I’ve been struggling with trauma memories since my therapy session yesterday. The stress has made me more irritable and less patient than usual today. My husband did let me “sleep in” this morning (until about 8:15…an hour after our daughter woke up). I was in a bad mood this morning after tossing and turning with trauma-related nightmares all night.
I tried to start my day off in a positive way by making French Toast for breakfast this morning. Of all of the breakfast foods out there, this one is my favorite. It is one of the few foods that my mom can cook, and when I was little, it was about the only “hot food” we ate aside from grilled cheese sandwiches and Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese 🙂 Luckily she married my stepdad who is a phenomenal cook, so I did spend a lot of my life eating “real” food haha. Anyways… the French Toast making did not go well. Everything that could go wrong did. I cracked an egg like I normally would, but the whole egg split in half and yolk went everywhere. Then, I was so anxious over the egg cracking everywhere, my dog barking, and my daughter asking me 9 million questions, that I forgot to add vanilla. I dumped out my concoction and started over. Finally, everything was ok, I was calm, and eating. My daughter and I enjoyed breakfast together.
After breakfast, I went to take a shower. In the shower, my flashbacks got really bad. I wanted to cry, but honestly I felt too numb and distant to even move, let alone work up the courage to cry. My husband and daughter stampeded into the bathroom, pulling me out of the dissociative state that I was in. I painted my daughter’s fingernails and her and I got ready to start our day.
I took my daughter to this fairy festival today. It was a bunch of little girls dressed up in tutus and fairy wings running around with sticks. My daughter really enjoyed it, but it was a lot of walking and she was super cranky. When it was time to leave, she threw a huge tantrum. Normally, she’s pretty good about complying in public, but not today. It was one tantrum after another as I tried to get her to the car (which was like a mile away!).
The good thing about getting out of the house today (and we were gone for about 5 hours) was that it took my mind out of trauma memories. Even though my patience was thin today, it’s pretty much impossible to be engulfed by a trauma memory and deal with a two year old tantrum at the same time.
Tonight, however, I’ve struggled to remain present. I took a nap for about an hour late this afternoon, where I had yet another trauma-related nightmare. I made dinner and got a lot of paperwork done for my job. I played “rocket ship” with my daughter (she likes to get in the laundry baskets and pretend she’s going to outer space). But finally, after fighting off memories for the last 24 hours, I found the courage to sit down and write about what happened to me in the memory that my therapist brought up yesterday.
Now that I’ve written the memory down, I need to go through it with my shrink. I know that if I don’t, it won’t go away… the flashbacks and nightmares will continue to get worse. I don’t see her again until Wednesday. I know that’s really not that far away, but when you’re carrying around a trauma memory like this one, it feels like an eternity. I almost want to try to schedule something for Monday just so I can go through the memory and get some relief. Just the idea of being tormented by this memory for the next four days brings my anxiety to a 10.
I have two yoga classes tomorrow (with my two favorite yoga teachers). I’m hoping that everything is copacetic with my marriage and my parenting tomorrow. I still really struggle when difficult memories that I’ve not yet addressed in therapy come up. Looking back, I wish I had found the courage yesterday to be more honest and go through the complete memory, instead of just talking about parts of it.
Tonight, I’m eating cake, practicing sun salutations, watching Pretty Woman, and diffusing essential oils. I’m trying to be positive. My dream is to one day be at a place where none of my trauma memories torment me anymore – they can just be what they are.