I do on Wednesday? I want to engage and know that some sessions will be hard but I'm not feeling safe at the moment.
I have thought of a few options:-

  • Concentrate on my self esteem
  • Work on my thoughts of being dirty, disgusting and a bad person
  • Instead of concentrating on the nightmares do visualisation of a safe nights sleep
Not really sure where to go but at least those thoughts are a start. Am seeing my care co-ordinator tomorrow so will see what she thinks.
It's getting darker now, I just hope my night demons stay away tonight.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Journey so far

This is my very first attempt at blogging and thought I'd tell you a bit about me and what I hope to achieve through my blog.
My name is Julie and I'm 48 years old. I work full time as an Early Years Specialist Teacher. 13 years ago my husband raped me and abandoned me with 3 young children to go and live in Thailand. Since that time I have been a single mum and my children are now 24, 21 and 17. After my ordeal I have been diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and for a while now have been struggling with horrendous flashbacks and nightmares.
I am currently having trauma therapy which I am finding very challenging. This involves EMDR sessions that recently have left me very unsettled and have made my nightmares more vivid.
I have recently heard that after 13 years my husband is returning to live in the town where I live and that terrifies me. He has not supported me or my family financially or in any other way and I am feeling threatened by his imminent return.
I'm hoping that I can use this blog to track my journey through trauma therapy and EMDR and also to track my emotional turmoil and mental health. I would also like to explore how my mental health affects my family and my working life.
I am a champion for the Time To Change campaign to challenge the stigma of mental health.
At present I am struggling, night times are impossible and I've stopped taking all my medication after a disagreement with my psychiatrist. The night crisis team want me to go into hospital as my self harm has been particularly bad over the past few weeks. I have had 3 visits to A&E to be stitched up.
This week I have an appointment with my care co-ordinator and a session of trauma therapy so I hope I will be able to access some support.