Thursday, February 16, 2017
so much to say...some of it graphic | it might make you uncomfortable
you know in the movies how they portray a person suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome)? well, it really is like that. i will be going along having a normal day when out of no where a sight, sound, smell or something else will trigger a memory that causes an uncontrollable reaction. for example, today i'm at work, baking some delicious pastries and suddenly a firetruck roars by with it's sirens blaring and the sight and sound of that fire truck send me into a full on break down and panic reaction without warning. it takes me back to the moment when i heard the gun fire and i picture owen standing in the shower pointing a gun at his head and think of all the pain in his body and his mind and i see blood and i see his body slump into a pile. it is too much for my soul to handle. i move to an area where no one can see me and where no one knows what is happening and gain my composure quickly and i get back to work. this what i do. because this is what society dictates if you want to succeed.
i went to a suicide survivor support group for the first time last week. my friend mel encouraged me to go and she picked me up and went in with me and sat next to me and cried with me. i understand why the success rate for survivors of suicide is grim. i understand it to my core. i understand why they would want to end their own existence. i understand why they may no longer be successful at their job. i understand why they may not be able to work. i understand why they may not be able to have successful relationships. i understand why they may not seek the help they don't know they deserve and need. i understand why they may avoid people or situations they may not have before. i understand what it feels like to have severe anxiety about every little thing. i understand how making a simple decision might be crippling. i understand why they feel guilt. i understand why they might deny themselves anything that might let them feel happy or joyful. i understand why they may not be able to move on or move forward. i understand why they might not want to wake up in the morning. i understand why they would have a sudden emotional break down for what seems like no reason. i understand why they feel crippled with fear. i understand explicitly how hard it is to make and keep a commitment. what if i make a commitment and then i can't show up? i understand the bad dreams and how they knock you flat on your back. i understand the worry of disappointing people. i understand what it feels like to know people are thinking, isn't it time you move on? i understand why they feel like they are a burden.
it so very very frustrating to me that my mind is in this state. i wish, oh how i wish for the pain in my heart and in my mind and in my body to go away. it is unbearable. i finally had a dream with o in it where i got to see his face. (there was no exit wound in his head from the gun shot. so it exploded inside his head. which means his face was deformed). remember, i never saw him after he died. in this dream i could actually see him and his face. we were together in this dream, but in this dream i dreamed that he didn't want to be with me. it was the most painful dream i have had yet. i begged him to let me be with him and he refused. my tears and gasping woke me. i felt angry that day. angry that i had to have that dream. angry that i felt angry. i have worried unreasonably and incessantly over the last year about where to live and that for some reason i won't have a place to live. that if i sell my home, i will want it back. that if i don't sell my home, i will never move on. i dream that i live in scary places and that there are people there who want to hurt me.
we have a mental health crisis in this county. a crisis with there being little access to it and support for seeking it. it is also a problem the stigma that surrounds mental illness and suicide and it disgusts me. i mean look at me. a "normal" person contributing to society and functioning at a high level. i have a job. i own a home. i eat a healthy diet. i run. i work out. i go to social things. i have friends. and i have this innate ability to power through hard things. and, i am a person who needs the help of mental health professionals. not because i am a loser. not because i want sympathy. not because i am weird. not because i can't "just choose to be happy." but because i have been through things that i can't sort out on my own. i have been through traumatic things that have changed the wiring in my brain. but you know, ten visits and you should be all fixed up and good go. even when we understand very little about the brain and it's complexities when it comes to the questions of mental illness.
USPC | utah suicide prevention coalition
NAMI | nation alliance on mental illness - utah
the trevor project
contact your representative | cure alliance for mental illness
i needed to write these things down tonight. i have actually had some very moving experiences recently that i will write about later. one of them was tonight as i sat in a room with Syrian and African refugees and listened to them tell their stories and learned of things i did not know before. and cried because i was deeply affected by their courage. the other experience was on sunday when i had the privilege of attending a sermon on finding our identities at the K2 church. another was the talk i had with my bishop about how i am holding up and about how i am struggling with many concepts in my religion, but not in my belief in jesus christ and the plan of salvation. and he cried with me. my bishop is good and kind and wise and encouraging and unjudging. and another is the deep religious discussion we had with the young women at our activity wednesday night. these are amazing, witty, smart and thoughtful girls and i am proud of them. they are informed on current affairs and politics and of god and they have a great sense of humor. and finally, the experience of finding bill a new home. i will write more later.
i am excited to head to moab for a few days and adventure with my sisters!