I’m still crossing my fingers for some down time here in the near future. If I get it, I am headed to the beach. I truly do need the break. That’s my respite…my sanctuary.
One thing I have noticed about myself and my writing, for years, is that I’m really good at discussing facts of my life but I am not always the best about discussing my emotions. It’s weird. I don’t know if it’s a matter of what I dealt with growing up in the home I did, a learned response or what, but it’s how I’ve been for so much of my life. I guess to put this in a better perspective, I will try to break it down to make a little more sense.
- I have no problem telling people my father committed suicide but I rarely discuss the feeling of abandonment his death left me with in my life or how that has, I’m sure, impacted many of my personal relationships.
- I can discuss facts of being transgender, but there are very, very few who I am willing to discuss the emotional toll transitioning has taken on me.
- I have mentioned the fact I suffered from depression but I rarely will talk about the emotional aspects of it.
- I can talk about the fact I was in a very unhealthy marriage, but I have only discussed with two or three people the true nightmare I lived through during my marriage and divorce.
These are just a few examples of times where I have been REALLY good about talking about facts but I have truly struggled to talk abut the emotions involved. I could probably come up into 100 different reasons why I am this way but, honestly…at this point that isn’t going to fix anything in the here and now.
Why am I sharing this? Lord knows I always worry about over sharing, believe it or not. The reason I put this out there is that the last few months have been incredibly rough for me. They have been much harder than I have let most people know. I’ve pushed a lot away, tried to tuck in it a box, worked to remain pragmatic and forward focused, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah. That obviously didn’t work out very well for me, so I find myself where I am now, in a place where I am just starting to recover from things, thanks to the support of some amazing friends.
To sum it up as best I can, I had an event occur that triggered my PTSD symptoms. The event that triggered everything doesn’t matter beyond the fact that I learned I have this trigger which I need to address…plain and simple. In the end though, this one event started me on a downward spiral emotionally. I had written previously about needing to confront some things and figure out what I was going to do, how I was going to move forward, etc. This is what I was referring to. I was also dealing with all of this as COVID was reaching it’s peak.
I won’t lie. It was a horrible few months there. With the combination of COVID, work responsibilities and the effects of this resurgence of symptoms, I was a mess. I had become even more reclusive than I already am in RL. I mean, I don’t go out much as it is. But I wasn’t returning phone calls or personal emails. All I was doing was going to work and then coming home. I was doing nothing when I was in world. I would pretty much stand on my platform and pan the camera around or go to one or two places on the grid where I felt safe and would just hide. I didn’t respond to a lot of messages. I wasn’t being active in any way.
Now, when I say I was having PTSD symptoms, I am not referring to just strong emotions…getting upset…or things like that. I am talking about having nightmares. I am talking about being unable to eat. While I didn’t have full blown flashbacks, per say, I was having these intense dreams and vivid intrusive memories about a series of events in my past that shaped the better part of 20 plus years of my life. I was hyper-vigilante and afraid to leave my home…afraid to communicate with others…afraid to do anything that resembled living. So I did the other things I knew how to do. I buried myself in my work. I focused on the COVID crisis. I tried to compartmentalize everything. I basically tried to ignore what was going on in my head.
Obviously, that didn’t work. Things turned into this nasty tailspin for me. I was crying all the time. There were days I would close my office door six or seven times and just cry uncontrollably. As I said before, I wasn’t eating. I was barely sleeping both because once the nightmares started, I was afraid to sleep. And then, when I was so exhausted that I had to sleep…the nightmares would just flood my brain. I was so sleep deprived that
It took me well over a month of these symptoms before I finally reached out to a friend to talk. I only spoke with a couple of people about what was going on. I was afraid to mention it to any others. I was a wreck as I shared with them what was going on. I struggled with opening up about it all because I was afraid of the tidal wave of emotions that would come with verbalizing what was going on. And, for a girl who is used to having her fears and worries minimized, I was also afraid of that happening. Thankfully, the friends I opened up to didn’t trivialize anything with me. They listened. They empathized with me. They let me talk through my fears and worries. They validated what I was going through. They never once trivialized anything I was going through.
I will admit that during that time, I almost quit blogging. I was very close to just walking away from it all. I also almost quit Second Life. I was at a point where I just couldn’t handle it. And SL, the one place that had been my sanctuary for so many years, had suddenly become this place where I could barely function. I mean, I was barely functioning in life, period…but this was something different. In all honesty, I don’t even know how to put it all into words but, as I said, I was in such a state that I almost walked away.
Thankfully, with the love and support of friends and some family, I didn’t quit blogging. I didn’t walk away from SL. I didn’t, for lack of better terms, quit.
I still have a lot I need to sort through with those experiences from my past that came back to me so vividly because one trigger I didn’t even know existed. I never expected that and I thought I had dealt with those issues. I guess I hadn’t though. I’ve been working with my counselor, as much as I can with everything else going on. It’s going to take some work…but I’m going to do my best to confront this and move forward.
I’ll get there…one day at a time. Until then though, I am going to take the first opportunity I can to escape to the beach. Thankfully, the beaches should be far less crowded this year…so maybe I can get a little more peace than I normally would during the summer.
Lord knows I need the break.
See it on Flickr.
What I’m Wearing
Cae – Mantra Stength Bracelet & Trinket Necklace Long
Narcisse – Mimi Bikini Bottom & Top [@ FaMESHed]
NOIR – Amelia Bracelet
Redgrave – Maddison Sunglasses
Tableau Vivant – Editorial Hair Ponytail Side [@ The Arcade]
Diversion – Affection 5m
ARIA & The Loft
Arlette decorative picnic basket
Beachin’ Bag Clutter – Dotted
Summer Lovin’ – Towel – Perfect
Burrow Coffee & Whiskey Company