Recovery is a little slower than I first thought. I’m home again though, which is good. I feel very fatigued, and also very reluctant to talk or write, for some reason. It’s as if I’m closed up in myself and don’t want to connect to anyone. Healing seems enough. I’m still reading everyone’s blogs but mostly don’t venture to comment at the moment.

The reluctance to speak has to do with being triggered, I need to physically heal, but the operation had huge emotional effects somehow. Any time my body is ‘violated’ (I know this isn’t a true violation, but in some sense it feels as if it is) I respond with flashbacks to the past. Even though I was unconscious at the time, somehow, I still know I was cut into. My body knows. Apart from the small incision wounds.

My theory is this throws me back to a time when I didn’t have the words or the understanding to tell anyone what had happened to me – I knew it was awful, but I hid the knowledge of what had happened from myself and everyone else.

Last night I woke up at four in the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. When that happens, usually I’m holding back feelings or experiences I don’t want to have, and it keeps me wide awake. I slowly allowed myself to feel whatever it was. The kid started crying and taking to Ron (who obviously wasn’t there). I felt as if my surrounding shell was broken – cracked somehow. Maybe my aura was breached? A strange feeling to try to describe. And I felt as if people were looming too close to me, invading my space entirely.

One of the surgeons came to see me every day in the hospital – a resident. He was very kind and we had nice chats – I liked him. But last night, he loomed over me (in my mind) as someone who was invasive, who was too close, who threatened.

Today was quite a tough day – I was very tired and felt unwell. But I figure I’m healing, plus processing what happened. I did go to both group and therapy this week, but didn’t actually discuss this. Maybe I’ll write Ron and email. But my general reluctance to communicate extends to emails also.

Luckily I have time – I can rest and not function as needed. It’s really nice to have that.

  1. laura said:

    glad you’re giving yourself time, and paying attention – great job, Ellen!

    • Ellen said:

      Paying attention is sometimes tricky. Thanks Laura

  2. artyelf said:

    Yep, I agree with Laura. You need time to heal, physically and mentally, and it sounds like you’re doing a great job on both counts.
    Being sick, having an operation, makes you so vulnerable. It sounds like your resident was lovely, but lovely people from our pasts are the ones who could turn into monsters, so your dream sounds logical to me.
    An email sounds like a great idea, when you have the energy.
    Rest, and be gentle my friend, love to you ♡

    • Ellen said:

      I hadn’t actually made that connection, that people from my past who were nice to me turned into monsters…that is true. Wow. Thank you. Love to you Elyn

  3. kp said:

    I know is it a poor comparison because you are dealing with something so much more difficult, but I have found, over the years, that even going to the dentist can make me feel a little traumatized. It can be difficult to have our bodies “invaded” even when it necessary and for our own good, under the best of circumstances. I think it is good that you are honouring your feelings; taking care of yourself; but still reaching out on your own terms. Kim

    • Ellen said:

      I actually think it’s a great comparison. I also feel kind of traumatized after the dentist and it’s the same principle I think. Our physical boundary is being breached, even though at this time with our consent, yet a part of me doesn’t understand and is traumatized again. Thanks Kim. good to meet you.

      • kp said:

        You too Ellen….I’m sending my prayers to you….Kim

  4. Harriet said:

    I think there is something physical about surgery that messes with emotions. I wasn’t very emotional about my illness or my surgery before it happened, but after it was over I was an emotional mess. And I’m sure that anyone with a history of trauma would have this reaction even more strongly. Take time to rest, and listen to your body to give it what it needs. So good that you were able to go to group and to individual therapy this week too. I hope that went well, despite not talking about this particular issue. When you are ready, then you will be able to discuss it.

    • Ellen said:

      Interesting you felt similar Harriet. The first few days I felt huge amounts of relief, then kind of teary and emotional. Now I’m finally at home, I’ve got some flashback type feelings to deal with also. I think even though we are out for the surgery, we still experience it on some level and then have to deal.

      Group was a bit of a nightmare actually and I wished I hadn’t ventured out yet. But I’m always drawn back – just don’t want to miss anything I guess.


  5. weareonebyruth said:

    My deepest sympathy. Last summer I had minor surgery and it took me much longer than I expected to heal. I wanted to be in a cocoon. I think that is similar to your description of wanting to be in a shell. The imagery of the shell cracking is powerful. When I hit the areas of my life that happened before I was able to speak I drew pictures. I am not a pencil and paper type artist so it is not the kind of drawing that could go on a wall but it let my mind express what I had no words for. Some of them are in my book. Paper, crayons or paint, and brushes released the darkest feelings. Took me a while to share them but I was able to express them. I think it is healing for the kid to talk to Ron even if he is not there. I would practice over and over what I would say to my counselor to get past the block in my mind that seemed to make it hard to say what I was feeling. Pain in the body does tend to trigger reminders of hurts in the past. Putting pieces together can be slow and difficult. Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for sharing this Ruth. Hmm….yes, I do kind of want to cocoon and lick my wounds.

      I find emotions held in parts very difficult to express to anyone else, partly just because that part is so immature she doesn’t have words or concepts to help. Maybe I will try drawing also, I do have paper and crayons at least. Not an artist either. Good to know this helped you.


  6. Bourbon said:

    Healing thoughts to you xx

  7. I wish you a speedy recovery, and please try to take things easy, rest and let your body do all the work.

    • Ellen said:

      Sounds like a plan. 🙂 Thanks Purple

  8. glad you are home. i was very emotional after my gallbladder surgery last summer, too. it was also keyhole surgery, with only a short hospital stay, but i felt very alone and overwhelmed and weak after, and i cried a lot as i recall. do you need anything. is there a good time to call???

    • Ellen said:

      Maybe that often happens after surgery then. Luckily for me my friends and my family have been very supportive – I was amazed actually, because I often feel very alone also. I don’t need anything ty. It would be nice to chat with you Catherine – most times are fine, just I go to bed around 10. Thanks!

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