Flashbacks in the Rain

I almost died in a car wreck that happened in the rain. For the most part (and thanks to EMDR and a lot of therapy) I don’t really have problems anymore when I drive. When I do, I have coping skills that work well. So today was a pretty big surprise when I was driving in the rain on my way to a meeting and started having flashbacks, not about my car wreck, but about the day of my brother’s accident. Clear as anything were the memories of getting the call from my mom, picking up his truck, sitting in the ICU waiting room unable to pray and barely able to hold it together, leaning on the prayers and shoulders of friends.

I’ve rarely had flashbacks of my own trauma, much less that of someone else. And while that day was traumatic for me, it hasn’t had nearly the impact that my own trauma has.

As I began to write this post, I also began to ask why and to process what happened this afternoon. I’m dreaming again… I’m processing again… I’m resolving trauma again.

I am done being afraid of the hold the past has on me. I’ve survived this much this long, and I can deal with whatever else boils up. But this was interesting, because as much as the flashback experience while driving on slick roads was not pleasant, it didn’t shake me. I’m now more curious about it, about where it came from and why that day?

I dream when I’m relaxed or when I am processing. Emotions, events – they all get run through my dream cycles in full color and epic drama. I don’t dream the exact thing, I dream versions of it, or nothing at all related. I started dreaming again this week after a long time off. My resting heart rate is slowly dropping, I’m a little more calm during the day and now memories are emerging that probably haven’t been dealt with. The human brain is fascinating.

Am I excited by this? Nope. Am I afraid of it? Also nope. Gonna deal with it and move on…

!!20170401_165514

 

Triggered By a Microwave, and Other ???

I know I’ve been struggling the past two weeks with connecting to the idea that I have value…

I was at my parent’s house this morning and decided to make tea at the same time my youngest brother was making nachos (breakfast foods aren’t his thing, generally). I had my mug in the microwave for about 45 seconds when he stopped it, opened the door, took my mug out, put his chips and cheese in and declared that his would only take 30 seconds, therefore this made sense.

Sure it made sense. My brain, however, sometimes doesn’t accept “sense”, and I stood behind him, still and quiet, trying to control the sudden flood of emotion.

Y’all. I almost cried.

Then I threatened to beat the shit outta him.

Mom was watching me carefully the whole time. No, I wasn’t actually going to attack my still-recovering brother over a mug of hot water, but the incident brought up so much emotion for me. Emotion that had very little to do with him, and my trigger experiences often don’t have anything to do with the situation at hand and everything to do with the past or unresolved stuff.

I felt like I wasn’t important, that I didn’t matter. That I had no value in that moment. That my needs could be scraped aside and ignored.

All that from a microwave.

Mom tried to smooth it over with humor and I went along with it, but I still had to deal with the emotions. I almost cried a second time, then found some quiet so that I could sort this out. I know I’ve been struggling the past two weeks with connecting to the idea that I have value (for so many years I was treated by a lot of people in ways that said I DID NOT), so this was a punch in the gut when I have finally started to stand upright.

I don’t think my brother doesn’t value me, and again, I understand that to him this was a logical, time-based act. And he was in the kitchen first, so he thought first come first to the microwave. I don’t dispute that. My trigger was based on the pile of experiences that I have not yet acknowledged to have been damaging and that have created a twisted view of myself.

Well, time to acknowledge, time to change the narrative, time to be grateful for this opportunity and time to finish drinking my tea and go about my day.

Don’t Make Me Hurl My Queso At You

I don’t often experience rage with anxiety, it usually comes from being triggered.

It’s TRIGGERED day 3, and I’m about to go grab some tacos with a friend, which means queso will happen, which means my simmering rage will have a possible outlet of hurling queso at an unsuspecting citizen. And I really like queso so it’s not like I say that lightly.

I’m about 2 weeks away from my Wreckiversary, but since I didn’t have trauma anniversary anxiety last year I was assuming I wouldn’t this year. I have been going into rage mode every evening for the last three days, including today, under completely different circumstances, so I’m a little stumped. I don’t often experience rage with anxiety, it usually comes from being triggered, which has seemed to be happening fairly frequently lately (to the point that I’m marking a calendar).

When I say “rage”, let me explain: all the emotion of rage and desire to verbally spew what is in my head (rage at everything and everyone without a specific target or circumstance that I can identify), and none of the action. As my therapist has noticed, I am very controlled. Plus I don’t want to be mean or hurt someone else. And it would shock the hell outta people because I don’t exhibit anger. Again, I’m very controlled.

I have been out and about in the evenings a lot lately, and I tend to stay home because I find it more comfortable. I’ve had obligations, and one of my homework assignments is to not take care of others, but rather to spend that time taking care of myself since I frequently compromise my well being to do things for others (I am not the person you have to remind to be nice or kind or help out, I am the person you have to tell to leave others to their own problems and stay out of it and don’t bring food because there will be plenty anyway).

I thought maybe my busy schedule, social and otherwise, was the culprit, but being at home tonight wasn’t keeping the growing rage at bay either, so I did the only thing a girl can do. I called one of my friends and went out for tacos and a long chat. It worked.