It is ironic how different the winter holiday turned out from how I hoped it would be. I had this idea that C would leave and I would be relieved of my one responsibility: she would go to her village and be with her grandparents and I would not think much about her and I would be freed up to deal with my own issues. And my own issues would not be overwhelming—they had seemed to be less overwhelming at the end of the school year. Stuff would get worked out and I would be face the school year with this great leap in healing having happened.

And, of course, none of that worked out exactly. C triggered me endlessly by not picking up the phone—something I forgot is not as simple for her as it is for me—and by not clearly telling me where she was. (I think now she did tell me, but it did not pass the confused English barrier.) And I created my own hell for myself by falling apart in front of her right before she left.

Then there was the saw.

I woke up today after a very long sleep—in bed at seven, not up until slightly before seven—feeling even more tired than before I slept. Feeling more tired and just hopeless. It is so hard. It is so hard and it never gets easier. It only seems to get harder, no matter what changes in my exterior life occur, whether we are on holiday or I am working all day, regardless of my work load and social life, it is never, ever easy. It is always exactly and precisely as difficult as I can stand, which clearly points to the idea that the work I need to do psychologically is beyond me, and I am biting off the bits of it I can chew.

I had a late breakfast—no particular reason. It happened that way. Then I had a nap. When I got up from nap, it felt exactly the same way. So completely exhausted, like really I could sleep absolutely all day. And maybe tomorrow also. Maybe the next day. It didn’t feel good, but I tried not to push that feeling of exhaustion away—I could. I could just kind of snap out of it, which would mean dissociating. It is not so intense I can’t do that. But I am trying not to do that anymore. I am trying to just to feel whatever I feel, even if I don’t like it that much.

Then I had this thought: At what point did someone assure me that working through intense trauma and integrating my personality would be invigorating and fun? Oh, that didn’t happen? Yeah, it didn’t. No one has ever said that. If they did say it, then that would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are idiots. Because it is not. It’s exhausting. You can pace yourself with it however you want to, and it is still mind-numbingly tiring. It is cognitively draining because there is that internal landscape of feelings and associations you are trying to create so that they all relate to a single person’s life and not a bunch of parts—and figuring the parts out was hard enough. This is Trauma work 201. Then there is the emotional work of it, just the energy. I am terrified a lot of the time. Then I have to figure out how to gradually bring that terror down. It is draining to be terrified that much of the time. It is draining to consciously attend to bringing my level of arousal down too. Yeah, this is completely, utterly exhausting. And all I can really do is be nice to myself about it.


One thought on “Exhausted

  1. desilef February 1, 2016 / 10:57 pm

    Oh, Ash. People who’ve experienced a single traumatic event or repeated events in a relatively short period of time work very hard at healing. You lived through so much, so many different horrors for so many years. Of course it’s not fun! And it makes sense it would be hard and take longer than anyone could guess. And I guess invigorating is clearly the wrong word, but something has happened. The pain doesn’t take place behind glass. I’m glad you know to be nice to yourself. You are deserving of nice treatment – and better than nice.

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