One month ago I was hoping to start EMDR therapy for my PTSD.
Unfortunately it has not happened as yet. I spent the whole summer preparing myself to start therapy but it is yet to start.
My wife also suffers from PTSD and anxiety disorder. Due to this and that, I have been looking after her for the last few weeks, supporting her, and getting her back to work as she had been off with acute stress. This was exhausting given my current emotional state.
Then someone tried to kicked my front basement door in – unsuccessfully I am glad to say.
It was however a bit traumatic and upsetting, this invasion of our privacy, this violation of our home.
So I had to fix the door. Unfortunately it also rained and rained the night of the attempted break in and the basement room got flooded which cost nearly £2000 to fix.
Fortunately the Insurance will cover it but it is still distressing and stressful. I have spent days installing cctv and security lights.
So I had to get my wife back to work followed by this break in followed by having to work with builders for the last four-five weeks (a long story in itself!).
The basement door was replaced and then the laminate floor was taken up as it was ruined by the flood. Then we realised we may have rising damp so we had to get that fixed.
The floor was treated and the walls painted with a tar. The basements steps are had to be re-cemented and the front windows and doors resealed to prevent further problems with damp.
We then laid tiles which took forever and re-plastered the ceiling which has been damaged, strangely by the flooding also as the roof is below ground level, i.e. in the basement.
It has been stressful and exhausting. I could lie down on the floor and sleep, if they weren’t full of dirt and plaster. I have done all this while in a stew of trauma which is like a puss capsule waiting to burst.
All my life I have been a person who fixes stuff, helps people out in an emergency. A go to guy.
As a child I tried to be a caregiver, caretaker to my Valium dependent mother. I parented her as she struggled to parent me. I also took all my father’ anxieties about his troubled wife and his general woes.
I grew up in role reversal.
I am primed to help in emergencies.
I never had anyone to share my concerns with. My sisters would ask me how are you? Then not wait for the reply.
It was a prelude to me having to listen to how they were. I have been a receptacle for other’s to deposit their anxieties. Often without offering this service.
Who listened to me? I have always felt like a “poorly drawn boy” tiny, lacking definition in my mind’s eye when I look back at my childhood.
There is little substance to my self schema
I somehow need to get better drawn, coloured in, made more full, more me. Take back the pieces of me strewn across the wreckage of my past. Piece them together to see what I end up with, end up as.
At the moment I feel I am in danger of disappearing.
Is this a bad thing? This feeling of evaporating. Is the old me disappearing, am I shedding skin, a turtle-like replacing a shell with another?
Hopefully a lighter shell!
I do not fear emotions like before, however negative or troublesome. I think something is coming to the surface, like a vapour on my stew.
Impurities being cleansed just by my decision to look at my trauma therapeutically, professionally.
This may have started a stampede of squashed emotions, trampling their way to the surface of my mind to get recognition, to finally be heard.
All I know is that if I don’t deal with my trauma it will deal with me. It is the most pressing concern for me not only in terms of general mental well being but in terms of relapse risk. It is by far the greatest risk to relapse.
I find AA meetings are good for sharing about certain things, to a certain extent, for sharing what is going on with me but no longer fully. AA does not really deal with shame, trauma or the other issues that propelled my addictions to near death and psychosis.
It deals with shame of addiction for sure but The Big Book was written at a time when even psychotherapy did not consider shame, instead concentrating on guilt.
The steps deal effectively with guilt and the shame around what we have done to other people, sins of commission, but they do little in my opinion for the sins of omission, the sins sinned against us. What do we do with this stuff?
The stuff that often propelled our addictions in the first place? Haven’t some of us been just dealing with the cart and not the horse?
Just some observations.
Roughly 65% of AAs have outside help, with what? The causes of their addictions?
Or certainly development childhood aspects which later contributed to the severity of their addictions?
This is where I am at, looking out for others while fit to burst myself. I am bottling up a primal yell, and request to be heard, at last.
As the youngest in my family I had no one in whom to deposit my anxiety and distress. To offload on.
AA has been instrumental in helping me share tonnes of stuff about my alcoholism. My trauma and neglect form childhood has often met with fairly closed ears. Some things people don’t want to talk about in depth. Some things they don’t want to touch for fear of making worse. I can relate to this. I have done this myself for years in recovery. But now it is inevitable that I deal with this stuff.
The damn is about to burst as I have said and will do…eventually.
I will hopefully keep you posted.
I am also very hopeful that it will have a chrysalis effect too.
I have faith that God goes deep!