Thursday, 20 May 2010

I don't know how I'm supposed to feel

"Susanna: I'm ambivalent. In fact that's my new favorite word.
Dr. Wick: Do you know what that means, ambivalence?
Susanna: I don't care.
Dr. Wick: If it's your favorite word, I would've thought you would...
Susanna: It *means* I don't care. That's what it means.
Dr. Wick: On the contrary, Susanna. Ambivalence suggests strong feelings... in opposition. The prefix, as in "ambidextrous," means "both." The rest of it, in Latin, means "vigor." The word suggests that you are torn... between two opposing courses of action.
Susanna: Will I stay or will I go?
Dr. Wick: Am I sane... or, am I crazy?
Susanna: Those aren't courses of action.
Dr. Wick: They can be, dear - for some.
Susanna: Well, then - it's the wrong word.
Dr. Wick: No. I think it's perfect."

- Girl, Interrupted

I walked out of DBT and had a panic attack. That is twice in the last week that my anxiety has got so bad that I’ve been physically sick from it. I’m used to a constant low level of anxiety, although it has got better since I’ve been on Seroquel, but now it is back with a vengeance, plus I have this added fear that it is going to explode. I wake up and feel like I’ve ran a marathon I am that exhausted from the nightmares and the huge effort of trying to wake myself up from them and get myself back to reality.

Reality has become a funny thing – my day time feels like a dream and my dreams feel like my real life. Every so often I am hit with the thought that this isn’t real, that I’m not really real, that I don’t exist, everything is hazy. Yet at other times everything is so vivid and graphic, everything smells and tastes of him, I cannot bare the taste of my mouthwash because it reminds me of him shaking me awake in the middle of the night to get me to give him whatever drinkable toiletries I’d brought in my bag. I can feel his handprint on the side of my face from where he slapped me because I’d tipped his vodka down the sink. I can remember the moment that I gave in and just went with it, because it was just so much easier to drink myself stupid at his request than to try and fight with him to stop.

I remember the night he found out I’d been self-harming and how angry he was, how he screamed at me for hours incoherently and then took me by the wrist and dragged me around the kitchen where his sister and her friends were to show them all my arm. I think that was the most traumatic thing of that night, the shame of being ‘outed’ and everyone’s less than positive reaction to the whole thing. I went into the bedroom, shut the door and drank a bottle of neat vodka and passed out... I could smell him in the dark when he came in, a mixture of vomit and whiskey and cigarettes, I remember telling him to go away because I’d had enough of his shit that I didn’t want to keep putting up with his outbursts. I remember him saying something like it obviously didn’t hurt me too much if I was cutting myself and that I must like violence and that he wouldn’t let me walk away without a fight.

I can remember feeling terrified because I wasn’t particularly strong, I was short and not eating right so I was weak and malnourished and my reactions were slow from all the vodka. I remember feeling cold and wondering where my clothes were or why I couldn’t breathe properly, then I realised that he was lying across my chest and the searing fucking pain between my legs. Then I passed out again and woke up dressed again with a note saying how sorry he was, that he knew he shouldn’t have fucked me but that I didn’t really put up much of a fight. He said that he was stressed out about everything in his life and that I didn’t help him and made it worse and drove him to drink and that I just needed to stop interfering and then he would never have had to get violent. Then he said that he couldn’t stand being alive anymore and that he was going to kill himself because I said I was going to leave him, and he thought that if we slept together then I would stay with him and that’s the only reason why he did it...

And then I never heard from him again (or anyone else who knew him) until a couple of years ago when he sent me an email telling me how brilliant his life was now, how he’d got off the booze and was training to be a teacher, and how he hoped I was alright and didn’t blame him for that night because it wasn’t really anything wrong to do and that he was sorry but he was just trying to save our relationship.

I never replied.

I felt sick and guilty and disgusting about every inch of myself. I kept drinking and drinking and ending up being fucked by men whilst I was too drunk to do anything about it and I didn’t care because I was already a slut, he made me into that person and like he said, it wasn’t really wrong.

The part of my brain that knew it was wrong got lost and I fought it and fought it but now I can’t quieten it anymore. I can’t deny the fact that it was rape because I looked at the law, and the law says that it is, and summer rolls around year after year and relentlessly eats away at my sanity. I feel panic and fear and anger and guilt and hatred. Nightmares and flashbacks and the feeling that bugs are eating away under my skin and that they have to come out somehow, I have to purge or bleed or burn them out somehow.

I am going to see my Leicester psychiatrist tomorrow and I want to get things sorted out but I just don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to get past the fear of not being believed or how painful it will all be to work through and I just want to curl up into a ball and die and not have to deal with any of this.

I don't know how to begin.

1 comment:

  1. You don't know where to begin?

    I think you just did, dolly.
    I think you just did xxxx