Tuesday, August 03, 2010

breaking the silence

*deep breath* okay here i go--

frank warren said "sometimes when we think we are keeping a secret, that secret is actually keeping us." i've had one of those following me around for over 10 yrs. one that was so painful that i had never accessed it until recently.

in as little detail as i can go into and still communicate this, there was a rape incident that happened to me in high school. i'd never even told my own husband this! two thursdays ago, i was written a script for a new medication to try and basically it triggered a series of memories about all of this. early last week i made an emergency appointment with a psychologist where i was diagnosed as having post traumatic stress disorder, instructed to cut the dose way down (i am now taking 1/4 of the originally prescribed strength), and given a series of relaxation techniques to take home and practice.

i've talked and cried and exploded and imploded at length with great friends and david. all that i'm going through is both power and destruction. the healer and the sword bearer. i feel strange and overwhelmed but hopeful that once i am over this intense serotonin dump i will feel a bit better (much much better? but im too afraid to be too hopeful).

the standard dose from celexa i gather is at least 20 mg. well if i take that dose i have out of control panic attacks, the strangest body sensation (like my whole body is tingling? it makes me want to jump out of my skin), insomnia/restless sleep, jaw clenching, nausea, and no appetite. did i mention no appetite? i've lost a good 10 pounds, which clearly i am not able to spare. the second night i took the medicine i cut it in half to 10 mg. it was better but the nights, oh the nights. i clutch at david's chest, wake up freaking out every 30 minutes (?), i feel so panicked i feel overwhelmed. so yesterday i cut it once again, down to 5 mg. it was the first night i've not gone to bed with a rigid body, tears streaming down my face, begging david just to sit next to me and not fall asleep. i still grasped onto his arm and still woke up a lot but my mind was clearer, more able to process things logically. and my body did not feel as if it was being shocked awake or jarred by painful memories/sensations.

my friend come over every day to sit with me (the mornings are especially hard). i SO FEAR being alone with the kids and having one of these epic "episodes" that i experience every night with david. the body locking up, the fists pumping onto the couch, the overwhelming sensation ripping through my core. when i feel that, it reminds me of the lord of the rings when frodo says "i can't recall the taste of food, nor the sound of water, nor the touch of grass. instead i'm naked in the dark. there's nothing. no veil between me and the wheel of fire!" i cannot work myself out of that state enough to remember good or happy or peace.

today was my second appointment with my psychologist. i've been using one of her calming techniques with good success (snapping mys wrist with a rubber band at the onset of a panicked thought and meditating on some happy memory) but another, listening to relaxation tapes, caused me to freak out. i felt my mind was too vulnerable while listening to them and it triggered memories of being in an altered and thus vulnerable state of mind and being violated. i feel like i dont have a lot left over to take care of my kids. they aren't being neglected but i fear being alone with them because, what if i am incapacitated?

there's so much to say but i am so tired from not eating and sleeping that i don't think i can condense it all in one entry. i feel grateful and full of love but also tormented by these horrible memories and scars. im alive but not really living that well. the crushing weight of it all gets to me, especially when i am alone or in the middle of the night when i wake up and david is asleep. i can't do all that much because i have no energy from not eating. my friends have been so faithful in shoving food down my throat.

as painful and scary as this is, im glad. it is a consequence of the christian life to ask for examination, to ask God to pull back the curtain and shine a light into the areas of darkness. the only way to get over this is to go through this.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
- Isaiah 42:3


augustine and i are so alike. so alike that i am fearful of unleashing the truth and gravity of what i am going through onto him. we sat up one night and talked about what is going on (because he surely knows something is up by the constant visitors and mom laying in bed crying.) i explained what a panic attack was (but skipped why i had them or the post traumatic stress-talk) and that it was nothing that HE needed to be afraid of but that it is possible that i could have one in front of him and told him what that would look like. he wanted to know why i never slept with him anymore (because on occasion one of us will lay down with one or both of them, sometimes overnight). i told him it was because i had lots of trouble at night sleeping and that daddy helped me calm down and stop having panic attacks and i wanted to be near him. i said i didn't ever want to have one in front of him because i didn't want to make him afraid of what was going on in my heart. he said he could never be afraid of my heart. i said i didn't want to scare him. he said i could never scare him and that he loved me.

love is helping me remember the taste of food, the sound of water, and the touch of grass

19 comments:

Lauren said...

augustine sounds like such a beautiful sensitive boy.

cachet said...

i have no clue what you're going through, nothing to say except i am sorry for your pain and i couldn't read this without letting you know you are strong and brave for being vulnerable in the way of confronting this and bringing it out into the light. many, many hugs and prayers for healing.

Queen Bee said...

much love and prayers, Jenny. i pray that you find healing and peace. ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

I have been where you are, dealing with my own rape. I had agoraphobia and PTSD for years. It is so hard to face, so brutally hard, but it will get easier. It will get better. With the help from my husband and therapy, I learned how to live again, and love again. With faith, love, support and time you will get better. You will be in my prayers.

Dallas Ann said...

Oh Jenny. Praying for you and your family. I am so thankful you have such a supportive group of people surrounding you.

Pumpernickel Pickle said...

Thinking of you. You're so lucky to have such a sweet boy. I hope mine turns out something like him...

Claudia Luckey said...

<3

Anonymous said...

Jenny,

You have much courage in emancipating yourself from the shackles of your secret.

Thank you for your love and light.

Morgan

meridith said...

you are very brave to share this. i'm so sorry for what you have been going through.

crystal ann said...

Jenny,
love and prayers! i have been reading your blog for 3 years you are an amazing mother,wife and women i know you have the strength to over come this and it will take time but know that i am praying for you
GOD BLESS!!
crystal ann

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear this but you are so brave for sharing all that you share. I appreciate it so much because I have really bad anxiety and agoraphobia as well. It actually does help to know that there are other people who struggle with what I do. You will be in my prayers!

Sarah said...

I just want to let you know that you encourage me to better myself and overcome my own anxiety issues. Keep your chin up and you'll be in my prayers! You are blessed to have such a loving, wonderful, caring family.

Lis. said...

I am so sorry for what you have gone through and am praying for you. <3

Kathy said...

I'm so sorry for what you're going through. The line you wrote about God pulling back the curtains, and shining on the darkness was beautiful.

Kristin said...

I'll be praying for you and your family Jenny! Your loving Heavenly Father will get you through this and bring you out into a peaceful, abundant place! My heart is with you <3 but much more importantly, the Lord is with you and won't leave your side.

Kunklebaby said...

Look at all the strength it too just to post this! You are a strong woman!
I know we don't really "know" each other, but I am right in town, if you ever need any help! I'd be happy to come over with my kids and entertain yours for an afternoon, or chat with you. Just remember you are strong and things are going to get easier as you go through this!

Please feel free to contact me anytime, even just to chat online!

jenny mae. said...

btw kunklebaby - we've met a handful of times. you might not remember but our kids had an art class together once at whetstone. anyways - thank you for the love :)

Laura said...

Jenny,
I am praying for you as well.

On a coincidental side note, I was prescribed celexa last month by my doctor. I took 10mg for 4 days and then on the 5th day was instructed to take 20mg. For those 5 days, I was a panic attacking mess. I lost 10lbs, couldn't concentrate, and every sensation and memory was enhanced ten fold. I discontinued taking it, as I couldn't even bear to do the whole "it'll get worse before it gets better" thing. It was horrible and I am still afraid to try it again.

I hope things get better for you <3

jenny mae. said...

i've been taking 5 mg for 2 weeks. just two days ago i bumped it up to 10 mg. it's going better than it was previously when i tried the same dosage. dont give up if you think it will help you! some people (like myself and many others!) just need to be more slowly weaned onto medication like this. my doctor also recommended possibly taking 5 mg in the morning and 5 mg in the afternoon to make the transition to 10 mg easier.