[Content Note: Heavy stuff, Traumatic Experiences, Discussion of Suicide kinda, Discussion of Murder and Domestic Violence and Abuse, Grief, etc. Tell me if you think I overlooked something I should be warning for.]
So Monday November 27th, I went through a particularly traumatic experience with a very close friend of mine becoming a murderer in the last second of his life before choosing to die by suicide. I have been through traumatic things in my life before, things that made it so I struggled to sleep that one night of the day the thing happened, things that made me want to talk about it constantly, things that made me still feel upset for a little while afterwards. But this particular thing affected me in a way unlike any of the other things I’ve experienced.
The tl:dr is that I’m doing way way better this week. I’m okay. I’m going to be okay.
But I wanted to write some more about all this.
After morning through midday last Friday (December 1st) writing up my last post about how I couldn’t stop crying, I still was a wreck. I then proceeded to be fired from my volunteer organization, as if that wasn’t going to be adding insult to injury especially when I had unresolved extreme fear/trust/walking on eggshell issues from September based on them treating me super unfairly back then, 3 months ago, and I just… and I still wasn’t sleeping, and I was adding EXTRA stress to myself about needing to wake up at the ridiculous hour of 3:45 AM to catch a shuttle to the airport that I almost forgot to book…
So it shouldn’t be that surprising that by dinner-time hours that night after I had kept being distracted by things all freaking day that it’d been about 26 hours since I’d eaten a meal (although around the 20 hour mark I’d shoved some plain cheese in my mouth from the fridge), I semi-tearfully told my brother how I wished we had hot dogs in the house or something so that I wouldn’t have to actually put any effort or even just patience into my dinner and he offered to go to the store and buy them for me. I asked if he really wanted to do that for me, and he chuckled a little nervously and seemed almost scared of… okay not scared of me, but out of his comfort zone with my grief and like he did want to help, and said maybe not like he super wanted to but he’d do it.
And it shouldn’t be all that surprising, either, that trying to sleep for 6 hours that night I still could not, I was an adrenaline fueled total mess, and at one point I started literally shaking in my bed, and I don’t think I was shivering out of any cold temperatures under my heavy comforter etc; it didn’t quite feel like that kind of shaking anyway. I got out of bed and put my pantyhose on that I planned to wear with a skirt to the airport because I was planning to be properly dressed for the funeral when I left the house at 4:00 AM. I put my pajama shorts back on, on top, and I tweeted my freak out briefly, and when I got back in bed I wasn’t shaking.
My friend on twitter told me:
This from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/coping-with-emotional-and-psychological-trauma.htm sounds like what you’re going through.
And I think that helped me a lot to read…
That article in general did help, not just the excerpt.
It’s probably true that something about:
While traumatic events can happen to anyone, there are risk factors that make some of us more likely to experience psychological trauma following a disturbing event. You’re more likely to be traumatized if you’re already under a heavy stress load, have recently suffered a series of losses, or have been traumatized before—especially if the earlier trauma occurred in childhood.
is affecting me too, that previous traumas are piling up on me. I’d just, earlier that month, finished vidding and writing up an explanation of my breakup from back in May. I had to dwell on some of the intense feelings, especially at the end of the vid, and I think the way Robert broke up with me was kinda a trauma; I was very suddenly and confusingly abandoned. I’d felt similarly again when Recovering from Religion as an organization suddenly suspended me as a volunteer for no good reason in September, like I was having flashbacks to my breakup almost in a very vague sense, even if they decided to end my suspension and let me back in later. It all felt really unfair. I tried so hard, put my all into a relationship of some kind, and got this in return. I found myself really upset by sudden shifts to my life, I’d recently been sent to tears at work by a co-worker accusing me of being a liar who was trying to destroy her career when I completely didn’t do anything and I was kinda a stressed and an ashamed wreck over how “sensitive” I’d been and how crying at work probably made it all worse. My supervisor and her supervisor both got involved to help me and they were super nice to me throughout the incident, but I’m left now still having a super chilly relationship with that co-worker… and that upsets me because I was really starting to feel like she could be a friend before all this. Obviously I have had childhood trauma too…. Even Thanksgiving week my aunt was acting frustrated by the tiniest of things and like everything we all did personally was offending her, and it wasn’t that bad but it kept things kinda tense that whole “vacation” staying at her house for 5 days. My dad, my brother, and I discussed it once we got back home, like it made everything “less fun”… and I just…
Things have probably been building and building for me and that’s part of why I finally burst and broke last week.
I’d already been remembering back to 2.5 years ago with this comment thread and started re-reading that stuff a little out of curiosity. I wanted to understand WTF was happening with me, with my body, with my reaction.
Eventually I also reminded myself of the sentiment in this comment too by re-reading more, a sentiment I’d seen plenty of places in my life but still it never felt as real until right now…