Trying to feel

I’m going to try and describe something that happens to me that is a little difficult to explain.

We’ve got spring weather here at last, with temperatures way above zero. Winter coat – gone. Out comes the lighter coat, and after a while, I shed even that.

My plan for this Saturday was to get out to the big park near my house and have a wander around earlyish, before noon, so I’d miss some of the crowds and multitudes of toddlers. My friend D phoned and asked if I fancied a walk, so I said I’d wait for him.

We walked around the park, sticking to some wooded trails where possible, around the pond, and back through the small zoo. We were joking around. I was in a more fun childish mood, and he likes to joke, so we were having fun. I imagine he was relieved I wasn’t in one of my depressions for a change.

By the time we reached the zoo, we’d been walking for an hour, though slowly. I felt I couldn’t continue one more minute, so we sat on a bench in the sun for a while. D handed me a juice box – he comes prepared for everything – so I sipped my juice and recovered.

Forty minutes walking is about my limit for walking without any somatic memory type symptoms coming up. But anyway, I was having a nice time, and we did have to get back to the car, I couldn’t magically transport myself home. So after the rest we continued on, looking at the animals, chatting.

It was another hour before we got back to the main road. By this point I was feeling pretty anxious. And when we stopped in a deli to pick up some cake for tea, I realized I’d lost fifteen dollars I’d stuffed in my pockets, to avoid taking my wallet. So I started swearing and lamenting. How stupid I am. How careless.  This is what happens to me – I get into these states, and start losing things. Probably by the time we’d gotten to the bench, I’d dissociated. Once that happens, things do go wrong. Sigh.

We had tea at my place and D left. All I could think about was the need to lie down. I felt unreal and hugely tired. I lay down for an hour, just kind of curled up in my bed, not feeling anything, not dozing, just kind of stuck.

Then I spent another hour trying to feel, and felt a kind of half a flashback to something that didn’t make much sense. I always get a tingling face and hands when these things occur, so that was happening. Then a sense of being made to do something I didn’t wish to do, but what it was wasn’t clear. A thought of snow white in her glass coffin, felled by a poisoned apple. A sense of not being real, being of glass. A vague sense of sorrow and helplessness.

That’s all I can really describe. I’m left feeling lost and kind of numb. I spent over an hour trying to feel this, but that’s all I could feel.

I guess the thing that is different is I’m no longer trying to pretend this stuff isn’t happening, at least not to myself. My friend D knows I sometimes get tired kind of fast and am limited in what I can do often, and he accepts that. I haven’t explained any more, because it’s just difficult to explain.

I used to fight this stuff a lot more. I’d take a pill to make it go away temporarily, or distract myself somehow. I think now it’s too strong for distraction to work. Distraction just makes me more miserable. I’m going to feel stuff if I can manage it at all.

I would like Ron’s help with this process of remembering. His helpfulness right now is his empathy. He wishes to help. If I can explain this stuff to him before I’m in it, that would be good, so he could also understand a bit of this. I would remember more if he was there, for some reason. I’d feel more safe.

I’m left with feeling sad. I don’t feel afraid for a change. Just sad.

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4 comments
  1. gniz said:

    It is sad. And I think it's very hard to deal with things that have happened before my brain was developed enough to process it. That seems to be a lot of what you're battling.When I was a kid, most of the earliest memories I have about myself have to do with being "bad." I was a troubled kid and it always felt like there was just something rotten in my core.But since doing so much work on myself over the years, I've gotten in a loving, wonderful marriage. It has been very healing and has helped me realize I am not a bad person at my core, but rather I was a child who was wounded a lot at a very young age. I internalized my issues at such a young age that I thought it was who I was, only realizing thirty something years later that isn't the case at all.Point being, it takes time to work through stuff that lives in my body and came about before I was able to intellectually process it. "Feeling" it and letting go of it is the best way I've found, and it does take a long time but it works.Great job Ellen.

  2. Ellen said:

    @gniz – That does seem like a very similar process to mine Aaron. Thanks for telling me about it. It helps to know you went through some of the same things I do. Feeling is difficult when you're not used to it, and it was discouraged as a child. I know that feeling of 'badness' very well. Lovely you have found a good healing relationship. Cheers!

  3. Ellen, considering my triggers as my treasures, I truly believe you have done wonderfully. You are aware of your physical limits. You FEEL when it happens, tingling hands… and you do not fight it so much anymore. Your awareness has increased tremendously. Allowing yourself to lay down and rest and FEELING sadness is quite an improvement too. Ellen, it is a tough road, yet the improvements are there – in my humble opinion. Love to you, Paula xxx

  4. Ellen said:

    Thanks for the encouragement Paula, it means a lot. I think it is an improvement also. Feeling things is not so easy for me. hugs to you

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