Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Childlike Woman Kid

I'm not sleeping well.
I've been having
terrible insomnia...
I'm talking about,
it's 4 a.m.
and I feel wide awake.
I absolutely dislike
laying in bed wide awake,
so I find myself in other parts
of the house
in a zombie like
state.




On the rare occasion when I do fall asleep, I'm having terrible nightmares. All my nightmares have water in them and there is usually some form of flooding, uncontrollable waves, or something dangerous is in the water and so am I. Hubby says that I've been screaming in my sleep and thrashing about.

Also, I go through these really weird days now and then, where I feel completely detached from myself. It's as if I'm sleep walking or looking at myself from the outside and I literally 'feel' nothing. I day dream like crazy and I catch myself staring at things, but I look right through them and my brain is numb. I mean...if you were to ask me, "What were you just thinking about?" I would respond, "Nothing." I've suffered from depression off and on, so I know what that feels like. This is not depression...I don't feel sad, I don't cry or think negative thoughts...I'm just here. I'm taking up space, breathing in air and one day melts into the next at a sort of slow motion speed. I've decided to make an appointment with my counselor and in the meantime, recently spent some time in research mode. You know what I came up with?

PTSD ~ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder! I should have had an epiphany moment, but I didn't. I felt shocked and said, "What the heck?" I can't even embrace that diagnosis right now. I immediately turned off my computer and kind of freaked out. When I talk about it, I feel like I'm talking about someone else.

So, I'm sort of in limbo. In the last 6 months my health has rapidly deteriorated, my daughter moved farther away because she got 'the job' in the big city and my son almost died.

Yea, I've got a lot on my plate, but lupus and PTSD sounds really scary together.

And once again.... I'm a 45 year old woman, who feels like a child living in a really big big world and I'm so small that someone or something could just swallow me whole.

34 Comments:

Blogger Shaz said...

Oh sweet it does sound scary but "wow" totally understandable. It is probably not what you want to hear or read about but being armed with this information it can only help. I have no words of wisdom but I will pray that things get easier it has been such a traumatic few months and I want things to get better for you not harder.
I am with you Honey xoxox

2:17 AM  
Blogger Cape Cod Kitty said...

Darlene,
You are moving along in your recovery!!! You were ready to really see what has been happening these past few months and PTSD is part of the process.
I experienced the very symptoms you described. In 2004 I was attacked by my fiancee and nearly killed. The relationship came to an abrupt, and way overdue end. My life was ripped apart, etc. After the survival portion....moving, etc, I found myself 6 weeks later in the state you described in this post. In retrospect, I think that period of time...was very valuable...I stayed in the darkness of a house loaned by supportive friends, cuddled my cat, got to work and home, but sat, cried, NEVER slept it seemed, and could not choke down food ( I survived on organic soy protein). I wrote, wrote, wrote, and did a lot of jewelry making and knitting. Friends would visit and try to draw me out of the "state" but I could hardly bear it. I began therapy (when she told me I had PTSD and had me read about it...I felt such validation) and it helped so much. Very slowly, I began to have good days and nights and to go out on little trips. I had to experience this in order for my body to recover from the emotional shock and the energy expended in order to survive.The physical aspect of the trauma had healed for the most part, although I still have a very painful neck condition which haunts me. Now I am "free" and have recently allowed myself to fall in love again. I actually would not trade the bad experience for anything as it made me turn inward to reflect, I did some beautiful writing, and I learned a lot about myself. Surrender was my key word....my spirit healed, as yours will and your body will re-energize and cope in a manner which will allow you to live and shed the murk.
I wish the same recovery for you! Wishing you ease, acceptance, patience and love,
CC Kitty

3:06 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

Oh Hun,

I just want to come over to you and give you the longest, warmest hug ever. I'm sorry you are feeling this way. I do hope you feel better soon. You deserve all the happiness and love the blogging world can send you. I will light a candle for you tonight and send you lots and lots and lots of warm, positive thoughts your way.

The biggest hugs to you, my love,
Love Toni

3:42 AM  
Blogger Constance said...

You have indeed been in survival mode for awhile. I think our body has a way of dealing with things, giving the adreniline rushes and stamina when we need them. There comes a point in time when the body has to heal from all of the energy it has expended.

Going to a counselor is a great idea. Sometimes just verbalizing your fears and what is going on in your life is the way to jump start the healing process. It might have been Mark that was in the accident but your whole family has been traumatized as well.

Take time out for you, you are important to those that love you and they want you to be healthy as well.

Saying a prayer that God will wrap you up in His love and let you settle down in His lap and let Him love on you!

Connie

4:31 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

I wish I had words of wisdom to share, but I don't. There are a ton of platitudes and cliches that people try to pass off in the feeble attempt to understand and be helpful.

After reading CC Kitty's comments, I am compelled to concur.

If it is of any value, I will continue to send Reiki energy your way. Use it or not. That is your choice.

I know you will make the requisite choices to get through this morass and will be an even better, more wonderful person than you already are.

When serving others, it is absolutely a requirement to serve yourself as well. So continue to...

Serve others, care about those you serve and share the love in your heart.

I can only hope that I can be of some service to you and your family.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Georgia said...

Oh Darlene :(

That does sound scary. But after all you have been through, it also makes sense. I am sending you lots of love and warm thoughts (as I do every day:) )

Love to you.

Georgia

6:25 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

I think PTSD is completely an understandable thing after what you've been through the past few months, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I'm glad to hear you made an apppointment with a counselor and I hope s/he helps you move through this to a calmer, healthier place.

I don't know if this is helpful or not, because I believe everyone's dream symbols tend to be personal, but FWIW, I frequently have dreams (nightmares!) about floods when I'm feeling so emotionally overwhelmed by things in my life that I don't know how to cope in my waking moments.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Libbys Blog said...

I haven't visited for such a while now! So much has happened, Mark is obviously so much better which is wonderful. You have been in 'Mum' mode when you can do just about anything for anyone no matter how you feel! Now things have calmed and its your turn to heal, my thoughts are with you Darlene, I hope you are feeling better soon.
xxx

6:55 AM  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

That was my first thought as I read your post, Darlene... I spent almost 6 months watching my dad deteriorate, in and out of hositals and nursing homes, feeling helpless and useless, watching my very life slip away from me... I would stay with him overnight in the hospital, stay with him all day in the nursing homes. My husband wanted me home, I wanted to stay with my dad... I ate next to nothing, I barely slept. Since daddy's been gone, I find myself having these day-mares, as I call them, like flashbacks- daddy in the nursing home with incompetent nurses trying to find a vein, him having psychotic episodes in the hospital- just terrible things. And right before I go to bed, as my head hits the pillow, that when I have these flashbacks as well. I usually end up crying myself to sleep.
You have been under such a stressful time that anyone even who is relatively healthy would have a hard time handling.
I light lots of candles and especially one by my dad- it really comforts me. I also go to see a spiritual counselor- and she helps tremendously as well. It just takes time, Darlene- a lot of time.
It does get better, though- it really does- just little by little. You can make it through, Darlene, because Mark made it through...
I wish you all the love and strength in the world and I will light a candle by my dad's picture for you today.
And just know, Darlene, that you are very loved and some of us know what you are going through...

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

((((Darlene))))

I really, really want to come over and give you a big hug and sit down over tea and cookies and just talk, and talk and talk.

Everything you are writing about is normal. You are normal Darlene, a woman who cares and reaches out to others in their time of need. Well, now is your time to reach out to all of us. We will all gladly talk to you whenever you need a hand.

Love. :)

6:56 AM  
Blogger Star said...

This whole internet world is amazing, and I have learned so much from the comments here. Reading the support each day for Mark and your family has strengthened my faith in humanity. And now, even though only a few have commented so far, I can see the same thing happening here.

CCKitty's comment was shared from the heart and provides encouragement that you are headed in the right directions. You have been running on empty for so long, each bit of energy and emotion being used up as it is created. Now that the crisis has past (yay!) your body needs some time for R&R and get its "house" in order once more.

I'm so glad you've had experience with counseling before and saw the need to make an appointment to explore your symptoms.

Sending you a great big hug and a reminder that miracles weren't just meant for Mark, they're meant for all of us and that certainly includes you. Holding you close in my prayers...

7:04 AM  
Anonymous teresa said...

I don't know if you took these photos at 4 in the morning, you are hot girl! I wish I looked like that early in the morning. :)

You have had a lot of changes and distress in your life, and I think it is only natural to feel a little of sorts. Stress and worry can bring nasty things to ones being or body. But now your battle is ending and you are recognizing the your scars from the uphevel. Only up from here my dear!

Oh how I wish I lived closer to you so we could have a happy visit!

Love You!!
Teresa
xxxooo

8:08 AM  
Blogger cherry girl said...

It sounds like you have make the right self diagnosis, and are making the right steps to solve how your feeling. We are all indeed little fishes in a huge pond. xx

9:00 AM  
Blogger k said...

Hi Dar,
i thought of you and mark last nite after hearing the tail end of a radio program. the 2nd part of the program is on tonite so i've included a link. you can listen to it online. http://www.cbc.ca/outfront/
if you scroll down a bit you'll see the title under Feb 26 (the fall: part1) and feb 27th (part 2). i'm not sure it is totally relevant but it did make me think about you all.
also, i'm sorry to hear about your current stuggles...C.C. Kitty did indeed say it well...so i'm also wishing you "ease, acceptance, patience and love".
kp xox

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Claire NZ said...

Maybe it would be more helpful and easier if you think in terms of 'what do I need at this point in time' rather than get side swiped by labels and diagnosis - I've found for me that it helps a bit. Sorry to hear you're not sleeping well.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Dreamer Girl said...

I recognize the feeling. I've been trough somewhat of a same situation. Whatever it is called, whatever you do, do it in your own time. To listen to your body, to your heart and take care of yourself, is the most important thing to do now.

I'm right here if you need me.
Always.

Loving you,

XX Sophie

12:20 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Darlene: Just got back from my trip to LA and read your posts I'd missed. Today I felt so sad for your pain and suffering. It reminded me of something I read from Joni Eareckson Tada.
"God is a master Artist. And there are aspects of your life and character - good, quality things - he want others to notice. So without using blatant tricks or obvious gimmicks, God brings the cool, dark contrast of suffering into your life. That contrast, laid up against the golden character of Christ within you, will draw attention to him. Light against darkness. Beauty against affliction. Joy against sorrow. A sweet patient spirit against pain, and disappointment - major contrast that have a way of attracting notice. YOU are the canvas on which he paints glorious truths, sharing beauty, and inspiring others.

That's what you are doing dear. Sharing beauty and inspiring others. Your canvas is beautiful.
Love and Hugs

1:01 PM  
Blogger Boho Girl said...

Dar ~
I just wanted to tell you that I love you.

You are not small. You are important and have work to do on this earth. You're a 45 year old spring chicken and have loads of years ahead of you to suck the marrow out of life.

Be gentle with yourself and this process. It really has only been a few months. The fact that you continue to create in the midst of all this is a really good sign that the Darlene we know is still present and not lost in all the stress.

I am glad you are going to your counselor. You've always been brave about such things.

Ocean dreams symbolize a feeling of overwhelm. Hopefully your counselor and prayer will help you coast above the waves to enjoy the ride.

We, your family, are here for you and we love you.

xoxo,
Sis

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Annie Morris said...

Darling One,

I read your comment last night, but couldn't post because of a bad storm. Reading through the comments though, I find that so much of what I needed to tell you had been far more elequently covered.

I found that in periods of my worst depression/suicidal episodes, I would feel absolutely nothing. Not anger, 'depression', despair, sadness, happiness - a big fat nothing.

I rejoiced to see that you are going to talk to a counsellor. Please, please do that. You are far to special a person to be going through this.

I can't really put my feelings into words, but we all love you out here, and are praying/meditating (or however our personal faith manifests itself) for you.

We're also here for the long run!

Sending you heaps and oodles of prayers and love - Annie

PS, thank you to CC Kitty, for sharing such intimate thoughts on your experience.

4:05 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

You will pass through this stage too. It seems to be part of the shock, a delayed response to an event so frightening you can't bring yourself to feel it all. I felt that disconnected feeling for the last four months of my sister's life and most of the following year. Even now I still go numb and am shocked all over again each time I get it that she's gone. Even though Mark survived and is doing so well, you passed through a mother's nightmare. Of course your mind and body are going to continue reacting. As will your soul. Breathe, breathe, breathe. xoxoxo

7:52 PM  
Blogger LEstes65 said...

I'm certainly no expert here but the whole PTSD diagnosis would make sense to me. I continue to pray for your strength. God's got you - the proof is in all these beautiful people he's sent to you!

Love from Texas...Lynette

8:42 PM  
Blogger turquoise cro said...

((((((((Darlene))))))Sending you LOVE and many prayers, XOXOXOX,Cinda

9:05 PM  
Anonymous suzie q said...

Love you, Darlene. Well done for making the appointment with the Counsellor. Time to take baby steps for yourself now sweetheart.
CCKitty's experience is so similar to mine in 2004 that it spooks me. You are so loved, Darlene. Know that, and keep taking those baby steps. Boho is so right about the very short time it's really been since the trauma started. Mark has made a miraculous recovery, and so will you, in your own time.
Follow your instincts, and be gentle with yourself.
Loving hugs xXx

12:40 AM  
Anonymous poet said...

this all appears to be the normal progression. you hvae been running on empty and now that things are settling down (with mark in his recovery), you are more likely to wind down. it is all natural. kinda gave me food for thought when things were going really badly for me...the calm after the storm really wasn't calm at all, but i got through it with much help, both with my family, k, and professionally. i hope all goes well and you feel better soon. sending warm fuzzies and healing thoughts..........poet

3:29 AM  
Blogger Gracey said...

I'm sorry to hear you are having a hard time, but with everything you have been through your mind and body are finally able to catch up with each other and I'm sure that people that go through what you have gone through have the exact same experiences with this PTSD. Keep being strong and remember that God is with you every step of the way even when He feels miles away!

6:21 AM  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

Sending you peace and quiet, because I know that right now, that is what your soul and body are craving. You will not be swallowed up, because as your darling sis says...you are NOT small. You have done and continue to do amazing things. Be gentle with yourself, continue to give yourself the rest that you need and breathe...every day.

xoxoxo and love to you,
J

12:08 PM  
Blogger gerry rosser said...

I used a quote in my own blog today, and I'll repeat it here for you. It's from Lady Julian of Norwich:
"All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well."
Maybe that's better than "keep on keepin' on."

12:41 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I have constantly felt like the big bad world was going to swallow me at any given moment. It is definately overwhelming. PTSD....weird to have a name for what you are "feeling", huh? Just try and take it one day at a time (even second by second as needed.) That's all one can do. right?


I don't like water dreams myself, the last time I had a reoccurring dream of water like that, the Tsunami happend and that hit a little too close to home for me. Because seeing the footage was almost exactly how I had dreamed it...hmmm...

On the other hand, The large body of water could symbolize all the craziness that has gone and is going on in your life and you feel you are just floating in it being moved by the currents with no real sense of control.

2:28 PM  
Blogger ~Bek~ said...

Certainly does sound scary babe.
With all that you have been through it is no wonder hey?

I am thinking of you and hugging you so very often.

With Love
Bx

7:04 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Oh yes, this is something that affects me as well. PTSD is very real and heartbreaking. After of all the anxious moments in the hospital, after three months in intensive care, my father's journey ended - and a part of me did as well. It was a slow realization, but that event completely changed me, now for the better, I think - but I definitely felt lost in a whirlwind of pain for many months, pushed everyone away for many months.

I'm back on the mend and you will be, too. I love you, sweet Darlene & I think of you often.

Amy

8:16 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

big hugs. wish we could have coffee.
xoxo

9:35 PM  
Blogger amy said...

Thinking of you. Continuing to praying for you. Can relate to where you are at. Knowing that it just takes time.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Footpad said...

Hi, sweetie...

I'm going to pile on with everyone else...

Hang in there! Breathe. Then exhale.

There's a movie I'd like you to Netflix called "Jump Tomorrow." It's one of those indie things, but I love it and I think you might appreciate it, too.

It's OK to be freaked; it really is. Just hang in and let your friends and family help comfort you.

Cheers!

-- f

11:56 PM  
Blogger gena said...

Oh Darlene! you have been through so much, I am thinking of you and your family and asking the universe to make it all come right for you.xx

4:44 AM  

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