Whose driving?

The last two days have been kind of rough.

Heading into Thursday, I was feeling good and had managed to pull myself onto some sort of steady ground.  That all fell apart late Thursday afternoon, when I got an email from the other team leader, calling into question the quality of my work.  That email sent me plunging back into self-doubt, self-hatred and all the other associated negative thinking.  My cynical friend told me to forget it; but it was such a back-stabbing insult that I couldn’t brush it off.  To make it worse, my own team leader wasn’t around to reality check the content of the email, and I didn’t want to run to the manager about it.  This spun me out to the point where I knew I wasn’t safe to drive home.  I stayed on at work for a couple of hours, before driving home and losing most of the evening to the dissociation.

Then, on Friday morning during my drive to work, we went past a “hurt” cat in the middle of the road.  I always dread this sort of thing; not only does it stir up the system because an innocent animal has been hurt, but it’s a trigger for some of the younger ones.  Like a deer caught in headlights, we can never look away… we started reciting “it’s just a jumper that fell out of a car”, hoping that this will change how we see the cat… it doesn’t.  This means we now have adult parts smarting from the insult to our work, and young ones upset that an innocent cat has been hurt.

So we’re now driving down the road reciting out loud “it’s just hurt, it’s ok, it’ll get up soon and the people who love it will come get it and take care of it”.  There was also a promise that we wouldn’t drive home that way, just in case it hadn’t been moved.

Work on Friday is mostly a blank… I know we had a morning tea for the two new people, and that the manager made a triple layer banana and pineapple cake (which did a rather spectacular topple over during the cutting process).  I also know I played around with the iPhone app kooaba, as we’re looking at new ways to try to deliver information through technology such as QR codes and visual recognition apps.  This was fun because we were going around the library, taking random photos of books, CDs and DVDs to see what information kooaba would return.

Then it came to the drive home… all the way up the street where we should have turned off to avoid going by the stretch of road where the cat had been hurt, we were consciously thinking of turning.  Then there was this little mind fit, and we were suddenly past the turn off.  I could hear the panic, but there was also this firm voice telling me to stop being so silly, that there will be nothing there, and it will all be fine.

Thankfully the cat was no longer there, but that didn’t matter, the panic had set in.  We were switching all over the place and I could feel our throat closing up.  Little Michelle came forward full force, meaning that we couldn’t really drive, talk and only barely functioned enough to get home in one piece.  Because we live in a high fenced section, no one saw us getting out of the car shaking like a leaf and stuttering about it hurting.

We got inside, fed Winnie, turned on all the lights, curled up in the corner of the lounge and tried to ease the shaking.  I had no real sense of what was happening, but there were obviously body memories.  The throat was closed off, and no matter how hard I tried, I could barely stutter.  I managed to take some anxiety medication and send the following email to Allison…

turn all the lights on an hide
turn all the lights on an hide
turn all the lights on an hide
turn all the lights on an hide
turn all the lights on an hide
turn all the lights on an hide
turn all the lights on an hide

hide got to hide
he’ll find us

I think we finally went to bed at about 8am (it was naturally light by then) and slept for a couple of hours.

Saturday had been good… we’d talked to a friend and took some pictures of the stuffed toy we got for the young ones as their reward for going through the divorce proceedings…

Bear feet

This made me think that tonight was going to be easier… the fear seemed to have eased.  But it’s now 1am Sunday and all the lights are on again.  Little Michelle is ok as long as all the lights are on.  We’re also ok as long as we don’t even think about going to bed.

One of the big problems with this scenario, is that it opens us up to further dissociation and self injury.  We’re so switchy and shaky…

Now playing: Missy Higgins – Where I Stood
via FoxyTunes


11 thoughts on “Whose driving?

  1. Dear castor, what a terrible set of days. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling. I get very distraught seeing animals on the road. I’m sorry to everyone who had to see that. And about the workplace situation, I hope things get better soon there. Sending you safe hugs, if wanted.

  2. I’m sorry you’ve been having such a rough time. Is there anything you can do to make everyone feel safe? I hope the bear brings the young ones some comfort and fun, at least. 🙂

    ((hugs)) Please take care

  3. Do days like that make you angry or explosive? Is there anything you can do externally to release some tension or pent-up energy?

    Thanks to you I’m sleeping with a stuffed animal again! I saw your post right before I went to bed and all I felt was “We want one, too!!!”, so I had to appease the masses. Your teddy is adorable.

    I hope you find some balance soon and everybody inside can relax. So sorry you have been feeling this way.


    • Hi Lisa,

      No, I don’t feel anger much… It’s more frustration from the adult parts trying to figure out what we need to do in order to minimise the outward apperance of the dysfunction, while trying to soothe the parts internally. We found we couldn’t turn off any of the lights, because as soon as we did, Little Michelle would come forward in distress.

      In all honesty, we couldn’t do anything to release anything… we couldn’t brush our teeth, leave the house, eat, talk, etc… It was a weekend filled with flashbacks, dysfunction and using our coping mechanisms for all they’re worth.

      The teddy is cute isn’t he 🙂 It took us ages to find him and there was huge debate over his price… thankfully that’s where one of the adults could step in and say that the cost of one bear is meaningless in the face of what those young ones went through – so it was brought.

      I hope your stuffed animal helped you too 🙂

      Take care,

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